Meridian City Council rejects appeal on gravel pit

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - The Meridian City Council denied an appeal made by Idaho Sand & Gravel to extend a permit for a gravel pit off Overland Road which means they have to be off the site by November 1.

The company was appealing a decision made by the city's Planning and Zoning Commission back in April.

Over three years ago the company was given the permits to grade the area to make way for homes to be built that wouldn't block the view of the houses behind them.

At the time the city agreed to do so because they said it also helped expedite the Ten Mile Road Interchange, along with construction on both sides of Interstate 84.

Recently, neighbors began to complain that the dust accumulating on their property was too much. They said the project had already gone on much longer than expected.

During Tuesday night's council meeting an attorney for the company said they could finish getting rid of large piles of materials still on site by November 1. Although he said they would need until June of 2015 to get all of the grading done. They claim if the owner of the land does it he wouldn't have to abide by the same strict rules they do.

"What we're proposing is to allow us to complete that grading subject to the condition of the conditional use permit. If Mr. Barton was to do it he wouldn't be subject to those conditions," said Todd Lakey.

Attorney Wyatt Johnson, who represents the neighbors, said the company has already had plenty of time to do this project along with other extensions. He claims much of the area still left to grade has been left untouched.

"It's not like they didn't see this coming. This has been coming years in the making," said Johnson. "They had troubles when they came in for the extension in 2012 they could have started taking some action then."

Council member David Zaremba admitted during the meeting it may have been a mistake to grant the mining permit so close to a residential area. He said while the intentions were good, they never thought this would be operating as a commercial site.

"I guess the struggle I have is that if I was a neighbor, how long would I put up with it," said Zaremba. "I have a struggle with it going on this long I think it needs to come to a conclusion."