Martin Marietta Materials : concrete batch plant near Johnstown ready to operate, waiting for legal battle to play out
It will still be a few weeks before the company completes necessary steps and paperwork and obtains the necessary permits to operate here near
The company is in the process of appealing a
Martin Marietta is appealing, as is the
With ongoing litigation looming as a backdrop,
He wasn't there to talk about legal options, even if the hint of an eventual
"It's going through the legal process, and we believe those proceedings will ultimately resolve in Martin Marietta's favor," Hagerman said.
But Hagerman had plenty to say about upgrades Martin Marietta has made to the site to ease neighbors' concerns. He pointed to a vacuum system to control dust inside the ready mix plant, the noise-controlling housing that surrounds the spot where trains will unload, the 110 jobs the plant will provide with an average salary and benefits package worth
He also offered an eye-popping number: Originally pegged at
-- A 16-foot decorative wall that doubles as a sound wall.
-- Berms to control noise and visual impacts.
-- An enclosed ready mix building to control noise and visual impacts.
-- Steel ties for railroad tracks as opposed to creosote-soaked wood ties.
Those were required by the commissioner-approved use by special review permit, but there's more:
-- Placed truck entrance/exit under railroad track to minimize noise and visual impact.
-- Placed power lines below ground near the surrounding neighborhood.
-- Lowered the height of the conveyor system to reduce visual impacts.
-- Installed internal air compressor to reduce noise of unloading trucks.
Throughout the process, Hagerman said, neighbors were consulted. He pointed to the results: The architectural design of the ready mix plant exterior (barn design), the color of that exterior, the style and color of the sound wall and additional funding to
Many of the neighbors involved in the lawsuit have taken part in quarterly group meetings to come to those decisions. But mitigating sound or noise or anything else for that matter is beside the point, neighbor
"The substance of the lawsuit is that this facility doesn't meet Weld County Code, and it doesn't meet other statutory requirements," Opplinger said. "The
Hagerman said the company has done almost everything neighbors have asked, short of leaving the area. For neighbors who have taken part in those meetings, that's not quite the case.
Opplinger declined to participate in the quarterly meetings. He said he's got too much of a temper. He and his wife have lived in the nearby
Martin Marietta won't win him over. Ditto for the balance of neighbors involved in the lawsuit, who this week made their pitch that the appeals court reject a re-hearing.
The previous panel overturned commissioners' decision, saying there was no competent evidence to demonstrate Martin Marietta could meet the residential noise standard
It was one of many issues raised when neighbors first appealed the case, so each of those other reasons could play a part in any appeal, should one be granted.
Hagerman, for his part, thinks the whole situation is unprecedented. He's never seen a land use case approved, permits obtained, project built only to have that project stopped later.
"It does raise concerns for some people as to whether or not they want to invest money," Hagerman said.
He wouldn't entertain the idea of tearing it all down if his company loses the case, something Martin Marietta likely would be required to do.
As for how a group of neighbors in rural
"We've pooled together and we've dug deep into our pocket to fund this," Opplinger said. "We recognize what we're up against -- a large Fortune 500 corporation. And we're absolutely convinced we're going to win."
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