Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland, November 22, 2015

Following five hours of testimony, Weld County Commissioners denied an application last
Wednesday by a joint venture between Loveland developer McWhinney and Envirotech Services
to change the zoning of 135 acres owned by McWhinney from Agricultural to Weld County's
Industrial-2 (I-2) zoning on a 3-2 vote.  Commissioners Steve Moreno, Sean Conway and Julie Cozad
voted against McWhinney's reques while Barbara Kirkmeyer and Mike Freeman voted in favor.

McWhinney claimed in their private briefings with Weld County Commissioners the impetus for
their request was the joint venture with Envirotech and plans to build a transloading operation.  
Transloading is the term for unloading bulk natural resources and bulk manufactured products
from trains onto large trucks.  However, nearby residents who formed the group
Neighborhoods Association argued that transloading is already allowed in lesser zones
conditioned on a full review and possible conditions to mitigate the impact to surrounding
properties; therefore the commissioners did not need to change the zoning to I-2 to allow the
claimed business objective.  Following the meeting,
CLR-34 released the following media release
detailing their position.

The McWhinney property sits just inside Weld County south of Highway 34 along Weld County
Road 13 or Larimer County Road 1 (depending on which side you are standing).  The property also
borders Highway 34 along with the residential development that lost a similar battle with Martin
Marietta last September over property half a mile south of Highway 34 to build an asphalt plant.

first reported McWhinney's testimony on behalf of the Martin Marietta plant last
August, which was approved by Weld County, as a precursor to their own plans to re-zone the
adjacent lot;

"Troy McWhinney testified that he has halted important development projects due to the high
cost of aggregate in this area.  What he failed to disclose was that he and his brother hope to
also profit from the re-zoning to heavy industrial by submitting an application of their own this
coming week to re-zone their adjacent parcel also into heavy industrial and rail zone."

This time, however, Weld County Commissioners were swayed by residents who complained the
re-zoning would give McWhinney cart-blanch to build another asphalt plant, coal gasification
facilities or even a salvage yard.  Even the Town Council of Johnstown participated in the hearing
with Counclman Troy Mellon tesitfying.  Mellon told LovelandPolitics,

"My argument before the commission was the I-2 zone was too much of a blank check unlike the
use by special review where they can put on conditions.   Johnstown's point of view is we felt
there were uses in an I-2 zone which would be totally inappropriate like  junk yard or another
asphalt plant."

Agricultural is among the lowest values of land while heavy industrial, which is highly restricted in
most communities, is among the highest values.  A change from traditional agricultural to heavy
industrial zoning would dramatically increase McWhinney's profit in the property and allow them
to sell to a number of companies whose operations the neighboring subdivision could find
objectionable.  However, the neighbors would no longer have recourse if the zoning changed to I-2
since those uses are "right of zone" meaning no special review would be required.

Former U.S. Senator Wayne Allard staffer and now Weld County Commissioner, Sean Conway, was
considered a supporter of McWhinney by one source who asked not to be identified.  According to
this source, McWhinney was furious following the vote as the developer understood Conway was
going to vote in favor of their re-zoning request as he had for the Martin Marietta asphalt plant just
down the road.  However, according to Dave Kisker, President of CLR-34, Conway has a history of
not supporting proposals that are
"not well defined"  so his group never considered Conway a shill
for McWhinney.

In addition, Commissioner Conway communicated to LovelandPolitics that he, nor any of his
colleagues, agreed to meet McWhinney in advance of the hearing and instead based their decisions
on what was presented during the public hearing by staff, the applicants and the public.  Conway's
full comments can be read below his picture in the upper right column of this story.

Tonight Kisker is attending another CLR-34 meeting to prepare for another Weld County
Commissioner hearing scheduled for this Wednesday.  According to Kisker, Weld County
Commissioners are considering a flyash transloading facility near their subdivision.

Another Weld County resident commented to LovelandPolitics that proposals to impose polluting,
noisy and loud industrial uses near their homes makes them feel under siege even commenting
the community dynamic is like that of the popular AMC series "The Walking Dead."  She stated,
they are like zombies who won't die and just keep coming back to destroy our community - we
even considered erecting a huge wall around our neighborhood like in the show."
Weld County Tells McWhinney - No
McWhinney's dream of heavy industrial uses near private homes is turned
down by Weld County
Uses Allowed in Weld County
Industrial-2 (I-2) Zone

1. (Repealed)

2. AIRSTRIPS when they are
ACCESSORY to the Use Allowed by

salvage YARD.

4.  Asphalt and Concrete Batch Plants.

5. Coal Gasification Facilities.

6.Open Pit Mining and Materials
Processing subject to provisions of
Article IV, Division 4 of this Chapter.

7. Microwave, Radio, Television or
other Communication Towers over
forty-five (45) feet in height (measured
from ground level).

TOWERS, which require a Use by
Special Review Permit, subject to the
provisions of Article IV, Division 10 of
this Chapter.






14. WIND GENERATOR(S) requiring
the issuance of Use-by-Special Review
Permit, as per Chapter 23, Article II,
Division 4 and Chapter 23, Article IV,
Division 6 of this Code.



Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway
(left) told LovelandPolitics he never met
with Chad McWhinney (right) and instead
based his decision on the information
presented at the hearing;

"Thanks for the opportunity to clarify your
story based on what you have been told.

First, at no time was there ever any
meeting, discussion or any other
communication between Mr. McWhinney
and myself or any of the other Weld
commissioners about the land use case.

No meeting ever occurred.  That would be
inappropriate in our land use process and
just would not occur with any applicant. In
fact, since being elected as a
commissioner in 2008 the commissioners
have never had a meeting with Mr.
McWhinney on any issue.

In addition, I am very careful not to make
any comments on any land use case
before I have the opportunity to listen to
the public, the applicant and reading the
planning commission minutes at the land
use hearing."

Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway