Residents petition to block proposed sand mine in Broken Arrow

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 09/10/2019, 10:06 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(BROKEN ARROW, Okla.) A new sand mine is in the works for Broken Arrow, but not everybody is happy about it. The proposed site is 200 acres located at the southwest corner of East 141st Street (Yazoo) and South 129th East Avenue (Olive). The application to rezone the area for sand mining was filed on August 15. Documents filed in the proposal state about 80 residences are located within a one-mile radius. A petition to the Board of Adjustment County of Tulsa opposing the facility had more than 500 signatures on Tuesday.      In its 37-page proposal, Holliday Sand and Gravel of Lenexa, Kansas, said a sand mine is an appropriate use of the land because it is in a floodplain and near a sewage plant, and located near future site developments. Representatives for the company said the construction demand for sand to make concrete is outpacing supply, and with current sand deposits and sites being all mined out, new mines must start operating to prevent a shortage. The application proposed 27 acres of lake would be created on the property providing flood retention and a conservation/habitat reserve, and once mining is completed, the sand pit will be a 127-acre lake approximately 10 feet in depth, similar to the existing 52-acre lake located just west of the site. Sand slurry will be transferred west via pipeline. Hundreds of residents have since voiced their concerns. Their primary issues are the safety of children who live and play nearby, commute times, damage to roads, the impact on local wildlife, and a history of flooding in the area. Regarding safety and traffic concerns, the company said it plans to reduce early morning truck noise by not allowing trucks to arrive before they open, or load outside normal business hours. If approved, the sand mine would operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays if needed during the peak construction season. Holliday Sand and Gravel said they will use engine silencers, noise barriers, strobe backup alarms (when dark), and other noise reduction techniques. They said they will also be enforcing a trucking route west of the plant on E. 141st Street South, onto South Garnett Road, to avoid the more densely populated neighborhoods adjacent to 129th East Avenue.   Regarding the flood threat, the company outlined numerous structural and operational steps to prevent problems, and stated a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan is being prepared to address the potential contaminates such as fuel and oil. But residents who live nearby said it is not enough. “This petition is not meant to be anti-business, but simply for the preservation of our communities, property values, and safety of our loved ones,” petition organizer Kyler Mehl said. “For those who may be unfamiliar with our wonderful communities, we have several picturesque residential areas dating back to the early 1900s. Some of the first neighborhoods developed for Broken Arrow and Bixby. We are fighting to keep the historic, peaceful setting and charm to our neighborhoods.” Mehl said the community was robbed back in 2013 when they allowed the first sand mine to operate in their neighborhood, and did not want to see it happen again. The company said the projected life of the operation is 8 to 12 years, though documents filed with the application said up to 30. A rezoning hearing is scheduled for September 17 at 1:30 p.m. at the County Admin Building, 500 South Denver Avenue, Tulsa, OK, Meeting Room 119. Click here for the Rezoning Plan: Click here for the petition:


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