OGDEN — Though a proposed gravel pit and concrete mix plant in the Eden area has sparked opposition from many, including the Ogden Valley Planning Commission, the debate isn’t over.
A second public hearing on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday, when the Weber County Commission, which has final say, is to take the proposal up for consideration. The hearing is to take place during the commissioners’ regular meeting that day, to start at 10 a.m. and be held at commission chambers at the Weber Center, 2380 Washington Blvd. in Ogden.
Kimbal Wheatley, who lives in the Ogden Valley and closely follows development issues in the area, said he and other critics plan to be on hand. He and many more attended the June 25 public hearing on the issue held by the Planning Commission, an advisory body to commissioners that ended up recommending against the rezone needed so the concrete plant plans can proceed.
“I’ll be surprised if the commission overturns that recommendation,” Wheatley said.
But backers of Minnesota-based Levanta’s proposal are also campaigning to get the word out about what the say are the benefits of the proposal.
Levanta filed the application in late May for the project, called Sustainable Valley Development, or Eden Ready Mix. Plans call for gravel excavation and a concrete mix-making operation on an undeveloped 14-acre plot abutting Snowcrest Junior High, located at 2755 N. Highway 162 in Eden. The developers need the property rezoned to allow for such a facility, hence the involvement of county officials.
Among the critics’ concerns is the impact such an operation would have on promoting the Eden area as a tourist destination and stronghold for outdoor enthusiasts. Others have expressed worries about the possible impact to groundwater if the plans proceed, noise and potential dangers to students at Snowcrest.
Rob Edwards, a Levanta representative, however, notes the need for locally manufactured concrete for planned development, notwithstanding the presence of other area manufacturers. The plans have been five years in the works, he said, and some of the critics’ concerns are exaggerated.
Producing concrete in the Ogden Valley would reduce the need to haul it in from the Ogden area, cutting truck traffic on area roads and reducing carbon emissions, a plus for the environment, Edwards said. He also noted the strict environmental regulations the entity would have to follow, tempering the possibility for water contamination, a concern for some. Floating dust would be minimal because of the damp environment where the operation would be located, he said, and noise would be minimal too, particularly given the presence of sound-blocking tree stands and berms.