In Stop the Ongoing Mine Permit v. Town of Ashford Board of Appeals (2018AP1843), the Court of Appeals District II upheld a conditional use permit for a sand mine in the Town of Ashford.
The Town of Ashford issued a conditional use permit for Batzler Trucking, Inc. to operate a sand mine in the town. Stop the Ongoing Mine Permit (STOMP), a group of nearby property owners opposed to the sand mine, challenged the permit, arguing the mine violates an Ashford zoning ordinance requiring conditional use permits 1) will not be detrimental to the enjoyment of adjacent properties and 2) are compatible with adjacent existing uses.
The appeals court held that there was sufficient evidence to support the town’s decision to issue the permit. The town issued the permit with several conditions mitigating detrimental effects to residential neighbors of the mine, such as limiting the time frame for operation of the mine, not allowing blasting at the site, and requiring trucks to exit the pit in a direction away from residents. Furthermore, operation of the sand mine is compatible with use of adjacent land for farming, and the conditions of the permit require the land to ultimately be returned to agricultural use. Because STOMP did not meet its burden to overcome the presumption that the town’s decision to issue the permit was correct, the court allowed sand mine operations to proceed.