Last month, the Grand Junction city council voted to rezone land near the riverfront, owned by Brady Trucking, to industrial. Now, a group upset with the decision is fighting to overturn it.
Candi Clark and members of the Western Colorado Congress spent their Saturday at Hawthorne Park, asking people to sign a petition telling city council to reconsider their decision to rezone three parcels of land near the Colorado River to industrial.
"The concern about the zoning is that it does allow hazardous materials and it could allow diesel fuel to be stored," said Clark. "This is all in a hundred year flood plain and we're concerned about those issues on the bank of the Colorado River."
Michael Olson and his co-workers from Brady Trucking, the company that owns the land, also spent their Saturday at Hawthorne Park.
"We wanted to come down, voice our opinion, and let the community know the truth behind the aspects of Brady Trucking's zoning," said Olson.
He says the company is going to use the land to expand operations, creating new jobs in the Valley. He says Brady Trucking is committed to keeping the riverfront looking good, evidenced by the fact they spent more than $300,000 to remove asbestos and trash from the area and have kept the area recreation friendly.
"We've worked with the city numerous times on continuing the trail," said Olson.
As far as the hazardous materials claim goes, he says that can only happen when the company gets another special permit -- one Brady Trucking has never sought.
"Basically what Brady Trucking hauls is sand," said Olson.
But as Clark and others attempt to collect the 1,860 signatures they need to put their plans into motion, she says their efforts were never about Brady Trucking -- they're about the future of that land.
"Business plans change and over time, property is sold," said Clark. "Once the zoning is placed on the piece of property, it remains there."
The group has until October 24 to turn in their completed petitions.
"We feel that we're doing quite well and we feel that in the long run, we're going to be successful," said Clark.
But so does Brady Trucking.
"We're hoping the City Council sticks with what they've already given us," said Olson.
The Western Colorado Congress says its first goal is to bring the issue back before City Council. If that fails, they will work to put a measure on the April ballot, and let city residents make the final decision.
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