Archive for Friday, October 19, 2012

Letter: Sand pit plan

October 19, 2012


To the editor:

I am concerned that there has not been more attention given to the proposal from Penny’s Concrete to destroy nearly a square mile of fertile Kaw Valley farmland between Lawrence and Eudora to strip-mine sand for their concrete-making operations. The request for a conditional use permit for a sand pit operation comes before the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission on Monday, and the only media reports that have been done are a couple of short articles on it published in the Journal-World.

The proposed 70-foot deep sand pit would be a half-mile wide, lying between East 1850 and East 1900 roads, and stretching north from North 1500 Road nearly a full mile to within 300 feet of the Kaw River. This would be a monumental change in the character and environment of the Kaw Bottoms, and would be a serious threat to the environment and agricultural production in the area.

The pit would eventually lead to major changes in the channel of the Kaw that would cause impacts upstream as far as Lawrence and downstream for miles. The pit could seriously degrade the quality of groundwater in the area as far as Eudora and beyond by opening up the groundwater table to pollution from agricultural runoff and airborne contaminates.

It is imperative that such a potentially devastating change in our area not slip in underneath the radar without the public knowing fully what is happening and what it means for all of us.


LivedinLawrence4Life 5 years, 6 months ago

We need local sand for many things such as concrete. Each of our homes required concrete for at least the foundation and perhaps the driveway and patio. Penny's is a good local grown company. Let them build it so Lawrence doesn't have to buy sand from Missouri or Manhattan where MCM is based. There is plenty of great farmland available elsewhere. If you want to control farmland, buy it and preserve it with your own money if you believe it to be that valuable.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

"There is plenty of great farmland available elsewhere."

No, there isn't.

tbaker 5 years, 6 months ago

The imapcts and "threats" you list are personal assumptions - not facts, not the findings of any professional examination of what is being proposed.

If you don't like the rulings issued by the Douglas County Planning Commission, you have a host of potential remedies. Vote for new commissioners. Hire a lawyer and bring a lawsuite to issue an injunction and stop the sand pit until your fears and concerns can be addressed. Form a picket line in front of Penney's concrete and exercise your right to free speech and assembly. Organize a boycott of the business. Rasie money and run adds in local media.

Or would you rather have some government official agree with your casual assesment and step in and arbitrarily deny someone their private property rights and due process under the law? I wonder.

You want more farm land? Seriously? How many acres are sitting out there right now whose owners are being paid by the government not to plant and raise a crop on? Theres your farmland.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

"If you don't like the rulings issued by the Douglas County Planning Commission......"

Or, he could write a letter to the editor, alerting others in the county of the destructive potential of this proposed mine.

"How many acres are sitting out there right now whose owners are being paid by the government not to plant and raise a crop on?"

Yes, we have some idiotic agricultural policies. That's hardly a good rationale for permanently destroying some of the best farmland on the planet, forever.

Brian Conrad 5 years, 6 months ago

very high content of sand is not the best farmland. actually very far from the best. takes 20 times more man made fertilizer and water than 1 mile south on walkie ground. soils change very fast in the bottom between Lawrence and Eudora. look at soil maps. almost straight sand , the first 500 yards from Kansas river to very heavy black dirt south of K 10. just another bozo that does not know. typical.. OK to flood very good black dirt farm land for wetlands / swamp..

Kerry Altenbernd 5 years, 6 months ago

These are not just opinions of mine. Several professional geologists, including Dr. Wakefield Dort, a professor emeritus at KU who has studied the Kaw River over his fifty-plus year career, and is the undisputed world expert on the Kaw River and its channel changes, has examined the issue and opposes the pit.

kansanbygrace 5 years, 6 months ago

The sand pit proposal seems very large and destructive. The bottomland is a considerable agricultural value that doesn't just exist in any piece of countryside.

This is also very near some neighbors and will permanently alter the nature of their homes and livelihoods.

Armstrong 5 years, 6 months ago

Get Bob Eye involved he can screw the process up for years, besides I hear he has a few less things to do now a days

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 5 years, 6 months ago

Some company is doing that on the road between us 24 & us 40, in jefferson county.

LivedinLawrence4Life 5 years, 6 months ago

For those who don't want to disturb "bottomlands" for sand, please tell the authorities where to find sand on land you deem appropriate for finding sand. Highlands?

It cost $ to truck in sand from outside the area so every construction project in town will have higher costs without local sand. Do we want to pay local people to work on this sand project or pay people from out of town to haul their sand here. When you get a bid to fix your sidewalk or driveway, ask the contractor how expensive it is to haul in their materials from out of town.

Like a previous post mentioned, many area landowners get paid to not grow crops on their land due to the abundance of crops and higher yields.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

There's a vote for immediate gratification and penny-wise (pun intended) pound-foolish sprawlimania.

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