Residents not happy with Bing Pit decision | RecordCourier.com
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Residents not happy with Bing Pit decision

Christy Chalmers

A group of residents is considering appealing the Douglas County Planning Commission decision approving expansion of the Bing Materials pit.

Representatives of different Gardnerville Ranchos neighborhoods around the pit said Friday they were planning to meet and see if their concerns warrant an appeal of the decision.

The planners approved a request to expand the pit Tuesday, over the objections of a standing-room- only crowd. Many of those in attendance worried about impacts on water quality, dust and noise.

Dave D’Amico, a Chambers Field resident, said his chief concern is a final restoration plan for the pit. Though Bing submitted a plan in 1994, a security deposit ensuring the work will be done was never posted.

Bing representatives say they are planning a new restoration plan and that the approval granted Tuesday requires a deposit and includes other safeguards ensuring the work will be done.

D’Amico thinks the restoration plan doesn’t provide enough details on the process or the cost. The county plans to require a second opinion on the cost estimate and a security bond of 150 percent of the average between Bing’s estimate and the second estimate.

“I’ll be satisfied if there is an unbiased cost estimate done that reflects how complex this project is,” D’Amico said. “We just want to make sure that pit is eventually restored. (Restoration) is an enormous project, and if Mr. Bing was to drop it, this is a project on a magnitude the county has never, ever seen before.”

The appeal could also cite a potential conflict of interest for Planning Commissioner Devere Dressler. Dressler said during Tuesday’s meeting his family owns land that is the site of a materials pit, but he was told by the District Attorney’s office it didn’t constitute a conflict of interest in voting. He was one of the four planning commissioners to vote for granting the expansion request.

Under the expansion proposal, the pit boundary will move 300 feet to the north and northeast and up to 160 feet west. Currently, a 660-foot buffer zone separates nearby houses and the pit. That zone would shrink to 330 feet on the north side, 355 feet on the east side and as close to 369 feet on the west side.

Expanding the pit, in operation since 1971, could add 10 years to its life.