Noblesville Board of Zoning Appeals approves Beaver Materials gravel pit proposal

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Noblesville-based Beaver Materials plans to extract sand, gravel and minerals from a 68-acre site near the Cherry Tree Meadows housing subdivision. (Image courtesy city of Noblesville)

The Noblesville Board of Zoning Appeals voted Monday night to approve a gravel pit project on the city’s south side that drew opposition from nearby residents.

The BZA voted 3-2 to approve a zoning variance that will allow Noblesville-based Beaver Materials to dig a pit and extract sand, gravel and minerals on about 68 acres of farmland.

The property is northwest of the intersection of Cherry Tree Road and North 161st Street. It is north and west of the Cherry Tree Meadows subdivision, east of homes on properties varying from one to 10 acres, south of Spencer Farm and west of Hoosier Futbol Club.

A statement from the city said the proposal will not go before the Noblesville Plan Commission or City Council because it was a land-use variance. The BZA’s decision can be appealed to Hamilton Superior Court.

“The approved land use variance includes several conditions that have to be followed during excavation and transporting activities on the site, including a prohibition on blasting or the use of explosives, site watering to limit dust pollution, and timing limitations,” the city’s statement said.

The land use variance would allow Beaver to work at the excavation site and haul materials in trucks for 10 years. The facility would operate from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, according to documents filed with the city.

In August, a group of residents crafted a petition expressing their concerns about the project that included its potential impacts on property values, traffic, roads, drinking water, pollution, wildlife and noise. They also feared Beaver’s gravel pit proposal would encourage other companies to do work near neighborhoods.

The project was the second gravel pit plan proposed by Beaver to draw opposition since last year.

In June 2022, the Noblesville City Council voted to reject Beaver’s plan to dig a 50-acre gravel pit next to Potter’s Bridge Park near Allisonville Road and Cumberland Road.

Beaver previously withdrew a plan in 2020 to dig a gravel pit next to Potter’s Bridge Park following intense community pushback.

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7 thoughts on “Noblesville Board of Zoning Appeals approves Beaver Materials gravel pit proposal

  1. With a room full of 100 people or more, no member of the public was allowed to speak as the BZA Chairman had quierly closed the public comment time at the 9/5/23 mtg. Maybe that is allowed but there were many unhappy citizens who should be have been able to speak. The whole matter took less than 15 minutes, including the City’s attorneys instruction to the board, to be voted on. It felt like the citizens were ignored. You can’t even vote the BZA out of office as they are all appointed by the MAYOR. It clearly showed the BZA had their minds made up when they arrived. :Very disappointing!!!!!!!

  2. Sounds like a good candidate for judicial review to have the decision overturned or sent back for rehearing. Did they meet the requisite findings? I’d be surprised if they did.

  3. Not the first time the BZA has ignored the wishes of the public for political reasons. Last time I was at a BZA meeting the city attorney referred to the public in attendance as “the peanut gallery”. Our politicians at work, but not for the voters.

  4. Which is why I just about ignore politics and focus on what I CAN control. Although, I’m sure there’s a few decent politicians in the country. I’m not willing to stoop to, what is normally thought of, when a person thinks of a politician’s level.