BOARD OF TRUSTEES
AUGUST 12, 2004
Bob Hanvey, Sue Lingle, Myrna Schlittler and
Annette McNamara, Zoning Administrator
Phil Westmoreland, OHM, Township Engineer
Bob Hanvey called the meeting to order at
PLEDGE TO FLAG
Bob Hanvey introduced the members of the Board.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Bob Hanvey suggested changing the agenda item “Gravel Pit” to the top of the agenda. Sue Lingle motioned to approve
the agenda as amended.
Bob Hanvey introduced Joe Riccardi,
the president of
to allow Mr. Riccardi to make his presentation, and then questions can be asked of the Board. Mr. Riccardi began by
saying that as of right now, he has not closed on the property belonging to the Trierweiler estate. His company hasn’t
gotten an engineer involved at this point. The closing is scheduled for this month. Mr. Riccardi said his plans are to mine
the rest of the material that’s on the property over the next 3-5 years, and develop a small community. House construction
could begin in as little as three years. His company has been cleaning out debris and hauling away garbage. His company
will own the 10 acres in the back, and there are no plans to mine that property. The house will be renovated. There will be
little or no disturbance to the 10-acre parcel to get the hill to slope to an acceptable grade for a road and homes.
Mr. Riccardi presented an aerial view of the property, dated March 2000. The plans are to get the hill to slope from the
10 acres in the back to the bottom
of the excavation, and to have a road come off of
they are not taking the 10 acres to get the slope. Mr. Riccardi said, “We will not mine the 10 acres.” Mr. Riccardi said he
has no intention of touching the northwest corner of the 16-acre parcel. Mr. Hanvey said for the plan to work, from the
back of the house out to
yes. Mr. Hanvey said it was his understanding that there are deed restrictions on the 10-acre parcel that would prohibit
removing any soil or minerals from that parcel. Mr. Riccardi said he is aware of that. Mr. Hanvey asked how Mr. Riccardi
plans to deal with that deed restriction. Mr. Riccardi said the attorneys are looking into it. They won’t be moving the soil
off of the 10 acres, just balancing on the 10 acres. Mr. Hanvey said when he walked along the fence line on the property,
it appeared that the fence line was near the peak of that area, and the grade on the east side in the mining area was very
steep. He believed it was Mr. Riccardi’s suggestion that by moving the soil on the 10-acre parcel to the east, you could
get a smooth grade out to
10-acre parcel onto the 20-acre parcel. Mr. Riccardi said you would have to move a little bit. Mr. Hanvey said that’s
where the deed restrictions come in, and he’s not sure how you can have a restoration that doesn’t involve moving soil
off of the 10-acre parcel. Mr. Riccardi said even if the deed restrictions prohibit him from moving soil off the 10-acre parcel,
he could balance on the 10 acres. It’s just easier to move it off the 10 acres so the trees in the back don’t have to be
removed. Mr. Riccardi doesn’t want to touch the back part of the 10 acres because it’s fully treed and there’s no material
there to mine. Mr. Hanvey restated that Mr. Riccardi said there’s no material to mine on the 10-acre parcel. Mr. Riccardi
said that’s correct. Mr. Riccardi referred to the different elevations on the aerial photograph. Mr. Hanvey asked the
elevation of the gravel pit in
Sanitorium is 915’, 925’ at the entrance, and 1055’ at the water tower, and the walkout of the house is 1045’, then it
drops off to 945’.
Call to the Public
Mr. Hanvey said probably, according to the definition of mining. Mr. Manson asked if there is a mining permit.
Mr. Hanvey said no, not with the township. Mr. Manson asked if they need to have a township mining permit?
Hanvey asked the township attorney,
non-conforming use. Under the zoning ordinance, as a non-conforming use, it’s allowed to continue, but there are
certain legal restrictions that deal with whether or not an expansion is allowed. Mr. Kehoe said they are probably getting
real close to what could be considered an expansion. Mr. Kehoe has discussed this issue with the township officials
and Mr. Riccardi to find out where he’s headed with this project. If the operation expands, then under the ordinance, they
have to comply with the ordinance. Mr. Manson stated that the property was split within the last eight months and given
two tax code numbers. Mr. Kehoe confirmed that a split was done. Mr. Manson said that made the property more
non-conforming. Mr. Kehoe said not necessarily; at the time the gravel pit began, there was no size limit for an excavation
operation. The use itself is not non-conforming because of the size of the parcel; the use of the property is non-conforming
from the standpoint that the ordinance went into effect and had some restrictions, and one of them was that you had to
have a permit. Because of the fact that they were already operating before the ordinance required a permit, that’s what
makes them non-conforming. The split of the property and the reduction in size doesn’t necessarily mean that the
operation itself is in violation of the ordinance. The question is going to be, and where the violation questions are going
to arise, are more in regard to what direction they head, how does the expansion occur, and those types of things.
Merely the fact that the size changed doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a violation. Mr. Manson said the ordinance also
says if it’s already existing non-conforming, you can’t make the area or the size bigger. Mr. Kehoe said correct.
Mr. Manson asked if they aren’t, every time they take out one foot of dirt, making the area bigger? Mr. Kehoe said yes,
but on the other hand, that’s the basic operation of a gravel pit. Mr. Manson asked if that is why the ordinance reads
non-conforming use of land. Mr. Kehoe said the basic premise of a gravel pit is to remove material. Mr. Manson asked
if that’s why use of land is in the ordinance. Mr. Kehoe said he doesn’t believe that’s what it means. He believes it
means the overall scope of the operation being enlarged. They are very close to being in that position. Mr. Kehoe said
he has provided the township with advice, and this is going into an area that’s covered by attorney/client privilege.
Mr. Manson asked if anything in the ordinance allows it to be made greater. Mr. Manson said they’re closer to the road
than 150’. Mr. Hanvey said that’s not the only thing that doesn’t conform to the ordinance; there’s a multitude of things
that don’t conform. The issue for the township is to decide what triggers them to become subject to the current ordinance.
When that happens, then the whole ordinance falls into play, i.e., fencing, restoration plan, etc. Mr. Manson asked
whether they need the 10 acres to reclamate. Mr. Hanvey said they haven’t filed an official reclamation plan. Based on
their visual observation, they are suggesting that the most reasonable way to get the site to a residential-type application
would be to take some soil from the 10-acre parcel and move it onto what used to be the gravel pit in order to provide a
slope that will go, not from the top of the existing hill, but from the elevation at the valley at the back on the south side
of the house. Mr. Manson said doesn’t that mean there’s not enough dirt there. Mr. Hanvey said he believes that’s
correct. Mr. Manson said doesn’t that mean the gravel pit’s out of dirt, there’s not enough dirt to fix the problem; if they
do have to abide by the ordinance, the slope required is . Mr. Hanvey said correct. Mr. Manson said he doesn’t
believe that land was originally there. Mr. Hanvey said if they have a 100’ rise, they need to go out 1000’. That math is
challenging if they try to restore it from the peak of the existing ridge. Mr. Manson said again that there’s not enough
dirt there. Mr. Hanvey said that would be a reasonable statement. Mr. Manson asked why are they still digging?
Mr. Hanvey said because it’s a gravel operation, and it’s his belief that they’re not operating under the 2000 mining
ordinance, but the 1977 version. That’s one of the issues that need to be decided. Mr. Manson said splitting the parcel
should have caused that to happen. Mr. Hanvey said that is one of the issues that have been discussed with the attorney.
Mr. Manson asked how long it would take to figure it out. Mr. Kehoe said his concern in regard to claiming that merely
the change in size from 20 acres to 16 acres is whether or not that automatically means they’re in violation of the
ordinance, because of the fact that they were in operation before there was a requirement for the pit to be a minimum
size. The 3+ acres taken from the 20-acre parcel was not part of the mining operation. Mr. Kehoe would like to focus
on all of the violations, not just the size. Mr. Manson pointed out that Section 19.03 of the ordinance deals with the
issue of size. Mr. Kehoe said taking dirt out doesn’t necessarily mean an enlargement, because that’s the nature of a
gravel operation. Mr. Manson said if they’re at 148’ today, and the mining ordinance says you can only go to 150’, and
they move to 147’, would that make them more non-conforming by moving one foot closer? Mr. Kehoe said no, he doesn’t
believe they can. Mr. Hanvey said they are clearly beyond 150’. Mr. Manson asked Mr. Kehoe if they could keep moving
closer? Mr. Kehoe said no, he doesn’t think they can. Mr. Manson asked if you could keep taking dirt out?
Mr. Hanvey said he believes it goes back to the question of the nature of a gravel operation. Mr. Hanvey asked if everyone
change their focus and provide suggestions for how the parcel should look in
think they do. However, if they continue in the fashion that he believes they’re going to, then they probably will need one.
Mr. Manson asked if they are removing material from the property, then they would need a mining permit, correct?
Kehoe said if they start to expand the operation, then yes, they need a
Brian Manson asked for the definition of “expand.” Mr. Kehoe said if they are moving beyond the 150’, then he believes
that is an expansion. Mr. Hanvey said another way to look at it is they’re removing more material than has historically
been moved over the last four or
five years, that would also constitute an expansion.
John Manson said in the mining ordinance, the township is responsible for yearly reviews, and it’s his understanding that
the township hasn’t done that. Mr. Hanvey said it hasn’t been done with this site. Mr. Manson asked if there are plans to
do that in the future. Mr. Hanvey said if it’s determined that they are subject to the ordinance, it certainly will be done.
Mr. Manson asked how long before a determination is made? Mr. Hanvey said it’s only been a week or two since the
township has been discussing this with the new operators. Mr. Manson said he came to the township over a month ago.
Mr. Manson asked when the township is going to stop and make the determination, or are we going to keep dragging our
heels? Mr. Hanvey said sometime in the next couple of days something should be done, possibly Monday or Tuesday, as
soon as the appropriate course of action is decided. Mr. Manson asked Mr. Hanvey what makes him think they’re not
mining there? Mr. Hanvey said that no one says they’re not. Mr. Manson said they’re clearly past the 150’ marker.
Mr. Hanvey said yes. Mr. Manson said once you’re past the 150’ marker, you’re done. Mr. Hanvey said the township is
looking at an interpretation of that. Mr. Manson said it’s time to stop and decide what’s going to be done with the property.
He’s not against them doing something with it. Mr. Hanvey said if it’s determined that they’re subject to the ordinance,
then everything else kicks in as well. Mr. Manson said there’s not enough land there, and previously Mr. Hanvey said they
were going to use the 10 acres to reclamate the property. Mr. Manson believes they can’t do that because of the mining
ordinance because that’s a separate parcel. Mr. Hanvey said they also couldn’t because of the deed restrictions. If they
have to use the 10 acres to reclamate, that means there’s no more dirt there, yet trucks continue to go out. Mr. Manson
stated that Mr. Hanvey said he only saw one truck leaving. Mr. Hanvey said on the two days he was there, he saw a total
of one truck. Mr. Manson asked if that truck has to come back to reclamate that property? Mr. Hanvey said from the
elevation at the top of the hill, it would require bringing material in. If they are to the point where they can present a plan
that would be acceptable to the owners of the property around them, that would allow reclamation and produce a residential
application of the land, he believes that’s a reasonable approach. Mr. Manson said they still need a mining permit for the
10 acres. Mr. Hanvey said that’s a different issue. Mr. Manson said the minute they want to push more than 1000 yards
off of the hill, they will need a mining permit. Mr. Hanvey said if it doesn’t leave the site, it’s considered land balancing.
Mr. Manson said he believes the ordinance says “from that parcel.” Mr. Hanvey said correct, if it’s leaving the site, it’s
mining. Mr. Manson asked if a determination would be made by Monday. Mr. Kehoe said that would be reasonable.
Mr. Manson asked the name of the company buying the gravel pit. Mr. Riccardi said the name of the company is
Northern Materials. He also asked if anyone present knows how to process sand and gravel. Mr. Hanvey said he didn’t
believe that’s an issue. Mr. Manson asked for the name of the company on the purchase agreement. Mr. Riccardi
repeated that it’s Northern
Art Mohr, 3012 Sanitorium: Mr. Mohr pointed out a couple of things he believes are material. He is a businessman.
just heard that the operator of the pit is Northern Materials, Inc., Glen
Mr. Riccardi said that’s his partner. Mr. Mohr continued that Mr. Caverly is the registered owner of the property with
shares, but there’s no notice of how well the company is capitalized.
The company was incorporated on
July 27, 2004 . You’re speaking about a corporation doing all this reclamation while at the moment there is a question by
the neighbors about the damage being done to the property and the capability of the people now working on this property
being able to restore this property if, in fact, on Monday, the township decides they are in violation of some ordinance.
This company has no assets on file. It’s only 90 days old. You are allowing them to operate the property. He questions
that without some type of bond posted with the township that demonstrates an amount equal to the total restoration cost,
that a shell corporation that is doing this operation any longer from tomorrow morning on should be suspect. There’s
nothing to protect the neighbors in the area. This is a road that has not seen a truck except for the building of the water
tower. These trucks have been working on this property, they’ve been hauling down the trees at the top of slope. If they
never appear tomorrow morning, no one is responsible for cleaning the property up. Mr. Mohr talked with several of the
at the site, and without question, they’ve said they’re going to mine
all 10 acres. Along
where there’s been a shelter of trees, the trucks are sitting and idling with diesel engines all day long, and they’re cutting a
roadbed through the woods. They’ve already said they’re going to cut down the trees along the road, and now the
residents have full visibility of the gravel pit. At least Joe Trierweiler put up a berm, which the employees of Northern
Materials say they’re going to take down. Mr. Mohr said the quality of life he would like in five years is a responsible board
operating this township, that recognizes that when you have a company that’s three months old that has no affiliation with
any other corporation, which is operating the vehicles and the mine with equipment owned by San Marino Excavating, with
Joseph Riccardi listed as the registered person, at 7676 Rushton Road in Brighton, which was incorporated in 2001.
There’s a total of less than six years of operating history on this company that the township is allowing to go in and
deface the property. The proper thing for the township board to do is immediately stop all action on the site, to require that
it be surveyed clearly so that all of the neighbors can see the markings where the 10 acres in the back are separated from
the front. This township sees that it takes no more lateral movement, and no more trees removed until the legal matter is
handled because all of the things that came before Mr. Trierweiler died were grandfathered in. This operation is operating
under an option to purchase the property. This company is a brand-new entity. The minute this company started to
operate the pit under Northern Materials name, it should now be in conformance with 2004 laws. For the attorney not to
know this is despicable. All of these questions about this mine…Steve Wilson, 517-241-1542, is responsible for all mining
operations at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. All of these questions that the attorney can’t answer
were readily answered by Mr. Wilson on the phone. There is no state legislation related to mined sand and gravel.
According to Mr. Wilson, the only thing the state has legislation over is mining sand dunes and iron. All of the rest is a
local township zoning issue. Mr. Wilson’s comments included that the mining operation should be as responsible as
possible to the adjacent property owners, making the least possible intrusion on neighborhoods and quality of life for the
neighboring property owners. Fencing might be provided. A reasonable way to handle it would be to put berms and trees
along the property to block the view of the mining operation as best as possible. This operator is defiant with the neighbors,
thinking only about how quickly he can extract whatever financial benefit he can from the land, he has absolutely no
financial interest beyond the day-to-day operations. Mr. Mohr believes it’s the responsibility of the township board to
immediately cease those operations until a proper plan is put forward by a responsible property developer, and then come
back to the board. All of this is a legal moot issue anyway according to all of the attorneys that Mr. Mohr spoke with,
the township attorney.
Vicki Huberschmidt, 2960 Sanitorium: Ms. Huberschmidt lives directly across from where the new “road” is and where
they’re cutting the trees. Last week, the fire department was there. Two days later, there’s more smoke coming out
A truck sat running in front of her home all day Saturday.
cutting down trees next to the road, he was curious why they suggested that he talk with Mr. Lowe about it. Why is a
board member discussing those things with employees...is something going on? Mr. Hanvey said Dan Lowe was there on
Saturday, and then he asked Jack Lowe to explain what took place on Saturday. Jack Lowe said they received
complaint/question about the tree removal on top of the hill. Dan Lowe was asked to come take a look at what was going
on. The employee actually called the owner while Dan Lowe was there, and that’s why the employee said that Dan should
know what’s going on. Mr. Hoover said the employees said it was approved by Dan Lowe to continue cutting the trees.
Lowe and Bob Hanvey both said absolutely not.
Paul Damon, 2992 Jewell: Mr. Damon asked Mr. Hanvey whether it was true that he had a meeting with the attorney,
other board members, and the bank. Mr. Hanvey said that was not true. There was a meeting at the attorney’s office a
ago, prior to
Mr. Hanvey. Their questions at that point were what were some possible applications that the parcel could be used for.
Hanvey told them a residential parcel.
could be excavated. He thought he’d be lucky to get another season out of it. Mr. Riccardi says he has another 3-5 years.
is he planning on doing for 3-5 years?
for assistance with controlling the dust. On Saturday, July 24, with the wind coming from the north, his property was
engulfed with a constant cloud of
dust. It’s an unhealthy
Michele Scott, 2992 Sanitorium: Ms. Scott said they just moved in July 16. Her comment is as an unbiased observer.
Trees are coming down along the road. Mr. Mohr spoke very eloquently and with common sense. To attract more
residents to the area, the board should put a halt to this until it’s been decided what to do. As an accountant for a
manufacturing company, if Northern Materials has only been a corporation since July 2004, that’s a red flag. He definitely
put up a bond.
John Manson: Would it be reasonable to stop work until a bond is received? Mr. Hanvey said if a judge can determine
they are subject to the ordinance, then a bond is required, as well as the fencing, the reclamation, the setbacks, etc.
Mr. Manson asked what steps have been taken to determine if the ordinance applies? Mr. Hanvey said the township is
evaluating the situation. Mr. Manson said it only takes a couple of hours to see what they’re doing. Mr. Kehoe said that
one of things that need to be looked at is some historical perspective on what the nature of the use was. Mr. Manson
asked again what steps have been taken? Mr. Kehoe said he’s made recommendations to the township board.
Mr. Manson asked what the recommendations are? Mr. Kehoe said based on what he’s been hearing, he believes they’re
to the ordinance.
Art Mohr: Mr. Mohr said it’s the responsibility of the board to give an answer tonight about whether that mine operates
tomorrow. He’s repeatedly heard that the township is waiting for a judge to decide. However, there is no issue before a
judge. Mr. Mohr suggested that everyone call the EPA about the dust issue, which there is a state law about; on the
issues, Mr. Mohr volunteered to drive to
mine can operate until a bond is put in place or what legal determination is made. It is not correct for this municipal
government to allow this to continue when the tax-paying citizens are sitting right in front of you. You have a responsibility
stop the mining operation until this is clarified.
operation of the pit, and they contacted Mr. Trierweiler. The hours were reduced. Now, they are currently starting at
Some type of hours of operation should be included because it’s a
Joe Riccardi: Mr. Riccardi wanted to clarify some items. Hours of operation are , Monday through
Friday, on Saturday. The newly formed corporation was to combine two good-standing corporations.
Mr. Riccardi asked if there is a tree ordinance in the township? Mr. Hanvey said no. Mr. Riccardi said a performance bond
probably isn’t a bad idea—he can look at that option. There’s no groundwater there—it’s from a well. There’s no Sunday
Brian Manson: Mr. Manson asked if the township could make sure they don’t keep moving out, and make the decision
fixed now. There were some start-up failures, but most bugs have been worked out. They have a calcium tank with water,
he’ll take care of it.
Brian Manson: Mr. Manson asked Mr. Riccardi if he thinks he can get the slope on the hill? Mr. Riccardi said yes.
Three to five years is the total development time.
regarding the operation. Because it’s such a volatile issue, the lack of introduction to the neighbors has caused an
emotional backlash. If there are litigious problems facing the township, discretion requires us to stop all of this and
come up with a reasonable timetable. It behooves the township to not further the problem. The only way you’re going to
from furthering the problem is to stop the problem.
Mr. Karon said he hopes the board has the authority to do that.
Paul Damon: Mr. Damon asked Mr. Riccardi if he would be willing to stop for 48 hours or 72 hours. Mr. Riccardi said
he can’t answer that because Glen Caverly isn’t present. Mr. Riccardi said he understands everyone’s issues.
The bottom line is they want the gravel pit gone, the equipment out of there, and a small community, and that’s what he’s
John Manson: Mr. Manson said the biggest issue is does the ordinance apply. This person may or may not operate
there. The smart thing would be to stop and find out if the ordinance applies first. Mr. Hanvey asked Mr. Riccardi if he is
willing to voluntarily comply with the ordinance. Mr. Riccardi said he couldn’t legally answer that. Mr. Manson said the
supervisor of the township could stop it. Mr. Hanvey said that would be one way to test to the ordinance. Mr. Hanvey
said if the township issues a stop work order, and they lose, then they can do whatever they want. The best course of
events would be for everyone to end
up with what they want without going to court.
Jack Lowe, Chairman of
with the individuals running the pit, their attorney, the township attorney, and two of the township officials. In essence,
these same discussions were held:
reclamation plan, performance bond, hours of operation, dust control,
related back to the new ordinance. The two items that Mr. Lowe presented as primary issues were 1) to immediately get
a boundary survey placed along the 10 acres as soon as possible. In the interim, they were to touch nothing on top of the
hill as far as trees, nothing as far as dirt removal that affected the bank—they could within the pit until these items were
brought to the township. Mr. Lowe said the agreement was they could clean up dead trees. Mr. Lowe said at the time
there was no problem taking out stuff that was already down—do no touch any of the trees on top of the hill. Mr. Lowe
asked Mr. Riccardi if there wasn’t an agreement to not touch trees on top of the hill? Mr. Riccardi said they specifically
said they were going to take trees down from the top of the hill, 80% were dead and lying on the ground. Mr. Riccardi
restated that there’s no tree ordinance. Mr. Lowe again asked, “did you or did you not tell me that you were not going
to take down trees other than what was dead up on the top. If there were some incidental trees to come down to get
the dead trees out, that was the extent of what was to be done up there until you got back with us and established a
line.” Mr. Lowe said the next thing he knows, he gets a call Friday and Mr. Riccardi has started on the boundary line
a downward slope from
greenbelt area along
were no trees removed from the edge of
two-track trail in there since he looked at the property. The audience strongly disagreed. Mr. Lowe said there were
several people in the room who heard the agreement. This throws a great deal of doubt on the voracity of what
Mr. Riccardi is saying. John Manson asked Mr. Lowe if he thinks Mr. Riccardi isn’t going to do what he says. Mr. Lowe
said he has concerns. Mr. Lowe asked for Mr. Riccardi’s word that he won’t go up there and finish the process between
now and Monday, as a goodwill gesture. Mr. Riccardi said from now until Monday, he would not remove the trees.
on the ground is going to be burned. Mr.
Riccardi said he’s been in touch with the surveyors.
Manson said again the township needs to get a bond to make sure it’s done.
Art Mohr: Mr. Mohr said he’s very uncomfortable to sit before the board and hear threats of litigation against the
township. Why is the township board in such a defensive situation on this? Mr. Mohr said he hasn’t heard one proactive
situation on behalf of the citizens of the township. The township attorney should be able to tell us what our litigation
responsibilities would be so we can make that determination. Mr. Mohr said he cannot in his wildest dreams believe that
what the board is being asked to make a decision about is anything more than pure procrastination because none of this
sets the township up. Mr. Mohr said it’s being operated by a new entity and therefore they must comply. Mr. Hanvey
said the ordinance doesn’t say that. The ordinance says the use is independent of the person performing the operation.
John Manson asked what the township has to lose by challenging it. Mr. Hanvey said allowing them to do whatever they
Mr. Riccardi said if he can’t develop the property, then it’s not
Brian Manson: Mr. Manson asked if the township has seen any plans for development? Mr. Hanvey said no. Mr. Mohr
asked what the amount of the bond would be? Mr. Hanvey said that would be determined by an engineer. Mr. Mohr said
Mr. Riccardi hasn’t agreed to post a bond, he’s said we can talk about it. Mr. Hanvey asked Phil Westmoreland, the
township engineer, to estimate a reasonable amount for restoration. Mr. Westmoreland said a rough estimate would be
$5 million. Mr. Hanvey asked Mr. Riccardi is he would be willing to post a bond for $5 million to complete the restoration
of the site. Mr. Riccardi said he couldn’t answer right now. Mr. Hanvey asked Mr. Riccardi if he could stop work until a
bond is posted. Mr. Riccardi said he would have to talk with the attorney for the estate. Mr. Hanvey said it seems
reasonable that Mr. Riccardi could post a bond that would expire in a year, and it could be re-evaluated after the
restoration plans are prepared. Mr. Riccardi says he doesn’t have a problem with a performance bond, but they have to
be able to keep working to pay for the bond. Secondly, he needs to get his attorney involved and come up with a number,
and then get a bond. It doesn’t happen in 24 hours. Mr. Hanvey said the alternative is to post a stop-work order and
talk to a judge. Mr. Hanvey said it would be to everyone’s advantage to come to some agreement. Mr. Riccardi said he
needs time to get a bond, and to talk with Glen Caverly, who is the president of Northern Materials. Mr. Hanvey said he
thought Mr. Riccardi was the president. Mr. Riccardi said a conversation on the bond amount should be held Monday
morning. Mr. Hanvey said there will be no operations between now and the time a bond is posted. Mr. Riccardi said his
attorney would be there at tomorrow morning to open back up. Mr. Riccardi asked Mr. Hanvey what his
definition of “operating” is. Mr. Hanvey said any activity whatsoever on the site. Mr. Riccardi said he’s in a bad situation,
without his attorney being present. This forum was supposed to be for Mr. Riccardi to introduce himself to the neighbors.
Art Mohr: Mr. Mohr pointed out to the township attorney that Mr. Riccardi presented himself as the president of Northern
Materials and the other corporation. He has just denied being the president. Also, he said in the very beginning that he
would not touch the 10 acres; then it went to little or no disturbance of the 10 acres; then it was we will not move the
10 acres; then it was they will have to take a little bit of it, but we don’t have intentions of touching much except the
northeastern corner. These inconsistencies should be reason enough that this man is in question about the continued
operation and his willingness to seek out the legal remedy to this situation. Mr. Hanvey asked the attorney if the bond
amount could be changed. Mr. Kehoe said the terms could be mutually amended. Mr. Hanvey asked the owners of
property that was originally part of the 138 acres who were present, if Mr. Riccardi presented an acceptable plan, but
that would require moving dirt off of the 10-acre parcel, would they be willing to allow that to happen? John Manson said
he would be willing if it was bonded and they presented a plan. Mr. Riccardi asked Mr. Kehoe if the township could
legally shut down a property owner who is continuing to mine the pit. Mr. Kehoe said under the circumstances, he
believes they can. John Manson confirmed that Mr. Kehoe was saying the township could put a stop-work order on the
property. Mr. Kehoe said yes. Mr. Hanvey asked Mr. Riccardi if he had an engineer picked out. Mr. Riccardi said
Garlock & Smith is the surveyor, and Desine, Inc. is the engineer. He said they haven’t put forth all of the engineering yet,
because they’re just getting the ball rolling. What the township is asking for tonight is something his attorney will handle.
Brian Manson: Mr. Manson asked Mr. Kehoe if he would be ready for Mr. Riccardi’s attorney tomorrow? Mr. Kehoe said
Susan Davidson: asked what exactly are they doing at the pit now? Are they mining, are they restoring, are they
bringing dirt in to separate and sell, because that’s what it sounds like. It’s so loud—there has never been the noise
volume there is now. Mr. Hanvey said they are running multiple plants and the previous operator never did. Mr. Riccardi
said to his knowledge, Mr. Trierweiler dry-screened material for the past 20 years. There is such an abundance of dirty
stone on the site now it is economically worth it to wash the stone that’s there and reclaim the land with the sand taken
off the stone. They have cleaned up the garbage, mobile home, old conveyors, trucks, trash, broken concrete, and debris.
Mr. Hanvey asked why they’re cutting down the trees on top of the hill. Mr. Riccardi said when material is processed to
through the wash plant, you need a 60/40 mix of sand and stone.
They need the sand to process the stone.
Art Mohr: The issues are very clear. The only reason Mr. Mohr is here is because Mr. Riccardi’s operation is defacing
the area by cutting down trees, making too much noise, putting dust in the air, and running a lot of trucks. The board’s
concern should have nothing to do with the further reclamation. Mr. Mohr would like to see professional conduct on the
part of the elected board members to stop the operation until Mr. Riccardi’s operation is in compliance with the current
laws that prevail.
Jim Hoover: Mr. Hoover asked Mr. Kehoe if the township would have any liability for the trucks if there were to be an
accident. Mr. Kehoe said he doesn’t believe so. Mr. Hanvey said he disagrees with Mr. Mohr. He believes his objective
is to have the site restored to a position that makes it residential, the noise and the dust are gone. Mr. Hanvey asked
Mr. Westmoreland about the time frame for a grading plan.
Mr. Westmoreland said between 30-60 days.
Jack Lowe asked to have the motion include that the existing boundaries aren’t to be extended until the grading plan is
approved. Mr. Lowe said that provides incentive to get the grading plan more quickly. It should also include a statement
about substantial compliance with the 2004 mining ordinance. Mr. Hanvey asked which group would handle that,
the Planning Commission, the ZBA? Mr. Lowe asked Mr. Kehoe if the ZBA would be the appropriate group.
Mr. Kehoe said that would be one way. Another way would be through some type of consent agreement entered with the
court. Mr. Lowe
reiterated that a great deal of what went on tonight was self-created by Mr.
Myrna Schlittler motioned to issue a stop-work order until a $5 million bond is posted, provide a grading plan within 60
days, become compliant with the 2004 mining ordinance by complying with hours of operation, dust control, and safety
issues, and mining on the banks will not be extended.
Sue Lingle seconded. Roll
Bob Hanvey, Myrna Schlittler—all yes.
Motion carried 4-0.
Mr. Hanvey directed the zoning administrator to put a stop-work order on the sign at the site, and provide Mr. Riccardi
with a copy.
Motion carried 4-0.
(Adjourned for break; resumed
CALL TO PUBLIC
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Ways & Means Meeting,