BELGRADE — Chris Hildebrant and hundreds of other Belgrade residents feel a cautious sense of optimism going into the Belgrade City Council meeting.
On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, the City Council will host a public hearing and decide an interim zoning ordinance for properties within a mile of Belgrade city limits.
“The area where we’re talking about has no zoning right now. Which is the case in a lot of the county outside of the municipal zoning,” said Jason Karp, Planning Director with the City of Belgrade.
Riverside Contracting has proposed the construction of a gravel pit east of Collins Road and south of Weaver Road just outside city limits.
Residents in nearby neighborhoods oppose it for a number of reasons.
“Some of these include effects to our water, whether it’s water quality or quantity, we are all dependent on groundwater wells for our drinking water out here,” said Hildebrandt, President Mission Park HOA.
“Air quality is a huge potential impact. Silica dust and other harmful contaminants are potential with a gravel pit operation.”
Not to mention the additional truck traffic associated with a gravel pit, and some concerns about a project taking place just downwind.
“So back in the distance you see a crane that is the construction of the new elementary school for Belgrade,” said Hildebrandt.
Hundreds of residents have signed a petition opposing the gravel pit, and have testified in front of the city and county.
They say an interim zoning designation is the best way to protect the interest of citizens and Belgrade’s growth plan.
“It’s sort of a way to impose a six month time out on the property, and that six months can be extended in a procedure as well,” said Karp.
MTN News reached out to Riverside Contracting for a comment, but they did not respond in time for broadcast.
The Belgrade City Council will meet tomorrow night at 7 pm at the Belgrade High School Auditorium.
Social distancing measures will be in play, and attendees are encouraged to wear a mask.
There will be masks and hand sanitizers at the meeting for anyone who wants to use them.