The Elbert County Planning Commission rubber-stamped an oil & gas zoning regulation that would have put the county in conflict with state COGCC regulations, making grounds for litigation in the grey area of Colorado county vs. state authority to legally occupy a regulatory field. Had those regulations passed, it wouldn’t have taken long for an aggrieved party, no doubt with supporting briefs from Jerry Dahl, to come along and tie the county up in an expensive lawsuit with the state.
After listening to interminable hours of environmentalists on the oil and gas edit committee and their audiences haggle through various entrapment schemes to stymie oil and gas development, I believe that litigation was always their unspoken objective. They never intended to facilitate oil and gas development, regardless of how safe, how environmentally benign, how well planned it could be, or, and this one really chaps my butt, how much good faith they professed.
Before Larry Ross became Commissioner Ross, he and his wife were part of that clamor for oil and gas regulation. As the letter below demonstrates, the big picture from the elected office window has done little to objectify his views.
As head of the planning commission, Grant Thayer should have had the fortitude to stand against the liberal majority who proceeded without regard to the expressed COGCC warnings about operational conflicts. In doing the only honorable thing, however, he neglected to mention his own culpability, and instead dumped on the BOCC. Maybe he’ll man up on that issue someday.
If all this wasn’t bad enough, the planning commission can only be expected to issue findings even further removed from objective reality under the leadership of staunch leftists Crisan and Brown, champions of the envious, redistributors of all things appurtenant to land, holders of the door handles to Elbert County, closed tightly behind the last ones to successfully make it out here.
The movie Pleasantville comes to mind — the black and white part.
RE: Thayer Resignation
Dear Editor [West Elbert County Sun, 7-18-2013],
It is with deep regret that I have accepted the letter of resignation of long time Elbert County Planning Commission Chairman Mr. Grant Thayer.
Mr. Thayer has faithfully served the people of Elbert County for over a decade accomplishing a great deal to provide a land use planning and zoning framework and leadership for our nine member Planning Commission. Grant has my most sincere gratitude.
Grant Thayer is a highly accomplished petroleum geologist. Mr.. Thayer has been the CEO of two oil companies and the COO of another. Grant is also a tremendous steward of the land having placed thousands of his acres into conservation and wildlife trusts and utilizing best practices in ranching and farming.
Mr. Grant Thayer brought all this ability and selfless dedication to the process of developing for Elbert County an oil and gas regulation that is practical and workable for our citizens, the state and the industry.
Mr. Thayer stated in his letter the following: “It appears that the motion by Commissioner Schlagel and its subsequent passing that it is the intent of the BOCC to bypass the Planning Commission in drafting and recommendations of future county regulations.”
Our citizens should be concerned and alarmed when the Board of County Commissioners ignores and bypasses our Planning Commission on zoning issues of any kind.
An effective Planning Commission can protect us from land use decisions being made by a mere two County Commissioners and placing special interests above yours.
Larry D. Ross, Elbert County Commissioner, District 3