Neighbors wary of proposed mining expansion in Lakemoor

 
 
Updated 2/4/2018 6:39 PM
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  • Rendering of tentative concepts of what the Thelen property in Lakemoor would be used for when mining is complete.

    Rendering of tentative concepts of what the Thelen property in Lakemoor would be used for when mining is complete. Courtesy of Lakemoor

The Lakemoor planning and zoning commission on Monday will consider a proposal by Thelen Sand & Gravel Inc., to expand its mining operation on the village's far west side.

Thelen's proposal involving several properties on the north side of Route 120 has raised concerns among neighbors, who have been meeting to discuss strategy and collecting signatures in opposition.

In advance of a potential large crowd, the hearing has been moved from village hall to the Countryside Banquets & Conference Center at Route 120 and Darrell Road. The session starts at 6 p.m.

Thelen mines 182 acres and is acquiring several other parcels. It is seeking approvals to allow mining on another 164 acres. Five areas would be annexed to Lakemoor as part of the plan, according to Matt Dabrowski, community and economic development director.

Thelen Vice President Dan Shephard said the property adjacent to the operation became available, and the proposed expansion represents a logical progression of the business.

"There's been mining in this area since the 1930s. That (mined material) was used to construct Route 120," he said.

Thelen, which also operates in Antioch and Genoa City, Wisconsin, took over an existing operation and began mining in Lakemoor in 2010.

The idea is to expand to mine at the north end of the site and a portion of another property, Dabrowski said. Shephard said the processing plant won't be moved.

Residents in subdivisions to the north have been discussing and researching the proposal. Dabrowski said 152 people attended a neighborhood information meeting Jan. 22 at the village hall.

Neighbors say they are uncertain how the operation will impact their home values and are concerned how the property will look as mining progresses. Noise, dust, foundation cracks, increase in truck traffic, and damage to wells and septic systems are other potential issues.

"We want them to listen to our concerns," said Stan Mill, treasurer of the Val-Mar Estates subdivision. "We're trying to be good neighbors. We want them to be good neighbors."

Thelen will control a total of 730 acres. After the mining operating is completed, a tentative end-use site plan required by village code envisions: 193 acres of residential uses; 42 acres of retail commercial; 346 acres of lakes; and, 149 acres of open space.

"We could be mining this parcel for 40 to 60 years," Shephard said. "We must submit that to tell them (village) what the (end) concept is."

The Thelen proposal is not the only one being considered in town. Berger Excavating Inc. is seeking approvals to mine sand and gravel and produce concrete and asphalt on-site on 200 acres south of Route 120 across from the Thelen operation.

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