Geneva Rock Withdraws Expansion Proposal; Draper Residents Still Angry
DRAPER, Utah – Hundreds packed Draper City Hall on Wednesday to speak out about the Geneva Rock expansion proposal that would increase the size of the gravel pit at the Point of the Mountain.
However, none of the neighbors who came to chime in got a chance to take the mic.
Geneva Rock Officials presented a new plan, and 30 minutes into the meeting, Draper City Mayor Troy Walker called a recess to speak with his legal counsel.
“I feel blindsided,” Walker told KSL 5 TV. “Geneva’s new proposal is so significantly different than the original application. It is not transparent. It wouldn’t have been fair to vote on it without proper research. I don’t think it is fair to the public. These residents gave up their time to be here at this meeting. They read about the proposal on our website. And then they came, and an entirely new idea was introduced.”
A changed proposal
Geneva Rock greatly cut its acre request. Originally, Geneva wanted 73 rezoning acres to allow mining. Wednesday night Dave Kallas, spokesperson for Geneva Rock, said the company now desires 18.5 acres.
Kallas also spoke of plans to reseed 22 acres to help reduce the overall exposed area. He also said the company plans to lower the mine because height is a concern for residents.
“Frankly, I believe they will offer whatever they think they can get away with,” Draper resident Chad Smith said. “No concession from the City Council is worth decreasing the property value, health and economic viability of this area for their company’s profit.”
There was a line of 100 people who couldn’t fit into the Council Chambers. They listened from the hall and lobby.
Adrian Dybwad was in that crowd.
“We sent out thousands of flyers to get people here tonight,” Dybwad said. “We are very upset this is even on the table. It is illegal mining; it’s all a scam.”
A new Geneva Rock application
After the mayor and council members returned to their seats, they said Geneva could either present its original application or start the application process over again.
Kallas then said he would withdraw the application and start over.
He told council members that Geneva officials listened to the concerns of residents and then compacted the request.
Dave Roberts, who also attended the meeting, shared a photo with KSL 5 TV. He said he and many others believe more mining will cause greater pollution and health concerns.
“I took this picture near 10400 South and State Street. The dust is already so thick. Our air quality is poor. This is a Salt Lake Valley issue and not a Draper City matter only,” Roberts said.
Many residents said they are not optimistic about the Geneva withdrawal.
“They will be back,” Smith said. “This is a case of Geneva having a clear financial motivation, where it makes the difference of billions. Of course they are going to push for this.”