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Noblesville zoning board allows gravel mining in residential area

Noblesville zoning board approves gravel mining site

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — The Noblesville Board of Zoning Appeals on Monday night approved a land use variance requested by Beaver Materials to mine for gravel, sand and minerals in a residential area.

It was a 3-2 vote. Mike Field, Dave Burtner and Dan MacInnis voted in favor of the land use variance while Lauren Wahl and Jim Hanlon voted against it.

Beaver Materials plans to buy the 68 acres north of 161st Street along Cherry Tree Road now that the zoning variance has been granted. The company for 10 years will extract the gravel, sand and minerals found naturally in the soil before returning the site to its natural state.

Rita Wood, a resident of the Cherry Tree Meadows neighborhood said, “There is aggregate all over Indiana. I mean this state is full of gravel.”

Former Beaver Materials owner Allyn Beaver maintains the company must go where these materials are found naturally while the opposition said the company should mine farther away from their homes and truck the material to Noblesville.

“We have to go where Mother Nature put it,” Beaver said. “We can’t go where we want to go. We have to go where Mother Nature put the gravel.”

Residents in the surrounding area have been vocally opposed to the change citing concerns over health, property values and noise.

“I’m afraid of the particles causing lung cancer and killing all the wildlife that’s around there,” Wood said. “There’s just so many things to think about. I just wouldn’t have believed they would come up with some plan like this.”

Allyn Beaver said these are not major concerns.

“When we first started talking to them they complained about blasting and a lot of things that don’t exist,” Beaver said. “And they complained about silica and those are things that are just not a problem.”

Opposition to this project said they are considering suing the zoning appeals board over this decision. One protestor is concerned with the precedent this sets for other zoning concerns in residential areas.

“There’s a city plan, and this is completely out of the city plan,” Wood said. “The city plan says to keep things residential.”

Some members of the opposition made it clear they are not opposed to Beaver Materials, the family or the mining even noting that these materials are necessary for construction projects. They just want the company to pick a site farther away from a residential area.

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