The Red Wing Eagle staff writer Regan Carstensen reports in Experts teach townships about zoning to control sand:
“If you do nothing, you know what’s going to happen,” attorney and township zoning expert Jim Peters told a roomful of township officials and residents Thursday night.
Peters was referring to the ever-present controversial issue of silica sand mining.
He joined other attorneys and experts during a Land Stewardship Project workshop to teach local residents and officials how zoning ordinances can be used to control silica sand mines that try to come into the area.
David Williams, a township officer and attorney from Fillmore County, stressed the difference between the up-and-coming mines and those that have been in the region for decades.
“Silica sand mining sites are being proposed that are anywhere from 500 to 1,000 acres in size. This is a whole different scale than the aggregate mines we’ve seen,” Williams said.
Thursday’s workshop was held one week after the Goodhue County Board voted to extend its silica sand mining moratorium — which was originally put in place in September 2011 — for an additional 12 months.
The countywide moratorium means townships will be protected from the mines for up to a year, but Goodhue County cannot extend its moratorium a second time after it expires in September 2013. That’s when townships will either have to rely on the county’s zoning ordinance to control sand mines or develop rules of their own.
Read the whole article in the Eagle. If equipping rural people with the tools they need to address land use issues like frac sand mining is important to you--as well as establishing local urban-rural food networks in Minnesota and aiding beginning farmers--consider becoming a member of the Land Stewardship Project.
Photo: The workshop in Frontenac. via @LSPnow.