Milton Town Board to consider plan B
If you go
What: Public hearing for a zoning change for Scott Traynor, 7030 E. County Road N, Milton. The land in question was the same parcel linked to an earlier conditional-use request for a proposed gravel quarry along North Klug Road.
When: 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 9.
Where: Milton Town Hall, 23 First St., Milton.
MILTON TOWNSHIP The Milton Town Board will consider a proposed zoning change that could help revive a controversial gravel pit plan that the board rejected only weeks ago.
The board and the town plan commission are holding a public hearing Monday, April 9, to discuss a recent application by landowner Scott Traynor for a zoning change at 7030 E. County Road N.
That's the property where Traynor and developer BR Amon & Sons of Elkhorn had proposed a 138-acre gravel quarry.
The town board and the plan commission Feb. 13 had shot down a conditional-use permit application for the quarry, at the time saying that the land in question, which is east of North Klug Road, had a C-1 wetland conservancy zoning overlay that does not allow gravel quarries.
The move came after dozens of residents who live along Klug Road opposed the proposed quarry, arguing that it could damage property values, harm adjacent wetlands and create traffic and dust.
Traynor now is requesting that the township remove C-1 zoning from the proposed gravel pit area. That would leave the parcel with just one zoning classification, A-1—a type of agricultural zoning that allows gravel pits as a conditional use under town rules.
The move is not a surprise. Amon & Sons president Tom Amon in February told The Gazette that his company would either contest the decision through the town's board of adjustment or ask the town to re-zone the property.
At the time, Amon and his company argued that excavation areas of the proposed quarry would be located on a ridge that sits far above adjacent wetlands. He said the town's C–1 wetland zoning of the area is misplaced, and an engineer for the company claimed the land didn't have the required soil types for wetland designation.
Traynor's requested zoning change is linked to the quarry plan, Amon said in a phone message to The Gazette on Wednesday.
"C-1 is a marsh, and we don't think there's a marsh on top of the hill," Amon said. "We're just going to reapply and see if the board agrees."
Amon & Sons wants to build a quarry on Traynor's land that could supply gravel to the nearby Highway 26 bypass project, which starts later this year.
Milton Town Board Chairman Bryan Meyer was adamant in a phone interview on Wednesday that the April 9 hearing would be limited to a potential zoning change for Traynor's land. He said it would not be a referendum on a gravel pit along Klug Road, and the board would not discuss the quarry.
"There is not an application to discuss the gravel pit at this point," Meyer said.
Any such discussion would be inappropriate and "could be a construed to be a discussion based on bias and concerns," Meyer said.
Yet it would seem the proposed quarry would be the elephant in the room at the hearing. Both the plan commission and the board will be grappling over whether to re-classify land that they know was under consideration only weeks ago for a proposed quarry.
If the plan commission and the board did decide to approve a zoning change, it would not mean a gravel quarry would be permitted automatically.
Traynor would first have to re-submit a conditional-use permit request, Meyer said. Then the plan commission and the board would have to consider that request through another public hearing—likely in the face of resistance by residents who already oppose the quarry.
Rock County would have to issue a special permit for the quarry because its operations would be within 1,000 feet of a wetland that's in a county shoreland overlay district.
As of Wednesday, the township had not received another conditional-use permit request for the quarry, Meyer said.