Surveys and Drawings
Mining and Reclamation Plans
Frequently Asked Questions
QWhat is the proposed haul route?
A. The haul route is Dryden Rd, also known as County Road 62, which is designated a Class A all-weather haul route by the Lapeer County Road Commission. Access to and from the project site will be limited to one driveway on the north side of Dryden Road located approximately 900 feet west of Ribble Road. (Traffic Impact Study page 18)
QHow will you protect the wildlife?
A. The transition of woodland cover to pasture/grassland habitat may displace wildlife species that breed, forage, or shelter in woodland habitat. However, the tree clearing will occur incrementally, 40 acres initially and in 10 – 15 acre phases thereafter, so wildlife should be able to migrate to similar habitats on the D-bar-A Ranch or adjoining properties. To mitigate potential impacts to migrating species, tree clearing will be restricted to October 1 to March 31 when protected migratory bats and birds are not active in Michigan and most migratory bat and bird species are not actively nesting or fledging. It is unlikely that wildlife that prefer wetland habitats will be impacted by the mining activity because there are no direct impacts proposed to regulated wetlands. (CIS page 22)
QHow can the Boy Scouts continue to use the facility while you are mining?
A. The area being leased by AAOM from the BSA, known as the “Lease Parcel,” represents approximately 1/3 of the total D-bar-A Ranch. The mining will occur on the southern portion of the ranch, leaving the northern 2/3 for ongoing recreational use by the Scouting community. The mining as proposed will not interfere with any of the current activities that are conducted by the Scouts.
QWhat are the hours of operation?
A. Operating hours, as dictated by the Metamora Township Ordinance, are 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday and 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Saturday. (Traffic Impact Study page 18)
QWill the trucks use Wilder Road? Ribble Road? Sutton Road?
A. Trucks will not use Wilder Road, Ribble Road, or Sutton Road. Truck traffic generated by the mining will utilize Dryden Road between M-24 (Lapeer Rd) and M-53 (Van Dyke Rd). Access to and from the project site will be limited to one driveway on the north side of Dryden Road.
QWhy do the Boy Scouts want their property mined?
A. There are at least two primary benefits for Boy Scouts. This project will generate substantial long term economic benefits for the Boy Scouts, helping secure their future in Michigan for decades to come. Also, the mining will open up substantial acreage for new recreational and agricultural land uses that will be created during the reclamation process.
QWhat will happen to the property when the mining is complete?
A. The BSA has established a list of potential uses of the Project Site that will benefit both the operations of the D-bar-A Ranch as well as the diversity of recreational opportunities available for Boy Scouts. The key to integrating new uses into the D-bar-A Ranch is the use of mining and reclamation to shape the land in ways that can accommodate the new uses. From a ranch operations perspective, the mining can create broad rolling fields that are suitable for agricultural production of crops to support the horse and cattle being raised at the D-bar-A Ranch. Also, as noted earlier, the reclamation of the site creates opportunities for the BSA to participate in reforestation including planting of native trees, shrubs and grasses to stabilize the soils. This effort to reestablish habitat will be an ongoing project throughout the mining and reclamation process. From an adaptive reuse perspective, there are a number of activities that can be supported on the reclaimed land. For future planning purposes, the BSA is considering the following uses which could be integrated into the D-bar-A Ranch:
- Active adventure sports area (zip line, climbing, sledding, obstacle course)
- Group activities (amphitheater, sports fields, paint ball, disc golf, camping)
- Trail based activities (BMX, X-country running and skiing, dog sledding, equestrian)
- Passive recreation (interpretive learning, wetland walks) The BSA and AAOM will work together to ensure that the land is shaped in a manner that fits the long-term goals of the BSA. (CIS page 17)
QWhy can’t Levy conduct their mining operations elsewhere?
A. AAOM has considered a range of sites in the region for sand and gravel operations. These sites were considered on a confidential basis as each opportunity became known. While no site specific data can be revealed regarding these site investigations because of the proprietary nature of such work, knowledge of the criteria that lead to the selection of the proposed Project Site is key to understanding the process. The site selection criteria utilized in this process is as follows:
1. Proximity to Market Demand: A significant factor in the cost of construction aggregates is the distance from the source of materials to the market. The proposed Project Site is located in an area of southeastern Michigan that is undergoing and/or anticipating substantial growth and development. As development grows closer to the Project site, and infrastructure replacement needs mount, this location will gain greater economic viability as a long-term source of quality sand and gravel. Longer hauling distances to areas of demand result in higher construction costs which are passed on to the consumer. In fact, the cost of transportation of aggregates often equals or exceeds the cost of the materials on a per ton basis.
2. Direct Access to the Regional Transportation System: The Project Site will have direct access to Dryden Road, a Lapeer County Class A, all-weather haul route, which links directly to M-24 to the west of the site and M-53 to the east of the Project Site, both significant north-south corridors in the regional transportation network.
3. Quantity and Quality of Aggregate Materials Available: Geological investigations performed by AAOM have convinced the company that the reserves at the Project Site are significant in quantity and high in quality.
4. Site Logistics: A parcel of land must have a size and configuration that is suitable for the efficient extraction of sand and gravel from the ground, both in terms of the property dimensions and in the depth of the clay overburden that typically lies between the topsoil and the sand and gravel deposit. The Project Site meets these criteria.
5. Low Density of Development of the Project Site and its Surroundings: Given the agricultural, recreational, and rural residential uses in the area, the Project Site offers the opportunity to extract aggregates from a site near market demand while being surrounded by low densities of development and use.
6. Availability of Land: A larger number of properties have sufficient marketable sand and gravel resources than are actually available to establish a mining operation, yet AAOM can only control properties for which there is a willing seller or lessor. AAOM has secured a lease agreement with the BSA to extract, process and sell aggregate at the Project Site as described in this report, and currently owns the Guy Parcel. (CIS page 18)
QWill the mining impact wetlands?
A. There are no anticipated direct or indirect impacts to the 44 acres of regulated wetlands on the Project Site. The 8.8 acres of unregulated wetlands within the Mining Area will be removed incrementally over the life of the mining operation. As noted in the report by King & MacGregor Environmental, Inc., no direct impacts to lakes and streams such as filling, dredging, structures or surface water removal for aggregate processing are proposed. The hydrology supporting Beaver Lake, regulated wetlands, and on-site streams comes primarily from streams, direct precipitation, and groundwater discharge. Storm water runoff from adjacent upland areas contributes very little water to the wetlands, lakes and streams that are located within, and adjacent to, the Project Site. While the upland areas near these features will be modified in shape and drainage pattern, the studies of storm water hydrology and hydro-geology have concluded that the change in land form will not impact the hydrology of these resources. (CIS page 20-21)
Management of storm water throughout the mining and reclamation process is an important part of limiting impacts to the existing water bodies and wetlands on and adjacent to the Project Site. AAOM proposes that the mining and reclamation shape the land such that storm water on site is directed to drain to low areas within the mining area where it is collected, temporarily stored, and then allowed to infiltrate into the groundwater. This approach encourages the recharge of groundwater levels, minimizes storm surges into adjacent wetland and water bodies, filters sediment from the storm water flow, and creates new wet meadow habitat. (CIS, Section 6.3 Mitigative Measures, page 53)
Studies of surface water and groundwater impacts have been conducted and have concluded that the proposed modifications to land slopes and shape will not interrupt site hydrology, or impact the water supply to wetland outside of the mining area. No permanent direct or indirect impacts to the hydrology of regulated wetlands due to mining activity are anticipated. (Environmental Assessment of Biological Resources, page 12)
QWill the mining destroy forested areas?
A. Approximately 133 acres of mature woodlands and 273 acres of young woods will be removed during the proposed mining operations. Removal of the woodlands will be accomplished incrementally over the life of the mining operation, as land is cleared in advance of the active mining. Reforestation of some of the reclaimed areas will occur through proactive management activities by the D-bar-A Ranch or through natural succession, as has previously occurred. The removal of approximately 400 acres of woodland represents approximately four-tenths of 1% of the total area of forested land cover estimated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to exist in Lapeer County in 2010 (NOAA 2015) and is not regionally significant. (CIS page 21)
The loss of woodlands on the site and the habitat values they bring will be mitigated in part through the following measures:
1. Woodlands will be removed incrementally over the life of the mining operation.
2. Woodlands removal will be scheduled during the fall and winter (October 1 through March 31) when impacts to bat and migratory bird populations are minimized.
3. Reclamation activities will be ongoing through the period of mining operations, limiting the amount of exposed land and stabilizing soils.
4. The BSA will participate in the reclamation of the site through the mass planting of seedlings, effectively creating new woodlands as the site is reclaimed.
5. No protected species were observed during the 2015 Project Site evaluations. However, if protected wildlife species are identified on the site during the mining period, mitigating measures can include seasonal limitations on mining activities, protective barriers or physical relocation of protected wildlife under permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (CIS, Section 6.4 Mitigative Measures, page 53)
This significant reduction of woodland cover is an unavoidable part of the mining process and the ultimate creation of pasture and other land forms and land covers to support D-bar-A Ranch activities. Reforestation of some current woodland areas may occur through proactive management activities by the D-bar-A Ranch or through natural succession as has previously occurred. The BSA has established a Conservation Plan for the D-bar-A Ranch and have actively planted new trees on the site for the past 50 years. As part of this project, BSA has committed to continue with their current stewardship practices and plant new trees during the site reclamation process. The removal of approximately 400 acres of woodland represents approximately fourtenths of one percent of the total area of forested land cover estimated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to exist in Lapeer County in 2010 (NOAA 2015) and is not regionally significant. (Environmental Assessment of Biological Resources, page 13)
QHow can the public learn more about the proposal?
A. The public can learn more by viewing the webpage and submitting questions on the Contact Us Page.
QHow can the public participate in the review of the proposal by the Township?
A. The public can participate by attending Public Hearings scheduled by the Planning Commission and Township Board. Please contact Metamora Township for further details.
QWill the mining and trucking diminish property values in the neighborhood or on the haul route?
A. AAOM engaged Stout Risius Ross, a global financial advisory firm that specializes in valuation and financial opinions. The evidence presented in their Property Value Impact Analysis illustrates that, although the residential assessed values for properties with truck haul route locations and close proximity to mines has seen a fluctuation in value over recent years, the fluctuation is typical of what the general residential market has experienced and deviations from the median annual changes over a six year period are minimal. Further, assessment value trends indicate there is little if any diminution in value for properties located on truck haul routes as compared to high traffic streets. Additional sale analysis evidence presented in this report illustrates that properties that back to truck haul routes or active mines show no indication of a diminution in value as a result of their locations. Therefore, it is concluded that the increase of additional truck traffic along the Dryden Road projected haul route and the creation of a sand and gravel operation should have minimal or non-measurable effects on residential property values.
QWill Levy post a bond to guarantee reclamation of the property?
A. Levy has committed in their lease with the BSA to post a $500,000 reclamation bond.
QHow long will the mining last?
A. The lease between AAOM and the BSA has a 20 year term with two five year extensions. It is expected that the proposed mining will consume approximately 30 years, subject to market conditions.
QWill the project generate excessive dust?
A. AAOM anticipates that dust will be minor and within regulatory limits set by the appropriate governing bodies. An increase in fugitive dust levels generated by the site activities will be controlled within regulatory requirements through the standard mitigation practices utilized by AAOM.
QWill the project create excessive noise?
A. Metamora Township Zoning Ordinance Number 23 sets standards for acceptable limits of noise from operations and activities that may be of nuisance to the community based on land use zone. To accurately predict the noise levels at the Project Site, AAOM engaged a sound engineer to evaluate the potential impact. Kolano and Saha Engineers Inc. utilized a three dimensional software package to develop a computer model of the proposed mining activity. Typical mining equipment such as excavators, dozers, washing plants, etc. were studied to determine the acoustic effects of their use. The equipment was analyzed at the AAOM Highland Plant, which is a plant that utilizes mining and extraction equipment very similar to the proposed operation at the Project Site. In conclusion, the proposed sand and gravel mining operation will generate additional noise in the area from earthmoving equipment for the installation of berms and topsoil stripping and from mining activity. Maintaining existing buffers and the proposed earth berms will aid in the minimizing of noise from the mining activity and will meet noise level standards established in the Metamora Township Ordinance. (CIS page 47)
QWill there be impacts to the water table?
A. Hydro-Logic Associates, Inc. of Brighton, Michigan was retained by AAOM to perform a geologic, hydrogeologic, and environmental investigation of the Project Site. The special goals of this investigation included the following:
- Confirm the geology of the Project Site and the immediately surrounding area
- Evaluate and establish baseline hydro-geological conditions and characteristics for the Project Site and the surrounding area
- Assess the general groundwater quality of the local water-bearing (aquifer) units
- Provide professional opinions regarding any potential impacts to the Project Site and the surrounding area as a direct result of the aggregates extraction activities proposed by AAOM
- Recommend an annual work plan to collect the data necessary to adequately monitor, evaluate, and protect the groundwater and surface water quality of the Project Site
Based on the results of these investigations, AAOM does not anticipate any impacts to 1) the upper aquifer groundwater elevation and flow, 2) area residential wells, or 3) the natural resources which are dependent on groundwater (e.g. lakes and wetlands). See Hydrogeological and Environmental Assessment Report on our Resources Page
QWill there be excessive truck traffic?
A. AAOM has conducted a traffic study to assess potential traffic impacts to the local road network, and to establish a safe location for the entrance into the proposed mining operation. The study concluded that the additional truck traffic added to Dryden Road and its intersection with key area roads along this haul route would have very little impact to the flow of traffic. The study also concluded that the additional truck traffic did not pose a threat to pedestrians.
BERGMANN ASSOCIATES: Bergmann Associates is a full service, multidisciplinary design firm employing some of the most talented practitioners in the industry. Our core business segments include transportation systems, civil works, community planning, general building and interior design, research and manufacturing, higher education, retail and energy. Bergmann Associates is very proud of our extensive experience and rich portfolio of work that features everything from restoration of historic landmarks, to comprehensive bridge and highway design, to waterfront master planning.
KING & MACGREGOR: King & MacGregor Environmental, Inc. (KME) provides wetland consulting and a variety of other environmental services in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and other states throughout the Midwest and Eastern USA. We assist our clients in understanding and complying with the regulation of wetlands, streams, lakes, woodlands, sand dunes and threatened/endangered species. Our staff includes regulatory specialists, biologists, botanists, ecologists, arborists and landscape architects. From terrestrial and aquatic resource evaluations to impact assessments, permit assistance and mitigation plans, KME consultants provide responsive high-quality assistance for federal, state and local environmental approvals. KME is also pre-qualified by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in various environmental categories.
HYDRO-LOGIC ASSOCIATES, INC: Since 1993, Hydro-Logic Associates, Inc. has provided comprehensive consulting and engineering services in the environmental and water resource fields to a diverse group of clients. Project professionals from Hydro-Logic regularly work and complete projects with consumers and professionals from multiple companies and industries. This list includes, but is not limited to, oil companies, agricultural facilities, other major industrial companies, municipalities, land developers and builders.
SMITHGROUPJJR – ROBERT DOYLE: This Community Impact Statement has been prepared by, and under the direct supervision of, Robert Doyle, a Principal of the planning, engineering, and design firm SmithGroupJJR. Mr. Doyle is a landscape architect in the State of Michigan with over 30 years of experience working with the aggregate industry in preparing impact assessments, mining plans, reclamation plans, and post-mining development plans across the United States.
KOLANO AND SAHA ENGINEERS, INC: Founded in 1986, we are an independent, private-practice professional engineering and consulting firm specializing in acoustics, noise and vibration. We are licensed Professional Engineers and also INCE Board Certified Noise Control Engineers.
STOUT RISIUS ROSS GLOBAL FINANCIAL ADVISORY SERVICES: Stout Risius Ross (SRR) is a premier global financial advisory firm that specializes in Investment Banking, Valuation & Financial Opinions, and Dispute Advisory & Forensic Services. We serve a range of clients from Fortune 500 corporations to privately held companies in numerous industries around the world.
ALPINE ENGINEERING, INC: Alpine Engineering Inc. is a Civil Engineering and Land Surveying company providing professional services to our clients in Michigan and throughout the surrounding Mid-West region.
HONIGMAN MILLER SCHWARTZ AND COHN LLC: Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP is a leading business law firm serving clients locally, nationally and internationally from its Midwest base. For more than 65 years, Honigman has been repeatedly commended by peers and clients for its exceptional performance. 22 of Honigman’s key practice areas are ranked nationally among the nation’s most prominent law firms by U.S. News/Best Lawyers, and our Corporate/M&A, Litigation and Real Estate Practices are ranked number one in Michigan by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.