Magruder Limestone, Inc. has cleared the first hurdle in the process of obtaining a conditional use permit to operate a temporary asphalt plant on the Westside for the latter half of 2013.
On Monday night, the Sunrise Beach Planning Commission voted to recommend Dean McDonald's application for a CUP that would allow Magruder to operate the plant at the company's quarry in the village. The motion that was approved also included a few recommended stipulations on the conditional use permit.
"We tried to look at this with all the evidence and caveats and do the best we can for all concerned," Commission chairman Don Huschle said.
The stipulations in the motion included usage of proper traffic warnings at the project and at the quarry where truck traffic will increase, more specific operational times and asphalting the entrance to the quarry to cut down on dust. The commission also recommended that the permit only include the job listed on the application, which is the MoDOT contract, and not any others whether they are government or private work.
Four of the five members present voted for the motion. The fifth member, Curt Mooney, abstained. The Sunrise Beach Board of Trustees Chairman said he would save his vote for the final decision at the trustee level.
The proposed plant would be located in the interior of the quarry located at 12729 N. State Hwy. 5. It is hoped by some of the commissioners that this location in the hole of the quarry will buffer noise from nearby residences.
An asphalt plant previously operated at the site by a different company was located at the top of the hill near the highway. Several noise and odor complaints were lodged against the operation by residents in the area.
"I know some residents are not happy, and I apologize. We've studied this very hard. It was a hard decision and I hope you understand," Huschle said to residents after the vote.
Commissioners grilled McDonald with more questions after continuing last month's hearing to their Feb. 4 meeting to further research the proposal.
Checking into reference projects cited by McDonald at the January hearing, the company's vice president was asked for an explanation of a less than stellar review from Franklin County P&Z. A letter from the county stated they had done additional work to what was on their application and that there had been some complaints.
According to McDonald, the additional work was a misunderstanding. He said the company thought they were allowed to do any public jobs during the specified time period of the permit, just not private jobs.
After it was brought to their attention, McDonald said they applied for the other government jobs they had taken on and were permitted to proceed after paying a fine.
McDonald said he only heard two complaints during the company's operations in Franklin County. One was about their light shining into a home. The other was regarding dust at the entrance of the plant. Both were taken care of immediately, he said.
McDonald added that it would almost be impossible to operate something like an asphalt plant and never get at least one complaint.
Commissioners also quizzed McDonald about the level of noise in comparison to the current level with quarry operations, whether there was an alternative site, hours of operation, other jobs they might have in the area and traffic concerns.
According to McDonald, the noise should be comparable to the current level, and there is no alternative site for the plant.
The hours of operations were harder to specify due to the complicated nature of their contract with MoDOT. The state agency strictly regulates operations to avoid traffic issues and hazards. If traffic is backed up past signage, operations would be shut down for the day, McDonald said, and certain portions of the project are not allowed to be done on the weekend or during the day.
Magruder has 258 calendar days to complete the contract, according to McDonald. Not all of those are paving days. That includes excavation and other dirt work that is part of the project.
McDonald said the company was also clear on limiting its operations at the plant to this one contract.
The company will be doing asphalt work at the new Woods Supermarket in Sunrise Beach. That asphalt will be brought in from a plant outside the area, McDonald said.
Another potential project - paving Gold Cove Lane behind the quarry for Camden County - would also not be included in the Sunrise Beach CUP, he said.
The CUP application did not include these projects because the company had not yet contracted to do the work at the time the paperwork was filed.
Magruder is seeking the permit after being awarded a construction bid from the Missouri Department of Transportation to resurface nearly 28 miles of Hwy. 5 from the Sunrise Beach area north to Versailles and about three miles of Route 54 in Camden County. The contract also includes adding four foot paved shoulders to Hwy. 5 in the resurfacing area where they are currently lacking shoulders.
During the Feb. 4 meeting, Commissioner Kent Morris said he was leaning toward approval of the CUP due to the improvements that the MoDOT project would bring, calling it "short term inconvenience for an improvement."
The CUP case should be on the agenda for the village trustees at their Feb. 11 meeting. A decision could be made by the board at the Monday evening meeting.
Editor's Note: This story originally reported that the Sunrise Beach Board of Trustees must also hold a public hearing on the CUP application. A public hearing is not required by law at the trustee level. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.