Martin Marietta’s Colorado asphalt plant hits opposition

Martin Marietta’s Colorado asphalt plant is facing opposition, reports the Coloradoan.

Impression of Martin Marietta’s planned Colorado asphalt plant
Impression of Martin Marietta’s planned Colorado asphalt plant. Source: Martin Marietta

A District Court judge ordered the Weld County commissioners to take another shot at explaining their rationale for approving the project as proposed by Martin Marietta.

The judge found the commissioners did not document their “findings of fact” or conclusions as to how the project met criteria set in the county’s land use code.
Therefore, the judge, who is hearing a lawsuit brought by neighbors of the controversial project, cannot review whether the evidence supports the county or the unhappy neighbors. The commissioners were given 63 days from Aug. 9 to put their findings on the record.

The commissioners approved the project a year ago despite recommendations from county staff and the planning commission to deny Martin Marietta’s application. The decision came after an all-day, sometimes emotional public hearing.

At the time, the commissioners said the US 34 corridor could support all types of development, including industrial, and that the project was needed to support the region’s growing demand for construction materials.

Martin Marietta has said the 133-acre site, which is about a half mile south of the highway, is in an ideal location to serve Northern Colorado customers, including cities and the Colorado Department of Transportation. There’s certainly no shortage of road work for the facility to support.

The complex would have an asphalt plant, a ready-mix concrete plant, support buildings, and piles of aggregate of varying sizes. Raw rock would be brought to the site by train from a quarry in Wyoming for processing. The site would include a loop rail spur that could handle 117 cars and four locomotives.

Businesses and residents suing the commissioners and Martin Marietta say the facility would be incompatible with other land uses in the area. They worry about the impacts of noise, air pollution and several hundred heavy trucks rolling in an out of the site every day.

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