Residents in two Larimer County neighbourhoods have hired legal counsel after a local excavation company moved forward with 15-year-old plans to create a quarry between residential properties. The 136-acre site named Stroh Quarry will be placed right in the middle of two subdivisions and will be used to build projects like roads.

“Some people think that you could just go out and dig in an old piece of ground out here and find aggregate but it only lives down through the bottom of the rivers down through here,” said Ken Coulson, with Coulson Excavation.

Both Thompson River Ranch and Thompson Crossings are located near the Thompson River in Larimer County, which is where the company says they have to mine for gravel. “The specifications of the city of Loveland and Fort Collins — you can’t just have dirt or sand. You have to have rock and it has to be of quality to ensure performance,” said Executive Director of the Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association, Thomas Peterson.

Residents of the neighboorhood are asking that Larimer County Commissioner Tom Donnelly to step back from taking further action because the family of the owners of Coulson Excavating has donated more than $11,000 to his last campaign. Rebecca Almon, attorney for the neighbourhoods around the mine said, “Commissioner Donnelley’s continued participation in the consideration of the application undermines the opponents’ due process rights to an impartial and fair hearing and threatens to irreversibly taint any actions that commissioners may take on the application.”

The Thompson Area Against Stroh Quarry group that is fighting against the approval of the permit. An upcoming hearing on the permit before the Larimer County Planning Commission will take place next month.

The city of Johnstown sides with neighbours but it’s going to ultimately be up to the planning commission to approve the gravel pit permit.