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By Pat McTaggart

Freelance Writer


The Clayton County Board of Supervisors has approved a request from Health and Zoning Administrator Janet Ott to apply for a $2,500 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.  Money from the grant will be used to set up a ad-hoc study committee of five to seven people to review and discuss the possible impact of rezoning 726 acres of land along the Great River Road from agricultural to heavy industrial   The rezoning request was made by Pattison Sand Company LLC of Clayton.

On December 8 more than 60 people attended a meeting of the Clayton County Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss the potential rezoning.  Many of them voiced concerns about the effects on the environment and tourism in the area if the rezoning is approved. 

Managing partner Kyle Pattison said that it was time for the company to start setting up additional land to mine underneath in the next few years.  The rezoning would give the company the opportunity to expand its underground reserves, allowing it to operate for more years after its current reserves are used up.  After hearing numerous comments, the Commission voted to table the rezoning motion and to do more research.

“After the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting we decided to pull together a number of studies including ones that Pattison has done, as well as studies from other counties and groups,” Ott told the Supervisors.  “Forming a committee is a reasonable way to get that information gathered.  The studies that will be gathered are ones that are already validated.  Once they are condensed into one document it will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission.  It should also help to get questions answered and get them out to the public.”

The study committee will also use zoning ordinances, language and conditions from example from other counties as resources.  Some of the research and discussion will be the impact and zoning conditions to protect air and water quality, threatened and endangered species, the impact of vent openings, noise nuisance, the potential negative economic of mining on tourism, property values and the positive impact of mining.

After stating that no county tax dollars will be used for the study group, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the request from Ott to sign the $2,500 grant request to fund the Pattison mine reserve expansion study group.

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