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Gold Rush Next Season, Hoffman crew tears up Colorado (Literally)
Gene Kooper
post Dec 1 2017, 10:23 PM
Post #16


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Continuing on....

This post deals with the Park County Planning Commission's July 11, 2017 meeting. I've included both a web link and PDF of the agenda, along with PDFs of the additional information (hot links to these four documents are also available in the agenda). The minutes of the meeting have not been uploaded yet.

July 11, 2017 Park County Planning Commission Meeting Agenda.

Attached File  PlanningCommission_July_11_2017_Agenda.pdf ( 51.71K ) Number of downloads: 2

Afternoon agenda item .1. Rezoning Case #17Zon-04 is the one of interest and contains four documents (last agenda item).

Rezoning case documents

Attached File  17ZON_04_PC_Staff_Report_and_Atts.pdf ( 896.82K ) Number of downloads: 1

Attached File  Referral_Responses.pdf ( 161.3K ) Number of downloads: 1

Attached File  Public_Comment.pdf ( 507.12K ) Number of downloads: 3

Attached File  Application.compressed_July11_2017.pdf ( 6.07MB ) Number of downloads: 1

The first document is the Planning Department Staff Report issued on July 5, 2017. Some of the quoted material in my prior post of Nov. 22 comes from this report.

The report recommends to the Planning Commission that the rezoning be denied.
QUOTE
Based on the foregoing, staff recommends that the Rezoning be denied due to an inability to meet standard of approval number 4 as submitted. If the Commission chooses to recommend approval, staff can assist in identifying potential appropriate conditions.

The second document contains a referral response from the Town of Fairplay that offers no specific objection as long as the mining permit and operating plan are enforced as written. The other correspondence is an email forwarded from Josh Voorhis, District Ranger, South Park Ranger District. It is an informal restatement of the USFS concerns outlined in the letter that Mr. Tonko posted above in this thread.

The third document contains three letters from nearby residents opposed to the rezoning change.

The fourth document is the application for rezoning prepared by High Speed Aggregate, Inc. and submitted to the Park County Planning Commission on April 30, 2017. It is essentially the same document as the document in the previous post with the addition of a letter by the mining engineering firm retained by High Speed Aggregate, Inc., (Greg Lewicki and Associates). The author of that letter, Mr. Ben Langenfeld does not mention that there was no public hearing in 1975 regarding the original zoning. Instead he states:
QUOTE
It appears that the zoning of residential use that was designated in 1975 on this property (and others) was done without regard to the geology or the economic viability of the gold placer deposits.

If the original zoning designation was done without a public hearing why was that fact and any supporting evidence not included in the summary letter by the Greg Lewicki and Associates engineer? If as Mr. Tonko asserts this is illegal why would it not be documented in the rezoning application? As a footnote, the Fairplay Flume published an article on the July BOCC on August 4, 2017. It states:
QUOTE
Three mining engineers testified in support. One said no public hearings were held in 1975 when the first zoning map was approved.

I'll post the July 27, 2017 Board of County Commissioners' meeting agenda (note: the agenda states that this was originally scheduled to be heard at the June 22, 2017 BOCC meeting, but it was postponed because the June Planning Commission hearing had been postponed), 14 related documents, the meeting minutes and the Fairplay Flume article that summarized the BOCC meeting later this evening or tomorrow.
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Gene Kooper
post Dec 2 2017, 12:46 AM
Post #17


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Third Installment.

This post includes the Board of County Commissioners' July 27, 2017 meeting. I've included both a web link and PDF of the agenda, along with PDFs of the additional information (hot links to the fourteen documents are also available in the agenda).

July 27, 2017 Board of County Commissioners Meeting Agenda.
Attached File  Board_of_County_Commissioners_July_27_2017_Agenda.pdf ( 49.2K ) Number of downloads: 1

Public Hearing(s) item .IV. Rezoning Case #17Zon-04 (last agenda item).

Rezoning case documents included in the agenda.

Rezoning application (appears to be identical to the application included in the July 11, 2017 Planning Commission hearing (included for completeness).
Attached File  Application.pdf ( 10.57MB ) Number of downloads: 1

BOCC Planning Dept. Staff Report, dated July 23, 2017 (similar to the staff report in the previous post with the addition of the Planning Commission's recommendation to reject the rezoning request by a vote of 4 to 1).
Attached File  17ZON_04_BOCC_Staff_Report.pdf ( 2.48MB ) Number of downloads: 1

Park County Planning Commission Resolution # 07-2017-05
Attached File  PC_RESOLUTION_07_2017_05.pdf ( 49.55K ) Number of downloads: 1

Referral Response (appears to be the same document by the Town of Fairplay and USFS as included in the previous post).
Attached File  Referral_Responses.pdf ( 161.3K ) Number of downloads: 1

Public Comments (includes additional responses to the one in the previous post).
Attached File  Public_Comment.pdf ( 229.82K ) Number of downloads: 1

Form letters in support of the rezoning request that also are targeted at the Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety to approve the 112 mining permit.
Attached File  neighbor_support_redd.pdf ( 302.43K ) Number of downloads: 1

Attached File  business_support_redd.pdf ( 1.29MB ) Number of downloads: 1

Attached File  other_support_1_redd.pdf ( 1.17MB ) Number of downloads: 1

Attached File  other_support_2_redd.pdf ( 1.32MB ) Number of downloads: 1

Letters in support and opposition to the rezoning request.
Attached File  Comments_PC_and_Later.pdf ( 1.56MB ) Number of downloads: 1

Plea to assist Gold Rush in getting the rezoning application approved and several signed form letters in support
Attached File  Support_Cover__Sum__and_Final_Comments.pdf ( 939.02K ) Number of downloads: 1

The last three attachments appear to be responses to DRMS adequacy questions raised during their review of the 112 mining permit. The last one seems clairvoyant as it is dated one day before (July 19, 2017) a reply from the DRMS (July 20, 2017). eating-popcorn-03.gif
Attached File  Fairplay_Au_Adequacy_Response_COMBINED__1_.pdf ( 15.47MB ) Number of downloads: 1

Attached File  Fairplay_Au_Adequacy_2_Response_170627_COMBINED__1_.pdf ( 3.95MB ) Number of downloads: 1

Attached File  Fairplay_Au_Adequacy_3_Response_170721.pdf ( 1.56MB ) Number of downloads: 2


And finally, the Board of County Commissioners July 27, 2017 Meeting Minutes, which lists everyone that testified at the hearing. The decision appears to have been delayed until the August 17, 2017 BOCC meeting because one of the commissioners left for a dental appointment.
Attached File  Board_of_County_Commissioners_July_27_2017_Minutes.pdf ( 23.81K ) Number of downloads: 1

For those wanting a Cliff Notes version, here is the link to the article in the August 4, 2017 issue of the Fairplay Flume Decision on residential to mining rezoning postponed until Aug. 17. Thirteen people testified in support of the rezoning and 15 testified against. A friend and professional colleague was among those that testified.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Fairplay Flume article states that a mining engineer made a statement at the BOCC hearing that there was no public hearing in 1975. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Tonko that this should apparently be taken as true. Nor do I agree with his conclusion that the alleged absence of a public hearing means that the original zoning was illegal (and the implication that the residential zoning should be void ab initio). In many adversarial proceedings the opposing parties will resort to posturing during a hearing. There is no proof that the 1974 or 1975 zoning was illegal, only an assertion by an interested party that there was a problem. If you read through the Planning Commission staff report, the zoning for the last 44 years was residential. Nobody appears to have challenged that designation until HSA became aware in April that the Park County Planning Dept. had informed the Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety of the zoning issue.

Zoning plan authority in Colorado is stipulated in C.R.S. 20-28-111.
QUOTE
(1) The county planning commission of any county may, and upon order by the board of county commissioners in any county having a county planning commission shall, make a zoning plan for all or any of the unincorporated territory within the county, including both the full text of the zoning resolution and the maps....

The original zoning map of 1974 was updated in 1998, which if there was an actual problem with the zoning designation it was likely "fixed" by the BOCC's resolution adopting the 1998 and later zoning maps. Since the rezoning request was granted by the BOCC on August 17, the point is now moot. One note regarding C.R.S. 30-28-111 is that the first note in the Annotation below the statute is this cite, 'Law reviews. For article, "Winning the Rezoning", see 11 Colo. Law. 634 (1982)'. One of the co-authors of that 1982 article in The Colorado Lawyer is Lee Phillips, the current Park County Attorney. The meeting minutes and Fairplay Flume article show that he was in attendance.

I'll post the final installment later today. It will discuss the BOCC August 17, 2017 meeting and a second Fairplay Flume article. That article includes what I believe is the reason the BOCC granted the rezoning request, which BTW includes 11 conditions that High Speed Aggregate, Inc. agreed to follow.
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Gene Kooper
post Dec 2 2017, 05:41 PM
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And finally....

This post includes links and PDF files to the Board of County Commissioners August 17, 2017 meeting agenda and minutes and the article in the August 24, 2017 Fairplay Flume, Residential rezoned to mining

PDF files of the August 17, 2017 BOCC agenda and meeting minutes.
Attached File  Board_of_County_Commissioners_August_17_2017_MeetingAgenda.pdf ( 46.1K ) Number of downloads: 1

Attached File  Board_of_County_Commissioners_August_17_2017_Minutes.pdf ( 20.26K ) Number of downloads: 1

There is minimal information in the above PDF files (included for completeness).

The August 24, 2017 article in the Fairplay Flume, however does provide information on the proceedings and the reasons the county commissioners and county attorney gave for approving the rezoning request. While some may feel that no conditions should have been included with rezoning approval it appears that several of them were proposed by High Speed Aggregate, Inc. Here is the list of conditions read by County Attorney, Lee Phillips to the County Commissioners just prior to their approval of the rezoning request.
QUOTE
1. Notify the county 48 hours before heavy equipment is transported over county roads.

2. Current driveways need to be registered and new permits pulled for any new driveways.

3. No mining activity within 100 feet of Platte Drive and 50 feet of the west and east property boundaries.

4. No mining activity between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. or on Sundays and federal holidays.

5. To reduce noise, sand must be in truck beds before loading.

6. Written notice to adjacent property owners 10 days before mine startup in spring and shutdown in the fall.

7. Report mining and reclamation status to the county upon completing mining, initial reclamation and successful reclamation of each phase.

8. Comply with state and local noise regulations.

9. Applicant may provide aggregate to Park County and adjacent property owners.

10. Provide sanitation facilities during mining operations.

11. Failure to comply with representations made at the hearing or any conditions will be a violation of the Land Use Regulations.

The other reason I believe that the rezoning was approved was stated by Commissioner Brazell (as quoted in the Fairplay Flume article).
QUOTE
Brazell said that if the property wasn’t rezoned, High Speed would not be required to reclaim the historic mine tailings.

It appears that several county residents were "disappointed" that the commissioners would not hear any additional testimony before rendering their decision. The Fairplay Flume article includes several questions by Mr. John (Skip) Kunst, Sr. regarding the process. Here is the money quote by Mr. Kuntz (another agenda item was whether to approve a marijuana facility in Grant).
QUOTE
The county’s business plan should include more than mining and marijuana.

Also, see the first link below for additional comments by Mr. Kunst who alleged at the BOCC meeting that the "approved" rezoning is illegal because the BOCC violated the state's open meeting laws!

In addition to the two Fairplay Flume articles I found four opinion letters about the rezoning. I decided not to give the Flume some cash to read them (they are behind a pay wall). In case anyone is interested in spending a few dollars, here are the links to those letters.
Residential to mining rezoning - an opinion High Speed zoning change is unlawful Posted: Friday, September 1, 2017 4:11 pm
LETTER: More mining concerns Posted: Friday, August 25, 2017 6:14 pm
LETTER: More concerns over rezoning Posted: Friday, September 1, 2017 4:09 pm
LETTER: Mine rezoning decision Posted: Friday, September 1, 2017 4:08 pm

The author of the last letter seems to believe that Fairplay residents are not properly represented on the BOCC because they reside in Alma and Bailey.
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