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Commissioners Deny Crawford Gravel Pit


In a split decision, Delta County Commissioners voted down a proposed gravel pit near Crawford on Monday, citing seven issues that influenced their decision. KVNF's Marty Durlin has more.

Commissioners Bruce Hovde and Doug Atchley voted to deny the controversial gravel pit proposal, which had drawn fire from surrounding residents as well as real estate professionals and health advocates. A hearing on the proposal attracted a crowd two weeks ago, and many returned on Monday to hear the commissioner's ruling.

The reasons for denial, enumerated by the County's planning department, included potential negative impacts of dust, noise, decreased property values, loss of views and quality of life. The county stated that the gravel pit was incompatible with the residential area bordering the proposed site, and inconsistent with its Master Plan goals, including preservation of a rural lifestyle.

Private property rights-- a core value of Delta County's Master Plan--do not give someone the right to impose negative impacts on adjacent properties, said the County.

Commissioner Bruce Hovde also noted a previously denied gravel pit near Delta, saying the conditions were similar.

"With those conditions being proximity to the city of Delta, and this one in proximity to the town of Crawford," said Hovde.

But Olen Lund, who retires from the board after representing the North Fork end of the county for the past eight years, voted against his fellow commissioners.

"I will disagree with that motion. The reasons being there were several items identified in that hearing-- I think it would be possible to mitigate those items, and so therefore could be done with a minimum of impact."

A disappointed applicant, Larry Jensen, left the meeting as a somewhat stunned group of Crawford residents looked at each other with relief.

In other business, the commissioners approved their 2013 budget of $25 million and set various mill levies. They discussed adopting an ordinance that would "opt out" of Amendment 64, which would prohibit commercial marijuana establishments for recreational use in the unincorporated areas.

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