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S. Elgin panel spurns quarry bid for longer hours

The South ElgVillage Board has turned down request by Lafarge Fox River Stone for extended above ground operating hours its

The South Elgin Village Board has turned down a request by Lafarge Fox River Stone for extended above ground operating hours at its quarry near Route 31 and McLean Boulevard, agreeing with nearby residents that the quarry causes too much noise and dust

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Updated: September 1, 2013 6:13AM

SOUTH ELGIN — The planning and zoning commission voted unanimously against a request by Lafarge Fox River Stone to extend the operating hours of its south-side quarry.

The 6-0 decision to not recommend approval by the village board of a special-use permit amendment for the quarry came after neighbors turned out to oppose the expanded hours.

Commissioners said they did not believe the request fit in with the neighborhood at Sterns Road and McLean Boulevard, and that it would have an adverse effect on nearby residents.

About 60 of those neighbors filled the South Elgin Village Board room to, for the most part, voice their opposition to the plan; they cited noise, dust, light spillage and blasting from the rock mining operations.

Currently, the outdoor rock sorting and crushing operations are limited to 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The company had asked to increase hours to 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Lafarge officials said the extended hours are needed to meet the demand for aggregate rock and other materials for ongoing road construction in the region. While Lafarge does not provide rock directly to the Illinois Department of Transportation, it does sell to the road builders that have those contracts, said Sean Hawley, vice president for Lafarge.

At the outset of Monday night’s special meeting — a continuation of the July 17 planning and zoning public hearing — Lafarge attorney Bruce Goldsmith noted an amendment to the request. Instead of asking for a permanent increase to outdoor operation hours, the request was amended to increase hours through the end of the current, 2013 construction season.

Lafarge also removed a request that in the future, the company could go straight to the village board to be granted extended hours, rather than through the planning and zoning process.

Lafarge officials spent much of their time during Monday’s hearing answering questions posed at the previous meeting, including what they could do to alleviate neighbors’ concerns.

However, Hawley said, the data the company gathered in the last eight days indicated the mining operation was well within the limits for noise and blasting operations.

While the noise, blasting, dust and lighting issues at the mining site might fall under regulatory caps, said neighbor Charles Slavik, “It is the aggregate, to use a phrase, that is the problem.”

“All of these inconveniences, individually, are no big deal. But all four in the aggregate are a big deal,” Slavik said.

Although the planning and zoning commission voted to not recommended the hour changes, the request still will go before the village board. To overturn the planning and zoning commission’s recommendation and approve the request, Lafarge would need a super majority of the village board to vote in favor, or five of the seven trustees.

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