Planning commission approves asphalt plant

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ORCHARD MESA, Colo. (KJCT) -- A gravel pit, asphalt and cement plant are one step closer to being built on C Road in Orchard Mesa.

Thursday night, the Mesa County Planning Commission decided to move forward with the idea.

The planning commission based its decision on land development code and Mesa County's master plan.

“Part of the criteria [for a conditional use permit] is to make sure there is some community benefit tied to the project," said Dan Caris, business process manager for the Mesa County Planning Commission.

The construction company, Parkerson Construction, must also notify anyone living within 2,500 feet of the pit.

“This could lead to the applicant changing the parts of the project or add complexities, to the project,” said Caris.

A number of residents in the area have been concerned that the outcome would stink up their homes, increase truck traffic and diminish their property values.

Area residents believe their concerns were overruled due to a state statute that states natural resources like gravel are "essential to that state's economy" and "should be extracted."

Previous plans have indicated that Parkerson Construction could be contracted to support the new airport runway, which could also be a large factor in this decision.

Airport officials said it's less expensive to pull gravel from a local area, but nothing has been decided yet.

Commissioners will discuss the issue in a meeting on March 7.

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