Sand Springs Quarry Issue Draws Public Interest

Thursday, November 8th 2007, 5:23 pm
By: News On 6

A Specific Use Permit for a propoased limestone quarry has drawn more than 1,000 citizen attendees to recent Sand Springs Planning Commission meetings where attorney, expert witness and public testimony has been heard on the matter.

“There has consistently been a great amount of interest in this case from the public,” said Sand Springs City Attorney David Weatherford. “We will again be using a larger venue to accommodate those who are interested in the application’s outcome.”

The commission will continue to accept written comments from the public until 5 p.m., November 9 at the Sand Springs Planning and Development Office, 100 E. Broadway in Sand Springs.

More open-to-the-public consideration of the application will resume at the Sand Springs Planning Commission’s December 4 meeting when representatives for all parties will present final comments. The commission will deliberate and possibly vote on the issue at the 7 p.m. meeting which will be held at the Plaza Community Center, 420 Plaza Court, Sand Springs.

The applicant, Sand Springs Materials LLC and Westward Environmental, is requesting the Specific Use Permit to quarry limestone over a 25-year period from 515 acres of vacant land located between Avery Drive and 41st Street, east Highway 97. The permit is required for a variety of land uses which, by their nature, may require further impact evaluation outside the normal zoning review process.

More than 50 official documents as well as more than 150 formal written citizen comments are attached to the matter. David Weatherford said these documents include reports received from engineering, traffic, blasting, planning and economic impact experts. Also included is correspondence from the Environmental Protection Agency dealing with the impact the proposed quarry could have on both the surrounding area and the community as a whole.

“City staff is continuing to compile the voluminous data that is associated with this case,” said David Weatherford. “The application has, by far, been the most extensive case record ever considered by the city’s planning commission.”

Although the comment portion of the application process will soon be closed and the December 4 meeting set, the Sand Springs city attorney said the planning commission may require further time to review the case information.

“It is important that planning commission members have an opportunity for thorough review and understanding of the information presented by all parties in the case and make their decisions accordingly,” said David Weatherford. “It will be up to the planning commission members on December 4 to determine whether a vote is appropriate at that time or whether additional review and deliberations are necessary.”

Related stories:

9/18/2007 Community Trying To Stop Proposed Rock Quarry

11/06/2007 Quarry Decision Expected In A Few Weeks