Gravel pit approval stands

Grand Junction planning commissioners Tuesday night denied a request by opponents to reconsider a gravel-pit proposal for an Orchard Mesa neighborhood.

Opponents of the proposal by Schooley-Weaver Partnership said they will appeal the planning commissioners’ decision. An appeal sends the matter to the Grand Junction City Council, which will decide yet again whether planning commissioners must reconsider the proposal.

The Planning Commission on Sept. 14 approved the proposal for the gravel pit in a hill along 29 3/4 Road, a dead-end road. The commission previously denied the proposal on grounds of safety but reversed itself after the City Council directed the to commission re-examine the matter.

On Tuesday night, no one on the commission offered a motion to rehear the matter. Planning commissioners at the meeting were Lyn Benoit, Patrick Carlow, Ebe Eslami, Reginald Wall, Gregory Williams, Mark Abbott and Rob Burnett.

Robert Jones II of Vortex Engineering of Grand Junction, which represents the gravel pit, said Tuesday night that work on the project should begin in the spring.

About 20 opponents appeared for the meeting, including Carrol Zehner, who said the commissioners’ decision will force opponents to fight the proposal in court.

“If this was going to the county, the county was going to deny it,” Zehner said of the gravel pit.

The 16-acre site for the proposed pit has been annexed by the city, but many homes in the area remain in the county. County planning officials have said gravel pit access along 29 3/4 Road is not compatible with the residential neighborhood.


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