Peak Materials held its Open House at the Silverthorne Pavilion Thursday evening. It was attended by several hundred people, the vast majority of whom do not support a mine. Peak made no formal presentation, instead chose to set up easels around the room displaying various aspects of the proposed gravel mine that must be addressed to gain a Condition Use Permit (CUP) from Summit County. The mine would lie 10 miles north of Silverthorne in between the lower Blue River and Highway 9 on property previously owned by Julie Hillyard. Takeaways from the meeting:
  • This operation requires a change to the existing permit at Maryland Creek, and reapplication, which currently does not allow for imported materials
  • The time frame is based on a 10-year 3 phase plan, which in turn is based on the current economy and level of demand.  If things slow down the time frame will extend. (They got squirmy talking about that)
  • The operation will require an expansion to a four-lane highway at the site. The number of trucks coming and going per day is 115, so 230 accounting for both directions. This means a truck every four minutes all day
  • There are concerns by the surrounding neighbors that when the water comes up in the hole Peak digs, it may draw from the surrounding ground water, drying up wells and wetlands
  • Peak implied that any loss of adjacent property values is not their responsibility
  • A wildlife corridor will be provided in the remediation, and allowed for during if wildlife will come anywhere near a robust gravel operation!
  • Maryland Creek plant manager John O’Hara said they that if the Hillyard site is not approved they would use their existing pit in Kremmling as a source for new aggregate. Does this still mean 230 trucks a day on Highway 9?
  • When asked about visual and noise pollution, response was " there are no problems at our existing plant." Yea, right!
CBS4's Matt Kroeschel interviewed LBRU's Executive Director John Fielder and Peak's Joanna Hopkins about the open house and proposal. Kroeschel lives in the valley and will cover future news related to the mine.
Lower Blue Residents United hires Harris Sherman as Chief Strategist
Harris is one of Colorado’s premier natural resource experts. He is a former Executive Director of Colorado Dept. of Natural Resources, former Chairman of Colorado Mine Land Reclamation Board, and former Undersecretary USDA overseeing the U.S. Forest Service. He supervised the 2017 defeat of a proposed gravel quarry near Colorado Springs. 
We will stop this outrageous attempt to destroy the reasons why we live in the Lower Blue Valley! Here is why our Summit County Board of Commissioners will ultimately decline the proposal.
The Lower Blue Master Plan serves as a foundation to guide development in the Lower Blue River Basin in Summit County, which extends north from Dillon Reservoir to the county border. Used in combination with the Countywide Comprehensive Plan, the Lower Blue Master Plan contains guidance on appropriate land use throughout the basin, including the protection of the area’s rural character north of Silverthorne, and recognition of existing development patterns. The content of the Plan is based on public feedback and sentiments, analysis of current land use conditions, and growth-related issues.
The mix of historical land uses and changes introduced since the original Plan was adopted in 1990 has resulted in a diverse set of values, which affect the philosophy of planning in the Basin. The central theme of this philosophy is the preservation of the Basin’s rural character through protection of elements such as agricultural land uses, accessibility to public lands for dispersed recreation, open spaces, abundant wildlife and fisheries, and scenic views, while protecting private property rights and promoting low-density development.
The rural character of the Basin includes physical features of wildlife, open meadows, irrigated hay pastures, hillsides, ridgelines, river valleys, ranch lands, forestlands, wilderness areas, environmentally sensitive areas, and significant view corridors. In situations of conflict between different plan goals, policies/actions, and implementation strategies, the Planning Commission shall only recommend approvals for development proposals that conform with the overall philosophy of the Plan and the rural character of the Basin.
The Basin’s natural setting is its greatest asset. Any future development that occurs in the Basin should be designed to minimize impacts to the natural environment. Natural features help define and give character to an area. The topography, aspect, vegetation and water features of the Basin come together in many combinations resulting in natural and visual diversity. Examples of important natural features are: sage meadows and open areas on south facing slopes, which attract big game; tundra and alpine areas; prominent ridgelines, which frame and dominate views; and stream corridors, which provide important aesthetic, recreational and wildlife values.
These natural features make important contributions to the Basin’s air and water quality and provide critical habitat for the Basin’s fish and wildlife. Development activities occurring in or near environmentally sensitive areas should be done in a manner that avoids adverse impacts to the Basin’s water quality and quantity, air quality, and wildlife habitat. Additional traffic and the expansion of the existing roadway network to accommodate future traffic may not be consistent with the desired character of the Basin.
The visual quality of the Basin is an important value to residents and visitors, and has many components including natural topography, existing vegetation, stream corridors, and the built environment. Visual quality is changed whenever new land uses are introduced. The changes can range from actual physical change in the landscape, such as siting of buildings, road cuts, utility corridors, and timber cuts, to detailed design features such as the design of buildings and roof lines. Inadequate consideration of the visual impact of proposed land uses can lead to degradation of the visual quality of an area. Visually sensitive lands such as open meadows, irrigated hay pastures, hillsides, ridgelines, river valleys, ranch lands, forestlands, environmentally sensitive areas, and significant view corridors exist throughout the entire Basin. The Basin’s scenic beauty and the community’s desire to protect view corridors warrant the County to consider visual impacts when planning land uses.
Friends of the Eagles Nest Wilderness votes to support Lower Blue Residents United and the fight to stop gravel mining in the Lower Blue Valley. Click HERE

We are now hiring expert witnesses to testify at the Lower Blue Planning Commission hearing next year on behalf of our valley's land, air, water, ranching, open space, wilderness, and solitude. Peak Materials has their ducks in a row, now we need ours in a row. This takes money. We cannot win this fight without your generous contribution. Please give an amount proportional to how much you do not wish to see gravel mining in your valley. We expect that all donations will be tax deductible and that we will earn IRS certification as a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity soon. However, we cannot wait until next year for your contribution. To make it easy, we have opened an ActBlue account HERE. Use your credit card before year end, or send your check to:

Lower Blue Residents United
c/o John Fielder 
POB 26890
Silverthorne CO 80497

Thank you,

John Fielder
Executive Director
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