Settelmeyer gravel pit may soon be in operation |

Settelmeyer gravel pit may soon be in operation

by Merrie Leininger

A gravel pit owned by Arnold Settelmeyer may be in operation soon, due to a judge’s order that extended the permit for 15 years.

Settelmeyer said he was glad Judge David Gamble again approved the permit for gravel extraction and asphalt preparation.

Gamble is still deciding emissions standards and Settelmeyer is in negotiations with a construction company for lease of the pit.

Settelmeyer said he is happy with the requirements tacked onto the permit. He said the pit would have no problem conforming to any emissions standards Gamble sets.

“I think he is looking at national standards which are a little higher than Nevada’s,” Settelmeyer said. “But we are looking at using natural gas or propane, not heating oil as in the past, so the emissions won’t be as high as in the past.”

He said improvements have been made to the tree line that surrounds the pit south of town, located near the Lahontan Fish Hatchery.

“You can drive right by it now, you wouldn’t even see it. It won’t just be an ugly hole in the ground,” he said.

n Special use permit. The pit was first opened in the 1930s when Highway 395 was constructed.

In 1988, Settelmeyer sought a special use permit to use the gravel pit because the area is zoned residential, but the Board of County Commissioners, acting as the Board of Adjustment ended up with a tie. The board at the time was Michael Fischer, Barbara Cook, Jerry Bing, Bob Oswald and Bob Pruett. The tie resulted because Jerry Bing abstained.

The issue was brought to court for a decision, and Judge Gamble allowed a 10-year permit.

Normally there is no time limitation on the special use permits, but Gamble said because there was a lot of opposition to the gravel pit opening in 1988 from Ruhenstroth residents, he wanted to keep the business in check.

Again at this hearing, Gamble decided, against the request of both parties involved, to put a time restriction on it.

“I didn’t want it to go beyond the bounds of the permit, so I’d have a chance to review it again,” he said.

Gamble said there were not as many complaints from the public this time.

“Several people in court spoke in favor of it,” he said. “Two spoke in opposition, they were hoping for specific limitations such as time. I got one letter from a couple that has never liked it and wanted a lot more restrictions.”

Settelmeyer said he was happy with the support.

“I can’t complain. We were delighted with the support we got from Ruhenstroth residents and we will continue to be good neighbors,” he said.

The judge continued some limitations such as: the business can only operate from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and the pit can only remain in operation as long as there are native materials to mine.

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