Virginia Sand and Gravel Operation Faces Opposition
More than 800 opponents signed a petition to voice their concerns about a proposed South Shore Sand and Gravel mine near Pikes Lake in Iron River, Wis. The town board voted 5-0 to deny President Ralph Frostman’s permit for the operation, but the fight isn’t over. The matter is to be taken up by the Bayfield County, Wis., planning and zoning committee, according to the Ashland Daily Press.
Bayfield County has the ultimate authority to issue permits for sand and gravel mining. The town hearing was just the first step in the process that Frostman has to go through before he can begin operations.
Frostman said he is baffled by the level of opposition to the sand and gravel mine. He said in the past, gravel pits were routinely approved.
“A gravel pit in Iron River has never been denied before. I’ve been in business for 50 years and have never had any fines. I can’t think of any gravel pit that has caused Bayfield County any problems since they started the reclamation requirements,” he told Ashland Daily Press.
“There is maybe 15 ft. of gravel; once that’s gone it is reclaimed and it’s back to its natural state,” Frostman said. “I’ve had plenty of pits before and I have never had any problem with the (state Department of Natural Resources) or the county.”
Despite what opponents assert, Frostman said there are not enough operational gravel pits in the region to satisfy current demand. If there were, he wouldn’t propose creating a new one.
Ohio Quarry Expansion Denied
Citizens Against Mining, based in Mad River Township, Ohio, is challenging Enon Sand and Gravel’s plan to mine on 420 acres in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
In December 2020, the citizens group celebrated a win – a private lawsuit settled in favor of five neighbors of the mine who successfully argued that mining could damage their property values and private wells, according to YS News.
In his decision, Judge Dale Crawford, a visiting judge in the Clark County Common Pleas Court, granted an injunction against Enon Sand and Gravel, preventing the company from mining about 100 acres of its property. The company had claimed that the property, which was previously used as a limestone quarry, was grandfathered in when county zoning rules took effect in 1964. But the judge disagreed, pointing to evidence that company maps for years listed the area as an “abandoned mine.”
Enon Sand and Gravel is appealing the latest decision. If the company is not successful, it will have to acquire a conditional use permit from the Clark County Board of Zoning Appeals to mine the section. That permit process involves a public hearing and the consideration of health and safety concerns of neighbors.
Enon is the top sand and gravel producer in Clark County, Ohio, proudly serving many end users in the area including ready mix concrete, asphalt, concrete block manufacturers, excavating companies, agricultural and residential.
Lehigh Hanson Again Refused Permit for Calgary Operation
After public outcry over a proposed gravel pit in Bearspaw, Calgary, Canada, the Rocky View County council voted to refuse the application. The refusal came in the form of two motions passed at the tail end of a special council meeting and public hearing devoted to the application, which was held over two days.
Council voted 8-1 in refusal for the land-use redesignation, with Greg Boehlke providing the only vote against, according to Cochrane Today.
The rejection means the Lehigh Hanson plan to develop a large gravel pit on the 600-acre site at Rocky Ridge Road and 144th Avenue NW was rejected for the third time in 27 years. Lehigh Hanson’s proposed development was previously denied by councils in 2010 and 1994.
The most recent application would have allowed Lehigh Hanson to excavate gravel from the pit and use an overland conveyor belt system to transport it to the company’s northwest Calgary facility.
In response to some of the opposition levelled against the company, Lehigh Hanson said the gravel pit would generate more than $21 million in tax and levy revenues for the county during its 25- to 30-year lifespan and support 71 jobs at any one time.
“Lehigh intends to plan and design an operation that is environmentally and socially responsible, meets or exceeds all relevant regulatory requirements and incorporates mitigative solutions where possible based on feedback from the community,” the company stated.