Martin Marietta’s Boulder County Special Use Permit

MMM Hygiene propertyBoulder County Special Use Permit  SU-96-18: The County’s Citizen Access website has selected information on file from the previous County permit approval, and will be updated as more information is received. Select ‘Documents’ under the ‘Record Info’ tab.

The following is a brief history that SOSvv. members have compiled about Boulder County land use approvals for mining operations at the “Lyons Pit.”

  • August 30, 1973. Docket 476 was approved to open the Rockin’ WP Pit (Western Paving).  The pit consisted on 194.23 acres.  Up to 10% of material excavated was permitted to be hauled by truck, the remainder by rail.  The hours of operation were limited to 7 am – 6 pm, Monday through Saturday.
  • August 22, 1977. Amendment 2 approved revisions to original mining and reclamation plans and also allowed for the addition of a portable crusher.
  • February 7, 1985. Amendment 3 allowed for an additional 43 acres and added Lake 4 (a sealed reservoir) to the mining area.  The estimated annual production was 500,000 to 600,000 tons.  The hours of operation were modified to 7 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday.
  • January 15, 1981. Special Use 80-26.  Western Mobile Inc. leased the 115-acre Gregory (a.k.a. Miller) Pit.  Conditional approval was granted to the company to mine on August 24, 1981. The lease expired and Frontier Materials purchased the lease area from Ron Gregory.
  • September 1984. Special Use 80-26, Amendment 1.  Frontier Materials began to mine the Gregory Pit as the operator.  This amendment was conditionally approved October 2, 1984.  Western Mobile, Inc. leased the land back from Frontier to mine. Western Mobile eventually acquired Frontier in 1992.
  • May 26, 1992. Special Use 92-1. The Miller Pit amendment, conditionally approved by the Boulder County Commissioners allowed for the following:  Western Mobile Inc.  as the operator; truck haul restrictions of 200 average daily trips, with a maximum of 240 daily trips; and a life of the mine of approximately 10 years (1992-2002).
  • August 20, 1996. Special Use 96-18.  The Lyons Comprehensive Land Use amendment allowed for a mine life of 30 years beginning January 2003.  The 30-year mining area will begin following the completion of mining of the Miller Pit.  This special use permit repealed all previous docket items and special use approvals consolidating the special use history pertaining to the Lyons (Rockin’ WP, Miller Pit et al) with the county. From this point forward, in county documents the pit is only referred to as the Lyons Pit.
  • In 1997, Steve Jones prepared two reports about bird habitat use and conservation on the land.
  • January 22, 1998. Resolution 98-32 conditionally approved Docket # SU-96-18.
  • Boulder County Open Space entered into an agreement with 
Western Mobile to purchase all company owned land over a phased period of time, beginning in 1998.
  • June 30, 1999. Development Agreement for Docket # 96-18 adopted.
  • October 17, 2006. Special Use 96-18.  Phase I of the mining plan approved in Docket SU 96-18 is withdrawn by Lafarge and is no longer a part of the Docket’s special use approval.  Clarifications are added to Resolution 98-32.
  • October 17, 2006. Land Use Department letter to Steven Brown, Lafarge, Inc. [PDF]
  • 2011. The properties were acquired by Martin Marietta Materials, LLC.
  • August 9, 2011. Review document uploaded by Boulder County to its Citizen Access website. Contains clarifying info about the applicability of the conditions of approval to the Miller Pit.
  • Applicability of Conditions of approval for Docket SU-96-18: “Western Mobile Boulder Open Mining Special Use Review” [PDF]
  • Request to Approve Site Plan, SU 96-18, Martin Marietta Materials (Rockin’ WP North).
  • January 3rd, 2017.  Commissioners Business Meeting Agenda Item. [PDF]
  • January 24, 2017. Land Use Department letter to Summer Howard of TetraTech, indicating that the site plan was approved January 3, 2017. [PDF]
  • July 12, 2017. Letter from attorney Mark Matthews, representing Martin Marietta Materials, to Dale Case, Boulder County Land Use Director, describing why MMM believes that Special Use Permit SU-96-18 has not lapsed due to a five-year period of inactivity. SOSvv notes that the letter includes  no documentation as evidence to illustrate that these activities actually occurred.
  • April 11, 2018. Dale Case, Boulder County Land Use Director, determined that the Special Use approved in Docket SU-96-18 has not lapsed, as noted in a letter to Mark Mathews, attorney representing Martin Marietta Materials. SOSvv had thirty days to appeal.
  • May 10, 2018. SOSvv files a letter of appeal with the Boulder County Board of Adjustment regarding Director  Case’s decision that the permit had not lapsed. SOSvv asserted that Director Case exceeded his authority and incorrectly applied this lapse provision, Section 4-604(C) of Boulder County’s Land Use Code, and that there is no evidence that any mining has occurred on any portion of the subject site since at least 2006, and Special Use 96-18 has long since lapsed due to inactivity. SOSvv asserts that the Director erred in his interpretation of Section 4-604(C) and that this interpretation is not consistent with the Land Use Code’s bedrock purpose to protect health, safety, and general welfare.
  • July 27, 2018. SOSvv appears at the appeal hearing before the Boulder County Board of Adjustment (watch proceedings here). Three of five Board members agree with SOSvv’s position that the permit had lapsed due to inactivity, however a supermajority of four votes is required to overturn the Director’s decision. SOSvv is currently planning next steps.
  • August 2018. SOSvv has since filed an appeal in District Court and is pending a hearing date. The SOSvv filed reply brief is available here.