Process and Zoning
What is the zoning for the property?
The zoning for both properties is FA Farm Zone District, which allows mining with the approval of a special review permit.
If this is approved, when would mining start and end?
The total operation is expected to take between five and seven years, including the reclamation process.
Is there a way to have my voice heard?
Use by special review requires a public hearing at both the Larimer County Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners. Coulson will follow the county policies and procedures regarding notification.

In addition, anyone who signs up through this website, will be notified via email if provided. We want to hear from you. Interested parties can also send questions or comments through the contact us portal.
I am concerned about the noise disturbing my day. Will the operation be noisy?
As part of the application process, Coulson has conducted a complete noise analysis. Colorado Revised Statute § 25-12-103 and Larimer County Ordinance No. 97-03 establish the maximum decibel level (dBA) of noise allowed in residential areas. The project noise study calculated the current noise levels in the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as the projected noise of each stage of the mining process. All stages of the project will emit less than the maximum level of noise allowed in the residential community.
My home is in Thompson River Ranch and is very close to the operation. What are you doing to minimize the impact on our neighborhood?
In addition to limiting the hours of operation and moving truck traffic away from residential neighborhoods, an earthen berm to the south and west of the site will decrease noise: First, using topsoil to build the berm eliminates the need for haul trucks to remove it from the property; second, the eastern berm will serve as a noise barrier by reducing the direct line of noise traveling between the project and the adjacent residential neighborhoods.
Even though the study says the noise will not exceed the maximum level of noise, I am still concerned since the operation is near homes.

Coulson’s proposal has taken steps to address the noisiest parts of the operation by moving them away from neighboring residences. Specifically, the original application contemplated hauling the sand and gravel mined from the cells to the Kirtright processing facility. The noise study revealed that the haul trucks produced the highest decibel levels of the operation, so Coulson’s proposal eliminated the haul trucks and instead plans to use a proposed conveyor belt to transport the sand and gravel from the cells to the Kirtright property. The change will result in even lower decibel levels, improving compatibility and neighborhood harmony. In addition, the screening berms and processing stockpile will be strategically placed to further reduce noise from the operation.

What are the long-term impacts to my home and our neighborhood?
Unlike the addition of a residential subdivision, which could be an alternative development concept, this project is temporary. Proposed reclamation ideas include:

• Lakes with walking paths,
• Reestablishment of natural and native vegetation
• Additional limited residential development.

All of these reclamation options ensure that after the completion of the temporary project the property will be even more aesthetically appealing than it is now.
I am concerned the gravel pit will be an eyesore.
After listening to residents’ concerns during the public comment process, Coulson revised the application to include the earthen berms between the Project and the residential developments, which eliminates the direct view of mining operations for residents at the closest lower elevations.
How will trucks and equipment access the site?
Access to the property is via the I-25 Frontage Road, which abuts the Kirtright property. From the Kirtright property, Coulson will travel east to access the property to mine the cells.
I am concerned there will be 220 trucks a day, every day, year-round.
The traffic study is based on the month that had the most traffic. The 220 one-way trips is based on actual hauling data from Coulson’s Bonser Pit, which was then normalized for increased production. The peak hauling month was chosen, and 10 percent was added as an additional contingency.

Therefore, Coulson anticipates that this maximum truck traffic, 11 truck trips per hour, is likely to occur only during the busiest summer months. In several other months of the year, the daily truck traffic will be far less.

The gravel mining operation would generate far less traffic than the residential development that would occur if Coulson’s application is denied. The site can accommodate 120 residences, which would generate 1,140 vehicle trips per day, compared with 220-one way truck trips per day if the gravel mining operation proceeds.
Is Coulson doing anything to address the concerns we have expressed about truck traffic?
Coulson hired an independent transportation consultant to conduct a traffic-impact analysis of the project on the Frontage Road. The report concluded that the project will not change the current and projected levels of service on the Frontage Road.

After reviewing the report, however, Coulson changed the truck route to eliminate all truck movements to the north, which will further accommodate the existing traffic patterns on the Frontage Road and avoid turns onto CR20E. Coulson also decreased its maximum expected daily truck trip total to 220 one-way trips. This equates to approximately 11 round-trip truck trips per hour during the peak mining season.
What are the hours of operations?
Full mining operations, including mining the cells, transporting materials to the Kirtright property, processing the sand and gravel and hauling out finished products will occur from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, Coulson will haul processed materials from the Kirtright property from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; however, there will be no mining or materials processing on Saturdays. On Sundays, there will be no activity at the Stroh Pit or the Kirtright property.
Health and the Environment
Will the dust adversely affect air quality in the neighborhood?

Coulson knows that mining operations create dust and has taken steps to decrease its impact on adjacent properties. The largest of these efforts is Coulson’s use of a proposed conveyor belt to transport the sand and gravel from the cells to the Kirtright property, which eliminates the dust that haul trucks would produce. In addition to using a proposed conveyor belt, there are several other dust-mitigation techniques identified in the application, including paving the access road; watering gravel roads; watering the stockpiles at the processing plant; installing spray bars on screens and crushers; and revegetating the screening berms. Such mitigation techniques improve the compatibility of the project with the surrounding area and overall neighborhood harmony, as well as proactively address the neighbors’ concerns regarding dust.

What will the environmental impacts of the mining operation be?
Coulson conducted an environmental analysis as part of the application. One concern was that the project would negatively impact the habitat of Preble's meadow jumping mouse ("PMJM"). However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in addition to approving the application during the agency referral phase, concluded that "[g]iven your habitat and project descriptions . . . the impacts resulting from the proposed project are not likely to adversely affect the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse.”
I have heard there are wetlands and that the project will impact them. Is that true?
Coulson has worked with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) to analyze the environmental nature of the property. USACE concluded that a Section 404 Permit is not required for the project. A section 404 permit is required when the USACE is concerned that a project will damage the aquatic environment, including wetlands and streams.

IAs a precaution, however, Coulson moved the project site farther south to create an extra natural buffer between the project and the Big Thompson River. This decision proactively addresses neighbors' concern regarding any impact to habitat near the Big Thompson River, despite USACE's finding of no impact.
Will the dust hurt my health?
To evaluate the health concerns of dust from the project, Coulson’s consultant conducted studies and created a PM10 and Crystalline Silica Air Pollution Dispersion Modeling Report. The entire report is available as part of the application. The report found that the average annual crystalline silica exposure at the residential developments adjacent to the property is six times less than the Environmental Protection Agency’s identified level of safe lifetime exposure and, therefore, concluded that project dust will not harm nearby residents.
What is being done to mitigate the impact to the floodplain and habitat?
There is a 300-foot buffer of native vegetation between the northern edge of the project and the Big Thompson River to avoid encroachment within the Riparian corridor and to preserve wildlife habitat.

During the agency referral process, Coulson received concerns about the project’s proximity to the Big Thompson River Floodplain. Because the project does not fill the Big Thompson River Floodplain, these concerns are unfounded. In fact, the reclaimed property will mitigate flooding by providing what is known as “overbank storage,” which gives floodwaters a place to go and results in a reduction of overall flooding of an area. Finally, the Larimer County Floodplain Review Board approved the project on July 28, 2016. The approval is the result of detailed engineering and floodplain modeling, which was reviewed and approved by a board of industry and academic experts who take a rigorous approach to ensuring projects in the floodplain will not negatively impact surrounding structures within or near the Big Thompson River Floodplain.
Mining and the Neighborhood
Will the project negatively impact my home value?
Several neighbors expressed concern that the project will negatively impact their home values, with some claiming they could decline by as much as a 40 percent. Coulson is sympathetic to the neighbors’ concerns regarding the value of their properties and recognizes that some national studies have found a link between proximity to a mine and a decline in home values. However, due to a variety of project-specific factors, Coulson is confident there will not be a substantial adverse impact on property values in the vicinity of the project.
Why didn’t Coulson mine this property before my home was built?
Coulson purchased the Property in 1993 with the intent of mining for sand and gravel. The application process to allow for mining started in 2001. Market demand and economic conditions determine when aggregate is needed, so when the Great Recession hit, roadway improvements and development stalled, significantly reducing the need for aggregate.

Now, a number of major projects are creating demand for aggregate. The current demand for aggregate in Northern Colorado is 1.3 tons annually for projects by the Colorado Department of Transportation, local airports and 9,800 lane miles of asphalt pavement for local agencies. Future demand for aggregate is estimated at 1.7 million tons annually, a 33 percent increase.

The Colorado Contractors Association has reported that the aggregate supply is tightening as a result of regulatory and market forces, as well as the outright exhaustion of nearby sources.

Coulson has continuously made efforts to keep the public, City of Johnstown and Larimer County aware of its intent to mine the property while developments were approved around the site.
I never expected that there would be mining operations near my neighborhood.
Residences are already adjacent to a reclaimed mine located at the Kirtright property, so any effect on property values existed before the project was proposed and could have worked to the neighbors’ benefit when they were purchasing their homes. The approval of this application, therefore, will not result in a change to the surrounding area; rather, after completion of the project, there will merely be one more reclaimed mine site in an area that already has a reclaimed mine. Additionally, the project is temporary, and Coulson's reclamation ideas will make the property even more aesthetically appealing and beneficial to the surrounding area than it already is, which ultimately could increase value of surrounding residential property.
Why is Coulson conducting a mining operation in my neighborhood?
Through the continual updating of the application since the initial submittal in 2002, Coulson has worked with Larimer County to preserve the property for sand and gravel mining, an important activity in the county. Developers and adjacent cities have sought and approved residential development around the site with full knowledge that it has been Coulson's intent to mine. Information regarding the application was accessible through county records.
What is the difference between a quarry and a gravel pit?
A gravel pit shares the name “mining” with other commodities like precious minerals, coal or hard rock deposits, but the similarity ends there. Sand and gravel “mining” is simply excavation of loose, unconsolidated earthen materials near the surface, much like excavation of a basement for a residential home but on a larger scale. Sand and gravel operations use equipment similar to that used in the construction of subdivisions like the Thomson River Ranch.

A quarry is typically a hard-rock mine from which stone is removed from bedrock by blasting or other mechanical means. Quarries in Colorado are in the foothills and mountains rather than in lowlands near a river.