May 5, 2022
Vivienne Jannatpour, (303) 678-6277
CEMEX Applies to Extend Mining Permit on Dowe Flats Property East of Lyons
Boulder County Parks & Open Space has co-signed CEMEX’s proposal in light of long-term community benefits.
Boulder County, Colo. - On May 2 CEMEX applied to the Boulder County Community Planning and Permitting department (CPP) for a special use permit to extend mining for an additional 15 years on the Dowe Flats property located east of Lyons and north of SH 66. CEMEX’s current rock mining permit expires later this year, so CEMEX is required to obtain a new permit for mining to continue. The county has a legal option to purchase the Dowe Flats property for open space, therefore, county consent is required for CEMEX’s application to be processed. For this reason, Boulder County Parks & Open Space Director Therese Glowacki has co-signed the application.
CEMEX’s proposal includes closure of its cement plant located south of SH 66 on the same date as the end of mining at Dowe Flats -- Dec. 31, 2037. Without this concession, CEMEX could have operated its cement plant indefinitely even after the mine closes. CEMEX’s proposal also includes reductions to existing option-to-purchase prices, and the grant of additional open space purchase options. This means the county will have the future right to acquire a total of approximately 974 acres of open space in the area surrounding Dowe Flats north of SH 66 at no additional cost.
In addition, the proposal includes a new option for the county to purchase and preserve approximately 830 acres of land south of SH 66 surrounding the cement plant site as open space. A trail easement would be established along St. Vrain Creek for future use as part of a regional Lyons to Longmont trail. The county would also receive increased rental payments for county-owned buffer land surrounding the Dowe Flats mine. Reclamation of the mine site would take place during the three years following completion of mining and closure of the cement plant and would include removal of the SH 66 conveyor “tube” overpass and all other structures from the mine site.
“These concessions would set a firm end date for cement plant operations and allow the county to preserve 1,804 additional acres of open space at a significantly reduced cost. For these reasons, CEMEX’s request to extend mining for 15 years merits consideration,” Glowacki said. “Now it’s time for the public to weigh in on the proposal.”
The community benefits and the extension of mining are conditioned upon the Board of County Commissioners’ ultimate approval of CEMEX’s mining extension application.
“It will be up to the Board of County Commissioners to decide if the proposed mining extension meets the requirements of the county’s land use regulations,” Glowacki said.
Now that the application has been received, Boulder County’s Community Planning & Permitting department will review it for completeness and, if it is determined to be complete, referral comments will be requested and a public hearing date will be set before the Boulder County Planning Commission, where public comment will be accepted. The planning commission reviews all development applications in unincorporated Boulder County and advises the county commissioners on those applications.
After the planning commission hearing and recommendation, CPP will set another public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners, where additional public testimony will be taken, and the commissioners will make their decision.
For additional information and to review the application submittal materials, please go to the CPP webpage Planning Application Docket SU-22-0003.