The Plan Commission on Thursday night unanimously agreed to
conduct an audit of a conditional use permit that was granted to
allow the operation in the 1960s and 1970s of a now-closed sand
and gravel pit.
“Because there have been reports that the restoration of the
property did not meet the standards of the CUP granted back
then, a village ordinance allows the Plan Commission to decide
if they should conduct an audit to determine if the required
restoration was completed,” Village Administrator Jim Healy
The commission agreed to conduct the audit during a public
hearing at the group’s meeting May 7.
The property, at 609 Scenic Road, is owned by Richard and Yvonne
Holz. They have agreed to lease the property to Scenic Pit LLC,
which is controlled by Danah Zoulek, to locate a solid waste
fill site which Zoulek claims will only allow “clean fill” and
no hazardous materials. Since Zoulek has been working with the
Holzes on leasing the site the village has changed the zoning on
the property which will no longer allow an operation like she is
During the arguments and testimony about the possible
restoration of the site to allow residential development, the
Holzes, Zoulek and her attorney have stated that the company
that mined the in the 1960s and 1970s, Wissota Sand and Gravel,
failed to live up to terms of the CUP they were granted to allow
mining operation. The CUP called for specific requirements for
the company to meet to properly restore the property.
Wissota Sand and Gravel President Chris Larson told the Daily
News that as far as he can determine “the pit was restored to
meet the requirements that were in place at that time.” Larson
was not at Thursday night’s meeting.
“The lease was terminated in 1977, however, to our discovery,
the restoration plan set forth in the CUP appears to not have
been enforced nor completed,” said Richard Holz, whose father
originally leased the property to the company.
Additionally, the village received an email from the legal
counsel representing Scenic Pit LLC stating Zoulek also did not
believe the site had been restored to the CUP’s specifications.
“The operator of the mine was subject to an agreement to reclaim
the mine so the resulting slopes were no greater than three feet
to one foot and properly landscaped,” said the attorney, Bruce
McIlnay. “The operator of this mine breached this agreement and
no unit of local government took action to enforce the
According to village ordinance, after the commission conducts
the audit and public hearing it could take action to rescind,
alter or reaffirm the CUP.
Terms of the CUP also called for the then “town board, plan
commission and the company to meet once a year to determine
whether there had been compliance with the permit and for the
planning of restoration for the coming year.”
The CUP also called for “all areas with respect to regrading and
resurfacing with top soil are to be done annually so there will
be a continual restoration of the area, except in the Holz
property where restoration shall not be required to start until
three years after exploitation has been commenced. Regraded
areas shall be restored with top soil to a depth of at least
four inches and reseeded and replanted with trees and shrubs.”
It will be up to the commission to decide if those requirements,
and others in the CUP, were carried out as directed.