It’s clear that it doesn’t matter what the people of Union township want.
Waupaca County Planning and Zoning voted against the overwhelming voice of the people, the votes of the Union Town Board and Union’s Comprehensive Plan.
They voted to approve a large scale industrial sand mine.
What disturbs me most is the way that this was done.
The first meeting about this mine at Union, Mike Koles did a presentation about the virtues of frac sand as a frac sand mine was being proposed.
Then the public began opposing the proposed frac sand mine because they are usually very large, dusty, noisy, produce lots of heavy truck traffic and generally depress property values.
Gehlar Mining Co. then played the foundry sand card and carried that theme through the public hearing.
There Koles spent a good hour going through the economic impact of the Waupaca Foundry.
Yes, the foundry’s, not the sand mine’s, economic impact.
Also at the public hearing, before placing on the overhead projector drawings of the mine, proposed processing plant and semi loading building, the mine representative said that this was just a draft.
So everything they showed was open for revision?
The Preserve Waupaca County group hired a lawyer who provided a memo to the Waupaca County Planning and Zoning Committee that pointed out that applications need to be complete at the time of the public hearing notice.
The application says: “See draft reclamation plan for details.”
The Waupaca County Zoning Ordinance section 6.03 says: “Applications for Conditional Uses must be accompanied by a Site Plan outlined under Section 9.0. and must also meet any additional requirements specified under each use.”
Section 9.0 states: “The Site Plan, whether for Permitted or Conditional Uses shall contain at a minimum the components identified in the following table:”
The table cited identifies the following necessary items: General Architecture Design Plan, Landscaping Plan, Grading and Drainage Plan as components necessary for the permit application.
At the June 6 meeting when this Conditional Use Permit application was voted on, Preserve Waupaca County representative Angela Williamson Emmert again brought up this issue of the incomplete application.
The committee asked Ryan Brown, the planning director, if the application was complete and he said, “Yes.”
So, a draft is now considered a complete document?
Even though components outlined in the Waupaca Zoning Ordinance are missing the committee approves this application.
Do they even know what they approved?