A Denver company seeking to build a hazardous waste incinerator in Cisco has resubmitted a zoning request to transform 200 acres of the tiny southeastern Utah town into an industrial park.
The application is a second attempt by CoWest Incineration Corp. and its subsidiary, Cisco Development Inc., to rezone the area from grazing and agricultural use to industrial and commercial use.Grand County commissioners last month tabled a decision on the original request because it included plans for the incinerator. Voters will decide in a November referendum whether to allow toxic and hazardous waste incineration in the county.
The new request was submitted to the county Planning Commission, which plans to review the application at its April 4 meeting, said chairman John Keogh.
The application asks the county to rezone for commercial use roughly 10 blocks within the Cisco townsite for development of company housing for "key plant and security personnel" and small businesses.
The Denver companies own 190 acres in the area, and CoWest President Dean Norris has been negotiating with William and Lillian Hance of Moab to buy another 181/2 acres adjacent to company property northeast of the townsite.
Hance refused to say whether the sale had gone through. "I just feel like this is his and my business," she said.
The Hance property and 801/2 acres the county deeded last summer to Norris are under scrutiny by incinerator opponents who claim commissioners improperly sold both parcels, having failed to first adopt a land sale policy.
The commission denies previous land sales were illegal but is now working on a land sale policy for future use.
The new zoning application calls for heavy industrial use in most of Cisco to accommodate any industry allowed under the county's new heavy industrial zone ordinance, except hazardous waste incineration, "pending the determination of the present referendum."
Norris said last month he has been talking with representatives in five other industries about locating in Cisco, but he refused to identify them. "I guess I really don't have to prove it," he said.
After commissioners tabled his original rezone request, Norris said he might look for another incinerator site rather than wait until the election.
But Lee Torrens, president of CoWest's capital backer, Catalyst Waste-to-Energy Corp. of New York, said Catalyst had no interest in another site.
"We're not going to move this facility. We're either going to decide to continue here (in Cisco) or drop it,' Torrens said.