Asphalt Plant Permit at West Valley Gravel Pit Denied

Board of Adjustment listened to citizen concerns, refused to amend operating permit conditions

By Micah Drew

The Flathead County Board of Adjustment at their meeting on Sept. 2 voted to deny a conditional use permit to operate an asphalt and concrete plant at a gravel pit in West Valley.

The West Valley gravel pit is owned and operated by Section 16 Family Limited Partnership and the company sought to amend an operating permit originally granted in 2005. The permit contained a condition explicitly prohibiting an asphalt plant operation, an issue that led to years of legal battles.

The West Valley Land Use Advisory Committee voted against amending the permit, passing along a negative recommendation to the Flathead County Board of Adjustment in May.

In the staff report to the Board of Adjustment, it was noted that the proposed batch plants could adversely impact the immediate neighborhood, “particularly odors and air quality.”

More than 50 area residents attended the public hearing and spoke against the added industrial usage, citing potential decreases to home values and the potential health impacts. After nearly three hours of public hearing, the permit was denied.

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