Weld County Residents Prevail in Fight Against Concrete & Asphalt Plant

Weld County Residents Prevail in Fight Against Concrete & Asphalt Plant
16 Mar 2018

Working with litigation attorneys Mark Lacis and James Silvestro, Weld County residents prevailed again today when the Colorado Court of Appeals denied a petition for rehearing filed by the Weld County Board of County Commissioners and Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. related to the construction of a massive concrete/asphalt plant near a residential subdivision and organic farm.

The 131-acre plant would have shipped 2 million tons of product each year, including asphalt, concrete and aggregate delivered by rail from its Wyoming quarry, to its site located within a few hundred feet of homes and farms.

In August 2015, a Use by Special Review Permit was granted by Weld County. A group of neighbors, represented by litigation attorneys Mark Lacis and James Silvestro, filed a lawsuit challenging the approval of the permit which allowed Martin Marietta to construct and operate a heavy industrial use on land zoned for agriculture. Residents had already filed their lawsuit when Martin Marietta began work on the plant in October 2015. The neighbors won a significant victory in November 2017, when the appellate court reversed the County’s approval because the plant would not meet the residential noise standards. Judge Terry Fox, who authored the appellate decision, explained that Weld County “abused its discretion” when it approved Martin Marietta’s USR application without sufficient evidentiary support in the record. Martin Marietta now has until April 13, 2018 to petition the Colorado Supreme Court to hear the case. Barring a decision from the Colorado Supreme Court, Martin Marietta will be required to return the site to its previous state, an open field.

“We are obviously pleased that the Colorado Court of Appeals has rejected the petition to re-hear this case” said Dave Kisker, President of the CLR-34 Neighborhoods Association, a non-profit citizen group that helped organize the neighbors’ appeal. “It’s been an ongoing issue for over 3 years, so we are thrilled that we are now a critical step closer to the resolution that we believe should have been the result on August 12, 2015.”

Lacis added, “I am thankful for the careful and thoughtful rulings from the Court of Appeals and expect Weld County to abide by them by taking all necessary steps to require Martin Marietta to return the site to its previous use—as farmland.”

PRESS COVERAGE…

Weld County asphalt facility foes win another legal victory
By Kevin Duggan, Coloradoan

Weld County commissioners’ appeal rejected in Martin Marietta asphalt plant case
By Tyler Silvy, The Greeley Tribune