PORTAGE TOWNSHIP - An agreement between the Portage Township Board of Trustees and the owners of the Valley View Quarry was tentatively approved by both parties Tuesday.
Bruce Petersen, Portage Township supervisor, said the 17-page document provides limits for such things as hours of operation, including six Saturdays during the business season, noise and dust control and what to do with the quarry once operations cease there.
"It will have remediation once the pit is closed," he said.
The Valley View Quarry is seen here in Octobe. Portage Township and the owners of the quarry have reached a tentative agreement in a zoning dispute. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette by Kurt Hauglie)
Petersen said the parties have agreed to the format of the agreement, but there are still some steps to be taken before it becomes official.
"It has yet to be signed by both parties," he said.
The agreement then must be approved and signed by Gogebic Circuit Court Judge Roy Gotham, who presided over a suit regarding the quarry, Petersen said.
In February 2011, the township and nearby property owners Victor and Emily Betterly and Kevin Grzelak filed lawsuits claiming the quarry was operating illegally because it was in an area zoned rural residential. That suit was decided in favor of the plaintiffs. Gogebic Circuit Court Judge Roy Gotham ordered the quarry to cease operations and for the owners of the quarry to begin the process to seek a special use permit. In July 2011, quarry owners, Thomas J. Moyle Jr. Inc., filed a lawsuit in federal court in Marquette asking for a temporary restraining order, or in the alternative a request for preliminary injunction against Portage Township be dismissed. The judge hearing that suit recommended it be dismissed.
Quarry owners did submit an application for a special use permit, but before that process went forward, the attorneys for the township and the quarry decided to work on a consent judgement, which has tentatively been agreed upon.
Regarding noise abatement, Petersen said one earthen berm will be constructed to block noise from the quarry and another berm will be constructed around the quarry generator, which will be moved to a wooded area on the site.
"It will deflect the sound," he said.
Andy Moyle, Moyle Companies president of real estate and development, said although the agreement isn't exactly what he would like, he's glad it's done.