Zoning Board to Rule May 4th on Buffalo Rock Barge Terminal

buffalo-rock-old-terminalThe La Salle County Zoning Board of Appeals will consider an application for a special use for riverfront property just east of Buffalo Rock State Park at its May 4th meeting in Ottawa. Northern White Sand, LLC has filed a petition to allow the construction of a “barge fleeting operation” for the “transloading and hauling of grain, sand, gravel or other non-hazardous granular material.” The property is currently zoned for agricultural use.

Background: Northern White Sand owns and, until recently, operated a sand mine north of the state park near Route 6. The mine was shut down in late March because of slowing demand for fracking sand. The company previously was granted permission to build a pipeline that would carry sand slurry from the mine to the barge loading terminal. Land owned by the county just upriver from the county nursing home was leased to the sand company.

Questions remain. Does the shutdown of the mine mean that the pipeline will not now be built? Even if granted permission to operate a barge terminal, will plans proceed? And if so, what would be the impact on the Buffalo Rock anchorage that boaters have enjoyed for decades?

The Times reported on an environmental group that is opposing the mining company’s petition. The article is here.

The matter will be heard by the county board following the hearing by the Zoning Board of Appeals. The meeting will be at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 401 W. Main St., Ottawa, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 4.

The full petition prepared by Northern White Sand is here:
NWS Zoning Application_ZBA-_5-4-16