After 4-1/2 hours of presentations and discussions, the County Commissioners voted unanimously to deny the Willey-Colorock appeal of the Board of Adjustment ruling denying their move to Pleasant/Steamboat Valley. Kudos to the 50 public speakers from the neighborhood. One played a recording of trucks backing up into the microphone to make her point (imaginative!). Thanks to Callahan neighbors who attended. Commissioner Hartung said what a difficult decision it was. Not true: he must struggle to order lunch.
The arguments to deny the appeal:
- The 36 acres is divided between steep hillsides and flood plain. It’s not really suitable for any large development.
- They would have to redirect Steamboat Creek as part of their plan.
- They would have reduced the area available for the percolation of flood water.
- They would have disturbed old Mercury deposits in Steamboat Creek.
- They would have had to build a bridge over Steamboat Creek that would require Army Corps of Engineers approval.
- The rock handling would have put dangerous silica in the air that would be carried by the high winds.
- There would have been a lot of trips by trucks large and small.
- It was in violation of the General Rural zoning and the South Valley Area Plan.
- The county staff produced a list of conditions should the project be approved that ran 12 pages long.
Commissioner Jung pointed out that Colorock was not consistent with the South Valley Area Plan. I remember her telling me to my face that if the Callahan neighbors raised the issue of the Forest Area Plan violations regarding Ascente, people would laugh. Irony and hypocrisy are yet abundant.
Anyway, I take satisfaction that the board did not do the worst, most egregious thing possible. It’s a low standard, but I’m relieved that they met it.