Latest updates on Tiller Zavoral gravel mine

The Zavoral/Tiller mining project on the bluff of the St. Croix River is on track to proceed unless the Scandia City Council denies the permit.

The last two public hearings concerning the Tiller Zavoral Mine will be held soon. The City of Scandia will then decide whether or not to grant a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to mine.

Hearings:

  • December 4th (Mining Ordinance)
  • December 12th (Legal Criteria for CUP)

Both will be held at 7 p.m. at the Scandia Community Center.

Please attend these two meetings to show your interest. Invite two neighbors, or offer to drive a neighbor to the meeting. The City Council will be impacted by the number of residents who show up for these discussions.

Recent Decision: The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was considered “adequate” by the City Council on September 25th 2012 and is now legally considered a “Finding of Fact”. Findings of Fact is a common term used to refer to a city’s written explanation of a land use decision.

The purpose of the final hearings will be for the Planning Commission to consider public comments relating to Scandia’s Mining Ordinance (December 4th meeting); the legal criteria for issuing a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) will be covered last (December 12th meeting).

To read the ordinances, and criteria for CUP, click here. Codes and Ordinances are a link at the bottom, left hand column of the home page.

The Scandia Mining Ordinance 103, Chapter 4 describes the regulations for removing natural deposits of sand and gravel from the earth while providing for the health, welfare and safety of the public.

The Conditional Use Permit criteria outlined in Section 8.0 of the Scandia Development Code, Chapter 1 states that the criteria and standards must be met in order for the city to grant a conditional use permit as authorized by Minnesota Statute 462.3595.

After these meetings are held, the Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the City Council by January 2nd, 2013 to approve the Conditional Use Permit with conditions and mitigations or not to approve the Conditional Use Permit. Their recommendation must be determined based upon the law and “findings of fact.” The Scandia City Council will make a final decision on the CUP by February 20th, 2013.

If the CUP is approved by the Council, the mining will begin early next year. Everyone in the area will be impacted if the mine is approved. The negative impacts could be devastating and irreversible. The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is a National Park. Our concerns extend to the health, and quality of experience of this national treasure.

Conservation news on St. Croix 360 is supported by the St. Croix River Association, which works to protect, restore and celebrate the St. Croix River and its watershed.

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