I am formatting the emails that I got from a GRAMA request regarding exchanges between Grand County and Rivian, an all-electric vehicle manufacturer.

Linked here is the original file containing this email exchange, which started in Sept. 2020 and kicked off this whole operation:

Good Morning Mila,

My name is Ashley Broek and I work for a company called Rivian Automotive. I called and left you a voicemail as well, but thought it would be good to follow up via email.

We are an all-electric vehicle manufacturer and will be rolling out our all electric Amazon Prime Vans, R1T Truck, and R1S SUV the middle of 2021. I work on the team that will be building out the charging infrastructure to support the introduction of our electric vehicles to the market.

We are currently in the process of purchasing 5.5 acres (Parcel #04-020-0042) just north of highway 313 and just south of the under campus property. We are excited to develop this property (following Grand County code requirements) to enable DC fast charging solutions for Rivian drivers as well as level 2 charging solutions for other EV drivers.

Our goal is to change the way electric vehicle driver’s view adventure and want to enable travel to key destinations such as Moab. Not only would this location enable charging solutions, but we plan to incorporate some basic amenities such as restrooms, seating area to enjoy the views, and basic vending.

We do plan to develop this property in phases, and hope to expand the amenities along with incorporating canopies and solar panels in the future.

We are currently in the very early stages and I’m doing due diligence in order to identify the required planning and permitting processes while we are pending our survey. So we have not yet developed an initial site plan that I can share with you, but that is coming in approximately the next 3-4 weeks.

I have attached some basic images below on the property location and our vehicles along with a photo simulation of what a typical site might look like in other areas for your reference.

A few high level questions I’m hoping you can help me with:

  1. Please confirm that Grand County is the correct authority having jurisdiction. If I’m not mistake the city does not cover properties this far north.
  2. I understand a pre-application meeting will be required in order to confirm what processes/reviews will be required. Can you confirm if there is a request form and the appropriate process to request this meeting? We currently have the concept design package complete and I’d love to set up a time to initiate this discussion so we can be better prepared with the requirements going into our first set of CDs with our A&E firm. So even if it this is considered a “pre-pre-application” meeting, I would completely understand the requirement to set up a second meeting once we have a scaled site plan available. I just want to ensure we make this process as smooth as possible as we would like to target the opening of the charging portion for early June 2021. Based on my online research, I believe the below will apply to our project:
    1. Pre-application meeting
    2. Site Plan Review
    3. Building Permit
    4. Electrical Permit
    5. Sign Permit
    6. Grading/Excavation Permit
  3. Would you happen to have a contact with the county that I could reach out to in order to discuss water/sewer in this location? I know the City of Moab does not service this far north for these utilities. I believe we will need to get water from a well and then most likely implement a septic tank, but would like to see if there are other options. I want to thank you in advance for taking the time to read my email. Any feedback you can provide is greatly appreciated. Have a great day!

vicinity map of planned construction area parcel map of planned construction area camping with vehicle R1T pickup truck R1S SUV

Ashley Broek, Midwest Deployment Manager, Charging Facilities, Rivian; Sept. 22, 2020

I need to find a way to create simple photo sliders for occasions like this.

Anyway, after this initial contact, Grand County Planning Director Mila Dunbar-Irwin replied two weeks later.

Hi Ashley,

I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to you yet, I’m doing two jobs until we hire someone in here soon to help.

Yes, your assumptions regarding process are correct in terms of permitted, land use authority (Grand County), and the need for septic / a well. Your contact there is going to be Orion Rogers at the health department - [email protected]

The current owners of the parcel have done some preliminary work on this part of a site plan and might have some information for you as well, but at the very least, Orion is familiar with the area and can help advise you as to what would be needed.

Do be aware that we are in the process of a Small Area Plan for the parcels along that stretch of Highway 191, and I would encourage you to look through the materials in the last Planning Commission packet (attached) regarding the viewshed standards and vision statement for the area.

Please let me know when you’d like to set up a meeting.

Thank you,

Mila

Mila Dunbar-Irwin, Planning Director, Grand County; Oct. 5, 2020

The attachment is worth perusing. It provides an overview of where the planning commission was at the time as it was creating the small area plan, which would directly impact the parcel that Rivian had selected for development.

Good Morning Mila,

Thank you so much for your response, I appreciate you taking the time when you are so busy.

I’d like to introduce you to Joshua Lyons and Zach Sheets. They work for GPD, which is the partner we’ve hired to support us in these preliminary phases for planning and permitting due diligence.

I wanted to open up the lines of communication between you and GPD in order to ensure we are doing everything we can to meet the County’s requirements as we develop our detailed design.

We would love to see if your schedule allows for some time to meet and discuss our project next week? Please correct me if I’m wrong, but due to COVID-19 I believe you are allowing these meetings to take place via web conference?

I look forward to hearing from you on your availability and hope you have a great rest of your week!

Ashley Broek, Midwest Deployment Manager, Charging Facilities, Rivian; Oct. 7, 2020

Yes, I can meet next week either via Zoom or we’ve been allowing in-person with masks if you prefer that. Monday is pretty open.1

Mila Dunbar-Irwin, Planning Director, Grand County; Oct. 8, 2020

Again, the attachment is worth a look. It contains the first draft of what Rivian planned for the development.

If Zoom is acceptable, we’d like to do that. Does 1:00pm GMT (2:00pm CST/3:00pm EST) work for you? If so I will send out a meeting invite.

I’m also attaching [a very high level concept plan][first Rivian site plan] for this discussion to give you an idea of what we would like to develop on the property. We are looking forward to having this discussion with you and obtaining your initial feedback and guidance as to specific land use code we need to pay special attention to and what you believe would be the required planning and permitting process for this project.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Ashley Broek, Midwest Deployment Manager, Charging Facilities, Rivian; Oct. 8, 2020

Thanks, Ashley, I’ll see you this afternoon.

Mila Dunbar-Irwin, Planning Director, Grand County; Oct. 12, 2020

  1. Monday here means Oct. 12, 2020