Home Forums Tomahawk Leader Message Board Tomahawk and the Northwoods Skanawan Non-metallic mine proposal

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    Anonymous

    A 45-acre Non-metallic mine proposal for the town of Skanawan is covered in detail in the 1/10/17 Tomahawk Leader. A hearing will be held Thursday, Jan. 12 at 4 p.m. before the Lincoln County Land Services Committee in Room 257 of the Lincoln County Service Center, 801 N. Sales St., Merrill.

    This press release was received after publication of the Jan. 10 Tomahawk Leader:

    PRESS RELEASE
    Conditional use permit application strongly opposed by Town Board and
    overwhelming majority of Town of Skanawan residents and property owners

    By Michael P. Heise, President of Skanawan Property Owners Association, U.A.
    January 9, 2017

    Town of Skanawan, WI – The Lincoln County Land Services Committee will
    be holding a public hearing on Thursday, January 12 at 4:00 pm regarding the
    conditional use permit application submitted by County Materials Corporation
    and Daigle’s Oak Hills LLC (collectively, the “applicants”). The applicants are
    requesting a conditional use permit to operate a non-metallic mine in the
    center of the Town of Skanawan.

    The application is opposed by the Town Board of Skanawan, the vast majority
    of its residents and property owners, and the Skanawan Property Owners
    Association, U.A.. The Town Board formally submitted its recommendation to
    deny the conditional use permit in July of 2016, and will resubmit its
    recommendation before the hearing on Thursday.

    The conditional use permit application was originally submitted in early 2015,
    and the Lincoln County Land Services Committee held its first public hearing
    on the matter in April of 2015. However, the application was kept very quiet and
    formal notice was issued to the minimum number of residents and owners
    required by law. Word did not spread of the application until only a week
    before the April 2015 hearing, at which point several concerned individuals took
    it upon themselves to stage an opposition. The Committee decided to hold over
    its decision, and the Town Board of Skanawan requested that it be given
    additional time to review the application, request more information, consult
    legal counsel, and receive input from Town residents and property owners.
    After several Town Hall meetings, hearings, and correspondence from the
    Town’s constituents, the Board decided, by a 2-0 vote (one Board member
    recused himself due to a potential conflict of interest) to recommend to the
    Committee that it deny the application.

    The Board’s recommendation was based on several factors, including the
    application’s failure to meet certain Lincoln County Zoning Code standards (see
    17.8.30(7) of Lincoln County Code of Ordinances), non-compliance with the
    Town’s Land Use Plan, and the inadequate Staff Report issued by the Lincoln
    County Land Services Department. The Town Board also based its
    recommendation on the outpouring of opposition from those who live and own
    property in the Town, whose primary concerns are diminished property values,
    drastic change to the quiet and rural character of the community, an
    unreasonable risk of traffic hazards, diminished quality of life, and air, noise,
    and potential groundwater pollution.

    The Skanawan Property Owners Association shares the same concerns of the
    Board and Town constituents, but has additional concerns regarding the
    intentions of the applicants. Although they have formally requested a permit
    for 45 acres of mining, the applicants own upwards of 400 acres of contiguous
    parcels. The Association’s concern is that the applicants may have a legal basis
    to expand operations onto all contiguous parcels without the need to return to
    Lincoln County for additional permits by way of the diminishing asset rule.
    This concern is compounded by the fact that certain Wisconsin lawmakers have
    made attempts to expand the reach of this rule in an effort to make an end-run
    around local government for the benefit of mineral extraction corporations.
    The Association is further persuaded by the actions of the applicants, which
    include the clear cutting of hundreds of acres of forest on the property and
    their refusal to attach deed restrictions to surrounding parcels.

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