Thomas Cetrino 0

Save Sand Lake Neighborhoods from the Proposed Expansion of Mining

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We, the undersigned, oppose the proposed plan to rezone lands owned by the Gardner family to allow mining on those lands and expand the existing Hoffay/Rifenberg, Olsen, Foley and Hunt Mines. The plan would expand the mining footprint by over 70 acres further infringing on the quality of life of several residential neighborhoods where hundreds of families live.

We believe the additional mining that would be allowed by the proposed zoning change will have a significant negative impact on the environment by:

  • endangering the surrounding neighborhoods’ wells,
  • increasing noise pollution and air pollution directly related to mine operations, and;
  • increased truck traffic from these mines.

In addition, the proposed zoning change does not address the impact of increased mining on surrounding neighborhoods, which is an important consideration under the Town’s Zoning Code. The proposal ignores portions of the Town’s 2019 Comprehensive Plan which state “The Town will continue to use the existing zoning law to balance the economic benefits of mining with the need to protect community character and resources.” (P107, Strategy 7.6 Maintain the Town’s current regulatory approach balancing mining activities and impacts on the community”).

The neighborhoods surrounding the proposed expansion of mining were in existence prior to Hoffay/Rifenberg, Olsen, Foley and Hunt mines which began their operations in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

The applicants for this zoning amendment opposed adoption of the current Town Zoning Code which does not allow mining on the lands covered by the proposed zoning change. They later sued the Town of Sands Lake to overturn the Zoning Code costing taxpayers about $150,000 to successfully defended the current Zoning Code. The applicants are trying a third time to expand mining further into residential neighborhoods and evade current zoning provisions that protect the quality of life of many Town residents and neighborhoods

For these reasons we believe the Town of Sand Lake Planning Board should recommend that the Town Board not entertain this proposed amendment to the Town’s Zoning Code because is inconsistent with the Town’s 2019 Comprehensive Plan and its negative impact on the neighborhoods and property taxpayers surrounding the Gardner property that would endanger their wells and increase air and noise pollution.

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