Emigrant Neighbors on Riverside Contracting Application
Jerry Ladewig and Bob Parker, 2 of the 3 co-founders of the Emigrant Neighbors group, standing in front of the proposed gravel pit property. Photo by Mark Seaver of Emigrant.
In April 2016 Riverside Contracting applied for an opencut permit to the Department of Environmental Quality to extract gravel and operate an asphalt plant at a Story property in Paradise Valley, near Emigrant. As a result, the Emigrant Neighbors group formed to prevent industrial development in a residential area.
We are pleased to announce the application was declared abandoned and void by DEQ, meaning Riverside’s plan to mine gravel and operate an asphalt plant is also voided.
This happened for a number of reasons: the Emigrant Neighbors engaged specialists to assess the property, finding cultural and historical significance, a wildlife corridor, and potential water and soil degradation. We wrote letters, encouraged the public to do so, which
they did, and DEQ did their diligence, finding 44 deficiencies, to be corrected before the permit could be approved.
We look at this as a cautious victory. The property is for sale again, therefore, potentially subject to other industrial development amid a residential area.
The 2016 Park County Growth Plan is a step toward maintaining open space, but without specific land use planning we risk unlimited development of any sort, in any location. Park County residents need a balanced solution to address future development. Emigrant Neighbors looks forward to partnering with other organizations and the Park County Commission to develop and implement a plan for reasonable land use.
Jerry Ladewig, Wendy Riley, and Bob Parker, Co-Founders of Emigrant Neighbors