The Winneshiek County Planning & Zoning Commission has voted to recommend issuing a conditional use permit for a sand quarry along Canoe Valley Road.
The commission took the action on a 5-4 vote Tuesday night in a meeting that lasted more than two hours.
Much of Tuesday night's meeting involved discussion of numerous conditions attached to the permit. Neighbors last month at a public hearing raised concerns about traffic, blasting, noise, dust, health impacts and impacts on property values.
The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended limiting the size of the sand quarry to 15 acres and limiting the hours of operation to 7:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays (closed holidays). It also recommended limiting traffic to 30 loads per day and requiring dust control on the gravel roads.
Materials hauler Garry Wiltgen will also be required to notify all property owners within 1,500 feet of the sand quarry any time blasting will be done at the site--and to install seismographs on these properties.
At last month's public hearing there was a lengthy discussion about wells on properties near the quarry. On Tuesday night the County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a requirement that Wiltgen would have to idemnify the owner of a neighboring 40 foot well if the blasting and quarrying damaged the well.
Several additional conditions involved the operations of the sand quarry. Only screening of the sand will be allowed on-site--not washing. There will be no fuel stored on the property outside of a DNR-approved hazmat vault. There will also be a limit on the number of vehicles allowed on sandstone at the quarry, with parking of vehicles required on packed gravel surfaces instead.
County officials are now writing up an official resolution to be presented to the Winneshiek County Board for its vote. Supervisors can vote yes or no on the Planning & Zoning Commission's recommendation and can also change the conditions attached to the permit, rewriting, adding or deleting to the long list.
The County Planning & Zoning Commission is recommending a one year conditional use permit be issued, with Wiltgen having to come back to the Planning & Zoning Commission to renew the permit. There would be a maximum of three five-year renewals of the permit without Wiltgen having to start the process over again.