Garfield County’s 1041 Powers Considered for Gravel, Mining Regulations

Glenwood Springs—Garfield County’s authority regarding land use decisions is being questioned, tested and possibly changed.  After a special one hour meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Board of Commissioners gave the community development department it’s marching orders to revise the county’s gravel and mining regulations applying the state-approved 1041 land use powers.  The elephant in the room that was never mentioned was Rocky Mountain Resources, the Beverly Hills company hoping to expand the Mid-Continent limestone quarry in West Glenwood Springs.  Legal consultant Barbara Green says when looking at the 1041 statute, she views it from the public’s perspective.  She says under 1041 regulations, Garfield County has “expressed authority from the state of Colorado to regulate, designate and require permits for mineral resource areas.”  Green says the scope and location of those areas is up to the county.  Planner Patrick Waller says the county’s land use code under the 1041 powers covers a wide array of topics except small gravel pits.  He says that will be scrutinized and reviewed in the weeks to come. Even with the state’s authority, Commission Chairman John Martin says it’s important to remember the county must continue to work cooperatively with other government agencies like the BLM, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Forest Service.  A number of workshops and public hearings will be held over the next few months with the goal of finalizing the new regulations by May 18th.