On Friday, July 21, ES-CA held a meeting at the Las Placitas Presbyterian church to discuss the settlement of the County’s lawsuit against Vulcan, Mt. Adams, et al.
The presentation and subsequent Q&A session was handled by Dick Ulmer and Steve Vaughan who are ES-CA members and Land Use Protection Trust (LPT) Board Directors, and were appointed to represent ES-CA in this legal action—and were approved by the court as Interveners representing ES-CA and as individual property owners claiming personal damage due to the alleged zoning violations.
We were pleased to have County Commission Chair Don Chapman (and his wife) join us for the event and share some of his thoughts about the settlement as well as providing insight into the process to appoint a new Commissioner to the recently vacated District 1 seat—an appointment that will be very important to this community.
The audience questions were excellent, and mostly involved clarification of points made during the presentation and the unexpected (by many) impact of the scope of mining in the Northeast area once designated as the “Sundance Mesa Buffer Area.” Most residents of that area, who were aware of the previous agreement made with the then mining operator, Western Mobile—did not understand that the agreement was limited to the term of the original lease and was not binding on the land owner of the property being mined. It was a private agreement not tied to the land, and the current operator Vulcan is under a new and different lease than the predecessor operators.
The residents to the south, who had a similar surprise several years ago when the adjoining ridgelines came down before mining was completed in all other areas as we had expected to be the case, will get some relief when the mining and reclamation south of the arroyo completes in 6 years, but the most important outcome is that all surrounding residents finally have a date certain for mining to end rather than the unknown that we’ve been experiencing. All mining will be completed in phases over 9 years, and the reclamation of the final areas will be finished 9 months later.
ES-CA and the LPT committed to continuing to work with residents being affected by the mining during this remaining period, and will work with Vulcan and the County to set up lines of communications where specific issues can be addressed and mutually agreeable solutions implemented.
The County Commissioners must formally approve the agreement and are expected to do that as early as the meeting this coming Thursday If it is not approved this Thursday, Chair Chapman indicated that he would call a special session so that this can be approved as soon as possible and the countdown to mining completion officially begun. We plan to post the agreement when we get the final revisions.
Following is a link to the charts used during last night’s presentation. Please contact ES-CA through its website at ES-CA.org if you would like more information or are ready to get involved in this important community action activity. ESCA7-21-17TownMtg(Post)