Time for a new plan on Brady Trucking
It appears the protracted legal battle over zoning for Brady Trucking’s operations along the Colorado River may be nearing an end, based on a judge’s decision last week.
While there is still City Council action to be taken, and perhaps a ballot question for city voters, now would seem an appropriate time for officials with the trucking firm, Grand Junction city officials and others to work toward a compromise that would serve everyone’s interests.
We still hold out hope a property can be found that would allow the trucking firm to move its operations closer to Interstate 70 and leave the Colorado River near the future Las Colonias Park available for park or open space.
Efforts to effect a land trade along those lines failed five or six years ago when Brady and city officials couldn’t come to terms on the value of the trucking firm’s property.
However, Brady used the city land-use rules appropriately when it sought and received a change to industrial zoning for its 13 acres along the river so it could expand its existing operations from a smaller parcel there. It also proposed measures to screen its operations and to allow the riverfront trail access through the property.
The problem is, many people didn’t like the prospect of a large trucking operation in the city’s riverfront corridor. They gathered petitions to put the question to city voters.
City Clerk Stephanie Tuin rejected some of the petitions because one person, Candi Clark, both signed a petition and notarized it. District Judge David Bottger upheld Tuin’s decision, but Clark appealed and the Colorado Court of Appeals last year overturned Bottger’s decision and sent it back to him for further consideration.
In a ruling last Wednesday, Bottger upheld the validity of the petitions against several other challenges from Diane Schwenke of Grand Junction.
As a result, Bottger dropped the issue back in the lap of the City Council. He said the council can either entirely repeal the ordinance that granted Brady industrial zoning on its property, or put the issue to city voters.
Brady could still appeal Bottger’s decision and hope that the Colorado Court of Appeals, which has already ruled against the trucking company once, will this time rule in its favor. Or, if the issue goes to a citywide vote, it could spend money on a campaign to try to persuade voters to uphold the industrial zoning — which the company seems inclined to do.
Better yet, we believe, the company could start actively pursuing an agreement with the city aimed at finding a more appropriate location for its trucking operations.