Spring Prairie residents – some wearing white hats with “No Pit” written on them – await the Town Board’s vote on a proposed gravel pit. The board unanimously rejected the proposal. (Photo by Jason Arndt)

Multiple factors cited by Spring Prairie officials

By Jason Arndt

Editor

The Spring Prairie Town Board unanimously struck down all three proposals related to a highly controversial gravel pit before hundreds of concerned residents at Monday’s meeting.

The town’s Planning and Zoning Commission previously recommended approval of the proposals on a divided vote in mid-January.

Union Grove-based Asphalt Contractors, Inc. looked to rezone three parcels from A-1 Agriculture to M-3 Mineral Extraction District, obtain conditional use permits for each to allow operation of a gravel pit and consolidate the three parcels into one.

Representatives from Asphalt Contractors said in a previous meeting the targeted rezone land covers about 111 acres and is a quarter of a mile from Highway 120 and a quarter of a mile off Highway 11 and Hargraves Road.

But the long debated plan, which was submitted last June, is not entirely finished as the proposal will move to Walworth County Planning and Zoning on Feb. 20 for final review.

As for Monday’s meeting, which did not allow comments from Asphalt Contractors or residents, town officials said the proposal does not meet the long-term community needs.

Town Chairman Thomas Bolfert took resident concerns and studies conducted by Asphalt Contractors officials under consideration, however, he believes the proposal could hinder the town’s commitment to agriculture.

“I firmly believe any reasonable person would conclude that the proposed gravel pit would result in excessive noise and traffic, a decrease in nearby property values, and the overall decline in the quality of life of residents in close proximity,” he said.

On Jan. 16, when the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval, Asphalt Contractors representatives delivered multiple presentations showing the proposal would not cause any disruptions.

Robert Kordus, President of Asphalt Contractors, Inc., said the plan submitted to the Town of Spring Prairie is one of the most comprehensive presented to Walworth County.

“We took the necessary amount of time and energy to present an application to the town and county consistent with the town and county requirements,” Kordus said.

To read the entire story, including comments from the two other Town Board members who voted against the proposal, see the Feb. 13 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.