JOANN KALENAK/DCCR SENIOR BLOGGER — Delta County Planning Commissioners met last night to hear staff recommendations and public comment on a proposed mobile cement batch plant around 1900 Street and F Road. Planning Director, Carl Holm, opened the meeting with a presentation of the application and summarized his recommendation to approve the development saying that this type of development could be allowed under conditional approval.


Along with the usual complaints about noise and dust often associated with this type of industry, attendees spoke — in often heated terms — about three primary issues:


1) Incompatible fit for this type of development in an A5 Zone with residential property close by.
2) The lack of notice and easily available information for nearby neighbors.

3) The anticipated road impacts and an inadequate traffic study resulting in the absence of a road bond.


It was the road bond issue that had Planning Commissioners spinning in circles as they attempted to put a dollar figure on likely impact. While the PC recently asked for a $100,000 road bond from the developer of a proposed solar farm at a nearby location, Planning Commissioner Steve Schrock suggested a $10,000 bond in his motion to approve the cement project.


The audience audibly reacted to Schrock’s proposed bond figure and PC member Cindy Watson said the figure should be more like $50,000. Former County Engineer and DCCR board member, Bob Kalenak, spoke at the meeting during the public comment period and explained the need for a Level II traffic study to inform the PC about impacts and costs. Holm later suggested a Level III traffic study to settle the bond issue. (A Level I study was provided with the application, something Kalenak called inadequate for an operation with this level of impact.) In the end, the PC voted 4-to-3 to approve the project with conditions but included an additional condition that a Level III traffic study be conducted.


DCCR INSIDER — Here’s when and how to apply a traffic study:


LEVEL I TRAFFIC STUDY Analyze new traffic that would be introduced into the County road system to determine if the impact is significant. This study is usually completed by the County Engineering Department for every development application.
If deemed significant, a LEVEL II traffic study is required. Otherwise, the impact is considered insignificant and no further investigation is required.*

Analyze the actual impacts to the County road system by the proposed project. It includes traffic flow, volumes and road conditions and is done by a certified traffic engineer. If deficiencies are identified in the study, a LEVEL III study is required to address those deficiencies.*

Resolve the deficiencies determined by the LEVEL II study by introducing and designing changes and / or improvements to the road system.

* Impact also includes any consideration of traffic introduced to a State road and whether a CDOT access permit would be required.