Gravel mining special use request in Watson denied

The Watson Township Planning Commission has turned down a request for a special use permit from North Star Aggregates to gravel mine at a site on 12th Street.

Watson Township Supervisor Kevin Travis told his board colleagues Thursday night of the decision. The supervisor explained that North Star has acknowledged there could be serious consequences.

He added at the board’s September meeting, “It should be noted that the proposed gravel mine is for our only R-2 (residential) zoned property in the entire township” and it would be more beneficial to have a higher density of homes built on the property and a majority of local residents are opposed.

The site is near Big Lake and many nearby residents use 12th Street for commuting.

Travis also noted that North Star cannot take the decision to the Watson Zoning Board of Appeals and can only appeal to Allegan County Circuit Court.

In other business at Thursday night’s meeting, the Township Board:

  • Learned that the Hopkins and Martin fire departments continue to get a huge number of calls and there were four fatalities recently on the expressway not far from Watson Township.
  • Heard from County Commissioner Gale Dugan that Allegan County now is approaching a budget of $40 million.
  • Received a request for dropping off tires at cleanup events. Because the township does not participate in the county’s recycling program, it doesn’t have a way to handle tire disposal requests.

Treasurer Stephanie Caulder expressed support for somehow going to recycling, saying, “The sooner we get rid of that eyesore (binds at township hall), the better.”

Travis said he would check with the Allegan County Recycling program to explore options. Watson is the only township in the county without recycling.

  • Learned that the cost for two benches to honor former Trustee Chuck Andrysiak and former Library Board member Barb Wrobleski, both of whom recently died. The final cost was $2,111.85, more than what the board expected.

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