Public hearing on sand quarry permit amendment tonight
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 9:00 AM
The operators of a sand quarry on Canoe Valley Road want to amend their permit to include, among other things, expanded hours of operation.
The Quandahl Family Trust Farm and Wiltgen Construction Company of Calmar have submitted a petition to the Winneshiek County Planning and Zoning Commission seeking to amend their conditional- use permit for the quarry at 1842 Canoe Valley Road. The site, north of Decorah, is approximately 15 acres.
The Commission will hold a public hearing on the petition at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 10, in the large courtroom of the Winneshiek County Courthouse. The Commission will make its recommendation to the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors, which ultimately decides whether to approve the amended permit.
According to Winneshiek County Zoning Administrator Tony Phillips, the petition also is requesting an end to a requirement that calls for the permit to be renewed every five years.
The permit has been renewed once and is up for renewal again on or before Aug. 16, 2016.
“No other quarry has any renewal requirements on them,” Phillips commented.
Phillip said the permit only allows extraction, processing and storing of sand. The quarry operators would also like to extract and crush limestone on the site.
“They have a lot of limestone and need to do something with it,” Phillips said.
Currently, the quarry has to haul in limestone to line the base of the quarry. If the rock could be crushed on site, it would limit truck traffic bringing in rock, he said.
The quarry’s current hours of operation are 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and the operators have requested hours be 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In 2010, the Commission recommended on a 5-4-vote that Wiltgen’s permit to mine white sand be approved. The supervisors approved it, for a period of one year, on a 4-1 vote.
After the permit was submitted, neighboring property owners formed Canoe Valley Residents Association to protect the residents’ quality of life and their surrounding environment. Group members expressed their concerns about the impact the quarry could have including truck traffic, blasting and other annoyances.
In 2011, supervisors agreed to renew the permit for five years on a 4-1 vote.