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Town of Oak Grove files complaint against Land Management Committee

Town of Oak Grove asked the court to review a decision by Pierce County Land Management Committee.

According to the complaint, on July 13, 2012, Wisconsin Industrial Sand Company (acting as agent on parcels owned by Diamond Bluff Investments LLC, Holst Farms, William McCusker, MOAP LLC, WTW Properties, Steven Burmood, Helen Holst, William F. Holst III and William F. Holst IV) applied to the county for a conditional use permit.

The permit was approved by the committee on Aug. 1, 2013. The same day, the committee also approved WISC’s application for a conditional use permit on land owned by Big Acres Inc., William Holst III, Nancy Beeler and Leon and Donna Nesbitt.

The complaint says the Land Management Department’s staff report said the second application was for “expansion of the Diamond Bluff underground mine which was permitted by the (committee) in 2012.”

The report also said mining was not expected to start in the Town of Oak Grove for 10 years or more.

On April 21, Oak Grove recommended denial of the permit, pointing to three principles on which that recommendation was based: the goal of ensuring that a proposed use is compatible with surrounding uses, the objective of considering conditional use permits that will commence within a reasonable time and the policy of not recommending approval of conditional uses when the proposed use will not commence within a year of the permission to begin the use.

The complaint says that, despite the recommendation of the town, on May 21 the county committee approved the permit with an expiration date of two years and without giving the town the chance to comment or provide input.

The town says the committee didn’t follow proper legal procedures and asks for a court order invalidating or reversing the committee’s decision to approve the permit, or alternatively, an order sending the decision back to the committee for further consideration and the introduction of additional conditions.