The top of Parvin Butte, which sits in the middle of the rural community of Dexter, is now almost completely leveled, according to neighbor Arlen Markus.
But the Dexter/Lost Valley community 20 miles outside Eugene has hope that residents won’t be woken up at 8 am in the morning by the sounds of their scenic butte being ripped and torn into gravel by Lost Creek Rock Products: Lane County has asked Hearings Official Gary Darnielle to reconsider his Feb. 14 ruling that gravel mining could continue at the butte. The hearings official is a neutral party.
According to information from the county, “Lane County maintains that a site review for mining operations at Parvin Butte is necessary given the impact to neighboring residents, including increased traffic, noise and proximity to area homes.” A site review allows neighbors affected by the mining to have input on these issues.
The county is also seeking to uphold the nearly $8,000 in fines it levied against LCRP, a business of Greg Demers and Norman and Melvin McDougal, for continuing its quarry-mining operations without a site review. Bill Kloos, an attorney for LCRP, argued before Darnielle at the hearing that a site review was not needed. But a number of neighbors testified about the noise and other issues the mining was creating for nearby homes. In a separate case, the neighbors have contested a bridge LCRP wants to build. They fear it will affect salmon and other wildlife and cause flooding.
The county says it is asking for reconsideration of the site review ruling because the Lane Code outlines provisions that must be followed for quarry operations.
In a letter to the county supporting the request for reconsideration, Dan Stotter, attorney for the Parvin Butte neighbors, wrote that it’s the position of his clients that further legal review, in either the Land Use Board of Appeals or in circuit court, “is likely to result in a reversal of the hearings official’s decision in this matter.”
It is unclear at this point if the county will appeal the decision to LUBA or the circuit court if Darnielle does not reconsider or if he repeats his earlier decision.
For more on Parvin Butte go to http://saveparvinbutte.org