Heritage Square Exchange
Jefferson County Open Space (JCOS) has received a proposal from Martin Marietta Materials for a land exchange. The exchange would deed the former 114 acre Heritage Square and the 5.7 acre Bachman property at US 40 (Colfax) and Heritage Road to JCOS.
In return, JCOS would deed approximately 64 acres of Matthews/Winters Park north of I-70 and south of the existing mine, which is currently not open for public use, to Martin Marietta Materials to extend the life of the existing mine. When mining is completed, the land will be returned to JCOS for park and open space purposes.
Visit our blog to stay up-to-date on news related to the proposed exchange.
Frequently Asked Questions/Common Community Concerns
What are the visual or scenic impacts of the mine?
Concerns about these impacts while mining is occurring and after reclamation is complete.
JCOS shares this concern and will continue to analyze this. We will share photo or video simulations of scenic impacts as soon as they are available.
How will expanding the mine impact wildlife?
Concerns about wildlife, such as elk and deer, utilizing the 143-acre portion of Mathews/Winter Park north of I-70 that would be traded to MMM to expand the life of the mine if the exchange is approved.
JCOS will continue to work with Colorado Parks & Wildlife to evaluate the impact on wildlife and possible mitigation methods. When more information is available, it will be posted on this web page and be used in our overall evaluation of the Heritage Square Exchange (HSE) proposal.
What controls are in place to address or limit dust, noise, and lighting from the mine?
Concerns about current levels and dealing with these impacts for a longer period of time if the exchange is approved.
The MMM mine, and all others in Colorado, are regulated by both the State of Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE), and the Department of Natural Resources Division of Reclamation and Mining Safety (DRMS). Learn more here. The MMM mine has operated for more than four decades with this oversight. If the HSE is approved, the mine would be expanded geographically, but not in its operations.
What will be done to preserve or celebrate the history of Heritage Square?
Community interest in celebrating the history of the site.
Currently, several of the Heritage Square structures remain including the Victorian-style building and the railroad trestle at the entrance. If the HSE is approved and the Jeffco Heritage Park concept is embraced, JCOS anticipates incorporating and celebrating the history of Heritage Square in a variety of different ways. This may include the name (Jeffco Heritage Park), use of some of the remaining structures, possibly replacing one or two iconic rides like the Ferris wheel, and interpretive signs.
If the HSE occurs, when will the mining operation be complete?
Interest/concern about how long mining will occur at this site.
MMM says that the life of the mine, whether the HSE is approved or not, will be determined by market demand. If the HSE is approved, it will extend the life of the mine, the question is for how long. JCOS understands the community's wish to have this timeline better defined and will work with MMM to seek an order of magnitude estimate. When we have more information on this, it will be posted on this web page.
What are the mine reclamation requirements? Will the county have any responsibility for this if the exchange is approved?
Interest/concern that mine reclamation is completed at or above standards given visual impact concerns and location and that this is done at no cost to the county.
Mining reclamation is regulated by the State of Colorado DRMS, and all efforts at this site must meet their requirements. In our 2002 land exchange with Lafarge (MMM’s predecessor), JCOS required reclamation above the state standards in these areas: out of public view mining, bench backfilling, concurrent reclamation, and an enhanced revegetation plan. The City of Golden also approved additional reclamation standards in the zoning for the property (Lena Gulch Official Development Plan). Whether or not the HSE is approved, JCOS will only accept land that has met DRMS, Golden, and our own reclamation standards and will not accept any liability or incur any costs for mining activities or reclamation.