Dakota Aggregates has submitted an application for a large-scale mining permit, officially kicking off the next chapter in the UMore story. The planning commission started examining the company's proposal with a work session on July 24.
The company hopes to begin phase 1 of its wet and dry mining in 2013 in an area off of Station Trail and County Road 46. City planner Eric Zweber said to begin the company will need to get an interim use permit for the entire 40-year project as well as an annual operation permit for the mining that would be done in 2013. Additionally, it is anticipated the company will request additional interim permits for some ancillary uses.
The July 24 work session was the first of four meetings the planning commission will take to review the lengthy proposal. During the meeting Zweber went through the proposal with the commission. Dave Hume, a geologist with Leggette, Bashears and Graham, also described a hydrogeologic study and water monitor plan that was conducted by Barr Engineering.
Zweber told the commission staff has not formed a recommendation yet and that they would provide feedback to the commission in August on how well the proposal meets the requirements of the city's new large-scale mining permit.
Zweber said he did not expect commissioners to have all their issues and concerns formed last week. He urged them to take time over the next month to review the plan and raise questions with city staff.
The commission will meet next Aug. 28. During the August meeting the commission will open a public hearing on the proposal, giving residents a chance to share their opinions.
After taking comment the commission will discuss the public feedback during a work session Sept. 11. The commission will reopen the public hearing at its Sept. 25 meeting.
At that meeting commissioners will decide whether to make a recommendation to the city council or request more information. The city council will review the application after the planning commission makes its recommendation.
The city isn't the only regulating body Dakota Aggregates will need to get the go ahead from. Dakota County and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will also review plans and have to give the go ahead before mining can begin.
In 2011, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents chose Dakota Aggregate to mine and run ancillary businesses on approximately 1,722 acres on the western edge of its UMore Park property in Rosemount and Empire Township. Underneath the UMore property lies 170 million tons of sand and gravel.
The mining will provide income for the creation of a planned residential community that could bring 20,000 to 30,000 people to the area. The sustainable community will integrate environmental, socio-cultural and economic opportunities with a specific focus on innovations in renewable energy, education and lifelong learning, health and wellness, the natural environment and regional economic development.