A Golden-based company has applied to operate a quarry on a 470-acre property along the Central City Parkway.
The property straddles the Clear Creek and Gilpin county line, and according to Idaho Springs city officials, the applicant Young Ranch Resource LLC wants the property to be annexed into Central City.
The application was filed with the Colorado Division of Mining, Reclamation and Safety in May, and a decision date is scheduled for Oct. 14.
Public comment closed on July 21, and 40 objections have been recorded against the application, including ones from SOLVE Clear Creek County, EMERGE and Douglas Mountain Resident’s Association.
“We do not need another quarry in Gilpin County. The Frei Quarry is more than capable of handling future development,” DMRA President Tom Ripley stated in his objection. “The traffic and congestion on U.S. 6 is already at a dangerous level.”
Residents from Evergreen, Georgetown, Empire, Golden and Black Hawk also submitted objections to the project, expressing their concerns about its impacts on tourism, the viewshed, water supply and air quality.
“A new rock quarry would seriously degrade the air quality from dust and particulates and raise the noise level of the area,” Evergreen-based citizens group EMERGE wrote in its objection. “What will be the visual impact, especially from the highways and view corridors? Because Clear Creek County has significant tourist use, we wonder how would a new quarry with the accompanying dust, noise and degradation of the views impact tourists wanting to recreate in the area.”
One agency comment was recorded from History Colorado, the State Historic Preservation Office, which said that state records show no identified cultural resources in the area.
Earlier in the summer, when the Division of Mining, Reclamation and Safety asked for comment or objection from parties within a certain radius of the property, Idaho Springs didn’t receive proper notification.
City Planner Jerad Chipman explained that division staff didn’t realize Idaho Springs city limits extend to Hidden Valley, which is less than a mile away from the proposed quarry.
Because of the error, the city was given special permission to submit comments or objections by Aug. 22, and City Council members also expressed concerns about impacts to water and air quality, traffic and wildlife during an Aug. 16 work session.
Councilman Bob Bowland said he didn’t want to object to the proposal, but simply wanted more information.
“We’re not necessarily against the operation; we just need to make sure they do it right,” Bowland said.
Chipman, who was collecting comments to submit on the city’s behalf, said the applicant had submitted a wildlife mitigation plan, but it didn’t seem very thorough.
“It just outlines some areas that they would have to mitigation corridors located in,” Chipman continued. “There’s not a lot of data there.”
For more information about the application, including a list of all the objections, visit dnrweblink.state.co.us/drms/ and search “M2021009.”