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Noblesville zoning board postpones vote on proposed mining project

Noblesville Board of Zoning holds packed meeting over mining

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — The Noblesville Board of Zoning Appeals voted to postpone the vote to create a zoning variance and allow Beaver Materials to mine in what is otherwise a residential area.

The board heard about two hours of presentation and public comment about the proposal to create a zoning variance in order to mine sand, gravel, and minerals north of 161st Street along Cherry Tree Road.

Lauren Wahl, a Noblesville Zoning Appeals Board member appointed by Mayor Chris Jensen, requested a continuance of the discussion.

“There are some of those questions we have to ask in regards to the health of the adjacent properties and all of that,” Wahl said.

Beaver Materials is a central Indiana-based sand, gravel, and aggregate company. The company maintains that mining operations have to happen on sites where materials are naturally found and these materials are needed for construction.

The request was met with a lot of resistance, with the opposition wanting Beaver Materials to look for other sites away from residential areas.

The only person to speak in favor of the mining efforts was a representative from the Indiana Mineral Aggregates Association. All others at the meeting were against the zoning variance, including various subject matter experts.

“There’s always going to be aggregates,” said one man who said he worked in construction his entire life. “There’s 200 or so mines in Indiana. If Beaver doesn’t have the material, Beaver can go down the street.”

Neighbors against the project say they are concerned about noise, their health, and their property values. Most homes in the area range from more than $200K to well over half a million dollars.

“I’ve never stood this close to someone who has taken liberties under the guise of a very good speech,” said one emotional speaker. “This company plans on harvesting materials from a property they don’t own for the sake of their trust funds for their children.”

The issue will be discussed at the zoning board’s next meeting on Oct. 2. All written public comments are due by Sept. 22.