Wisconsin Pit Approval Moves Forward

Members of Racine County, Wis.’s planning committee are hoping for a fresh start with the new owner of a sand and gravel pit that has been a point of contention in the town of Waterford, according to The Journal Times. The Economic Development and Land Use Planning Committee unanimously voted in favor of allowing a quarry to operate at 33319 Hill Valley Drive.

In 2001, Racine County approved a more ambitious mining plan submitted by the then-landowners, but the town denied them the extraction permit. They and Robert Johnson of Johnson Sand and Gravel of New Berlin filed a lawsuit asking for $50,000 in damages and a reversal, which was denied.

Now the site has a new owner, Garrett Foat, who acquired the property in December and is seeking a four-year extraction permit, which would be reviewed at the two-year point. Randy Johnson, also from Johnson Sand and Gravel of New Berlin, Wis., presented the proposal to the Economic Development and Land Use Planning Committee. The proposal still has to go before the Town of Waterford’s Planning Commission.

Missouri Producer Fights to Permit Land

A decade-plus effort by a sand and gravel company to mine a 537-acre quarry near Eureka, Mo., is back in St. Louis County court. Neighboring St. Charles County has already changed its procedures for deciding certain land use questions, adding a new quasi-judicial hearing in between the zoning board review and the County Council decision, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

The change was triggered by an Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals decision last year, the latest twist in Winter Brothers Material Co.’s long quest to mine a quarry it owns near Eureka for sand and gravel.

The company argues St. Louis County’s denial of a permit to mine the land constitutes an “illegal taking” of its property by essentially forcing it to leave the land in a natural state.

Winter Brothers Material Co., which has owned the Meramec River site since the mid-1970s, has been working to win approval to mine it since 2001.

Maryland Town Denies Special Exception Permit

Caroline, Md., supervisors voted to deny a special exception permit to operate a sand and gravel mine along U.S. 17 in Caroline County, according to The Free Lance-Star. The application, submitted in 2015 by Bardon Inc., the parent company of Aggregate Industries, requested permission to extend an existing mining operation at Belvedere South, a parcel of land in Spotsylvania County owned by M.R. Fulks, into Fulks property in Caroline known as Fox Spring Farm.

In July 2017, the Caroline planning commission voted unanimously to forward the special exception request to the board of supervisors with a recommendation of denial, citing incompatibility with the county’s comprehensive plan, which designates the area where Fox Spring Farm is located as being intended for agricultural preservation and also as being part of the plan’s Resource Sensitive Overlay District.

Reclamation Plan Opposed in New Jersey

An opposition group has retained legal counsel to prevent a proposed redevelopment plan for Tilcon’s former 183-acre Millington Quarry in Basking Ridge, N.J. The opposition group said it has more than 1,350 signatures on a petition to stop the current plan because it says it would encourage overdevelopment on a contaminated site.

The plan includes a hotel, housing, restaurants, retail, a farm and a lake that would fill in the deepest quarrying pit on the property. The developers have articulated a detailed plan highlighting their effort to address stormwater management, biodiversity, open space and sustainability.

According to the Sierra Club, as a result of 100 years of mining operations and landfill brought in after the closing, the site contains at least 45 acres of confirmed contamination, including fertilizers, lead, aluminum and silver.

Homeowners within 200 ft. of the quarry have submitted a petition to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection asking for more public outreach to discuss how the serious environmental issues will be addressed.