Janesville56.7°

Janesville sand and gravel mine proposal advances

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
September 21, 2010
— Members of the Janesville Plan Commission on Monday visited the site of a proposed sand and gravel pit on the city’s south side to get a feel for the project before setting a public hearing on the issue.

Nov. 1 is the earliest the commission could hold a public hearing on the plan.


Commission members visited the site south of Delavan Drive at Todd Drive with one of the owners, Eric Gilbert, partly to gauge its distance from nearby residents.


The commission is expected to forward a recommendation to the city council when it considers MH Material’s request to annex 70 acres from La Prairie Township. The site plan includes 316 acres split between the city and La Prairie Township.


Company officials started the process to annex 70 acres west and southwest of La Prairie Park into the city. About 45 of the 70 or so acres to be annexed would be mined. About 115 acres in the township would continue to be farmed.


The company plans to add rail siding and a rail spur so sand and gravel could be transported on two grain trains per day already traveling to Illinois.


A sand and gravel mine has operated on some of the property in the past.


At an information meeting in May, some neighbors were concerned about dust, noise, property values and health and environmental issues.


Duane Cherek of the community development department said he did not know if the information session with company officials allayed residents’ fears.


“We have a vocal, small number of residents that have vocalized their concerns,” Cherek said. “I don’t know if those concerns are representative of numerous residents of that area or primarily just (the concerns of) the few folks that have been in contact with us.”


The mine would be about a quarter-mile from the nearest residential neighborhood, although several single homes would be closer, including one about 300 feet away.


The use of the land for mining fits with the city’s comprehensive plan, which considers mining an interim use. The area is zoned light industrial, and the mining operation would level the ground for that eventual use, Cherek said.


Commission members asked Gilbert if he could figure out a way to characterize the noise the mine would generate and bring that information back to the commission.



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