JOANN KALENAK/DCCR SENIOR BLOGGER — A proposed gravel pit site in Delta appears to be located in a GMA or Growth Management Area according to Delta County’s proposed land-use plan and the recently updated Master Plan. While still a work-in-progress, the third iteration of a proposed zoning map, developed as part of new land-use codes, shows property owned by Jared Graff and his proposed 50-year gravel pit operation, appears to be located in an area that planners suggest be urbanized and possibly incorporated into the municipality of Delta. County planning staff declined to comment about the gravel pit location placement in relation to the proposed land-use map.
The gravel pit site proposed by Graff is adjacent to Confluence Park, a major community area that incorporates a lake and recreation area, Bill Heddles Community Center and the historic site of Fort Uncompahgre.
Planning Commissioners met to review the gravel pit application on April 24 and voted to recommend approval and asked the applicant to conduct more studies and fulfill other staff recommended conditions. The PC’s decision was later nullified due to the county’s failure to properly notify neighbors around the proposed site.
Planning Commissioner Steve Schrock raised the spirit of the PC’s recently updated Master Plan saying that the commission should take into consideration that a mining operation would permanently remove the proposed site out of agriculture. As a result, several tenets of the Master Plan were incorporated into the PC’s recommendation to approve including working with any issues that the City of Delta might have. New Land-use code considerations, however, were not discussed at the meeting.
“The city has no dog in this fight except for the sewer line,” said PC member Steve Shea. The Master Plan and proposed land-use plan, however, clearly identifies areas intended for future municipal growth which dictates deep consideration and involvement with the City of Delta. As a contingent property owner, the county is also obliged to consider the intergovernmental agreement that they have with the city.
County planners have been working with consultants over the past year to develop new land-use codes. So far, they have mapped the area of Delta County to determine current use and suggested future use. Five basic zones are currently on the table: GMA-Growth Management Area, R1-Rural Industrial District, A10-Small Scale Agricultural District, A20-Medium Scale Agricultural District, and A35-Large Scale Agricultural District.