Lyon Co. Board to take closer look at proposed gravel pit

MARSHALL — This week, Lyon County commissioners were faced with two different permit requests for gravel mining in the county. While commissioners voted to approve a conditional use permit for one gravel pit, they held off on acting on the other until April 4.

“If the board is all right with that, I would like to table it, and ask that commissioners get out and look at this area with Planning and Zoning Administrator (John) Biren,” said Commissioner Rick Anderson. Anderson said he thought it would be important for commissioners to have more information about the proposed gravel site before taking action on the permit request.

There were a couple of unusual factors about the site, like its being close to both residences and to Coon Creek, Biren said.

Last week, the Lyon County Planning Commission held a hearing on a CUP request from Action Rocks, LLC, and Jim Swenson to process sand and gravel on land near County Road 66 and 150th Avenue in Coon Creek Township.

“There was some controversy with this particular gravel pit,” Biren said. The land being proposed for the gravel pit neighbored both residential property and Coon Creek.

“Coon Creek is a designated public water,” Biren said. “The DNR has jurisdiction on certain things. We also have a shoreland zoning ordinance that requires us to address certain things. The applicant agreed at the meeting he would stay out of the shoreland protection zone.”

Commissioner Paul Graupmann said a neighboring landowner was also concerned that the gravel pit would have a significant impact the value of his home.

Biren said the planning commission voted to recommend approval of a CUP with a number of conditions, “maybe in addition to what we usually see.” For example, one condition would be that the hours of operation for the gravel pit be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Biren said the intent of that condition would be to help reduce noise for neighboring residents.

“There’s been some requests from the landowners to have this board physically look at this site before approval,” Biren said.

Anderson said that if the county board tabled action on the CUP until its first April meeting, commissioners would have time to look at the site, and still be within the legally required time frame to take action on the permit request.

Commissioners tabled the permit request. Biren said individual commissioners could work with him to set up times to visit the site.

The other gravel pit permit brought before commissioners Tuesday was less controversial. Biren said Brett Muecke was seeking a CUP to process sand and gravel on 40 acres of agricultural land in Custer Township, just south of U.S. Highway 14. Biren said the proposal had received no objections from the public, and there were no comments submitted by Custer Township, either.

“Land use afterwards will likely be pasture or wildlife. It’s marginal ground now,” Biren said.

The planning commission recommended approval of a CUP with a list of 12 conditions, including that Muecke be responsible for dust control and maintenance on haul roads.

Commissioners voted to approve the CUP.


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