Gravel pit that was supposed to close prepares to expand, to the ire of neighbors

A gravel pit in Tooele County that was supposed to close is now preparing to expand, to the ire of neighbors who say they would never have built houses there if they'd known this would happen. (Photo: KUTV)

(SOUTH RIM, TOOELE COUNTY) — A group of neighbors in the South Rim area of Tooele County is upset. They say a gravel pit adjacent to their newly developed community is preparing to expand from 10 acres to more than 176 acres.

It will be messy, noisy, and worse dangerous, especially hauling loads on the skinny, curvy roads that lead into the area, the group says.

But here’s the thing: before ever moving in, they were assured there would be no gravel pit here. In fact, the small one that existed was supposed to be closed. The original developer agreement from 2001 clearly states “the developer will close the gravel pit."

Then, just last year, the commission voted unanimously to "honor" that original promise.

But now, the residents say Tooele County is not enforcing that agreement. Instead the land has been sold to a private company which has expanded the lot and is trying to get permits to mine outside the original 10 acres.

The neighbors say they have tried to protest with the county commissioners but they have been silenced. They say the county commission won't even put their issue on the agenda so it can be discussed publically. The commission also frequently cancels meetings, including all meetings in the month of July.

“We're the ones who put those guys in office and now they won't even hear us," says Kaleen Knight.

The commission didn’t have much to say to Get Gephardt, either. When we reached out to its members for comment, we heard back from the county attorney who declined to be interviewed. Instead Scott Broadhead wrote in a memo that they are "well aware of the concerns" from the South Rim neighbors.

Broadhead states “we are in the process of addressing the factual and legal issues presented," as the county works toward "a solution ... that is in the best interest of all citizens."

Many in the group say they never would’ve built their homes if they thought there was a chance their elected officials would be allowed to completely go back on what they had originally promised. The group is talking to a lawyer about suing to shut down the pit.

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