September 29, 2007
EP PLANNING COMMISSION DENIES REQUEST THAT WOULD ALLOW DOG CAY-CARE OPERATION
On September 24, 2007, the Eden Prairie Planning Commission unanimously
rejected a request for a variance to permit a dog day care center at
the business center at Edenvale and Carlson Drive. If approved, the facility
would have been permitted to include an outdoor fenced area for the dogs
in a front yard set back. Approximately twenty people from the Kings
Forest neighborhood attended the public hearing to express their opposition
to the project. A number of people in the group are Friends of Birch
Island Woods and Aggregate Action volunteers. Referring to the large
crowd, Ned Hirschler wrote in an email that “it really helped sway
the commission's vote.”
MIDWEST ASPHALT / AGGREGATE TRANSER STATION ISSUES
December 2, 2007
COMPANY LOOKS FOR ANOTHER LOCATION FOR AGGREGATE TRANSFER STATION
We’ve been informed by friends in Carver County that the E.G. Everist
company has an option to buy property east of Cologne and hopes of constructing
an aggregate transfer facility on the north side of Highway 212 alongside
the Twin Cities and Western Railroad. The operation would offload various
grades of crushed rock from trains onto trucks.
The Eversist Company had intended to install a similar facility in Eden
Prairie that would serve Midwest Asphalt. That proposed facility was
never built. According to a source at Eden Prairie City Hall, Midwest
Asphalt and E.G. Eversit never never reached an agreement for the transfer
station. The mobile facility was to have been located on TCW RR right-a-way
east of Indian Chief Road near Southwest Transit, Glen Lake Golf Course
and Eden Wood.
CITY COUNCIL APPROVES RAIL-TO-TRUCK AGGREGATE TRANSFER FACILITY. AGGREGATE
ACTION TO TAKE ON A NEW MISSION UNDER A NEW BANNER
Aggregate Action representative Dave Spoor began his portion of the August
16 City Council Forum dramatically: He handed a plastic bag filled with
aggregate to the City Council members saying that he had scooped up the
sand-like material on his way to city hall. “This is what we’re
talking about,” he said emphatically.
Mr. Spoor was joined during the approximately 25 minute long Council
Forum by Jan Anderson, Duane Wharton and Eric Sandvik that was presided
over by Mayor Nancy-Tyra Lukens. Anderson reviewed the reasons for prompting
the formation of “Aggregate Action” -- ongoing “nuisance
problems” with Midwest Asphalt and the city’s ineffective
public notification procedures. She thanked Council Member Ron Case and
Friends of Birch Island Woods’ Jeff Strate for helping residents
of the Kings Forest and Birch Island neighborhood get a grasp on the proposed
development and to respond to it on very short notice.
Mr. Spoor challenged the development proposal’s estimates of truck
and rail road traffic and the amount of aggregate that would be brought
on a yearly basis and questioned the legality of the city to approve the
project given city codes. Mr. Spoor cited both his own review of city
and the opinion of Aggregate Action’s legal counsel, Tom Casey,
a land use and environmental law attorney. Mr. Sandvik, a long time Eden
Prairie resident and an attorney, also questioned the city’s legal
grounds for approval during his bookend comments.
Click here to read Mr. Spoor’s open
letter to the City Council
Before Mr. Sandvik made his comments, Mr. Wharton reviewed the chronology
of the meetings and actions that Aggregate Action, the City, L.G. Everist
and Midwest Asphalt had undertaken since the Council’s preliminary
approval of the project on June 21.
Mr. Wharton also said that L.G. Everist and Midwest Asphalt have informally
agreed to a number of operating conditions to reduce noise levels (see
below) and requested that the city reform its public notification protocol.
The Kings Forest neighborhood resident said that his group is eager to
continue working with the city and the businesses and would rename itself
as it works to build a liaison committee of residents, associations, agencies,
businesses which would meet quarterly to discuss matters of mutual concern
regarding the area. He mentioned Friendship Ventures which operates nearby
Eden Wood Center for special needs children and Friends of Birch Island
Woods as likely participants. In deed, a number of FBIW volunteers assisted
Aggregate Action during the six weeks of its existence.
The 2nd reading of the proposal was discussed during city planner Mike
Franzen’s report on the project to the City Council. City Attorney
Ric Rosow, in reviewing legal issues about the matter, told the Council
that his legal interpretation of Minnesota law and city code still holds
that the L.G. Everist project is "a legal nonconforming use"
of the property. Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens and Council Member Brad Aho both
expressed appreciation for the positive course and respectful manner that
the dialogue between residents, businesses and city had taken despite
City Council member Ron Case asked Mr. Rossow if comments from the residents
could be made part of the public record and how the city might work with
the businesses to support the informal operating agreements that were
being crafted by Aggregate Action, Midwest Asphalt and L.G. Everist. Mr.
Rossow answered that the non-televised Council Forum presentations do
become part of the public record and that through the city permitting
process, restrictions such as the operating hours of the business could
be addressed. The City Council unanimously approved the project.
A fuller account of the proceedings will be available in the future.
Voluntary Operating Agreements
According to Aggregate Action’s Duane Wharton, L.G. Everist and
Midwest Asphalt have informally agreed to a number of operating guide
lines that would reduce noise cause by trucks and equipment in the transfer
and shipment of aggregate materials and the recycling of old pavement
and the manufacturing of asphalt.
L.G. Everist, has informally agreed to move operations inside a building
when aggregate shipments reach 250,000 tons a year; will install quieter
alarms on the Equipment the loading equipment it owns; will "look
at" planting of trees outside the scope of its landscaping plan and
perhaps with the permission of adjacent landowners including Southwest
will participate in a community liaison committee which would include
representatives from the businesses, residents, home owners association,
units of government, agencies and Friends of Birch Island Woods; will
make all efforts to unload RR cars after 9 am - this is dependent on TC&W
RR and volumes
Midwest Asphalt, which owns the land upon which the facility will be
operating has informally agreed to install quieter OSHA required alarms
on some its equipment. Note: Some of these newer alarms have recently
been installed on Midwest Asphalt’s own loaders and, according to
some Kings Forest residents, are much less intrusive than the regular
alarms. Midwest Asphalt will also consider planting pine trees along its
property near Edenvale Boulevard; re-adjusting the schedule of its noisier
operations; relocating its stock pile of pile of old, broken-up pavement
and explore operation methods of unloading trucks to make it unnecessary
to use beeping alarms.
ABOUT THIS SECTION
The following public documents, commentary and information below pertain
to a rail-to-truck transfer facility that was proposed by L.G. Everist,
Inc., of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The project will be built on 2.74
acres of leased land next to Twin Cities and Western Railroad tracks on
Industrial Drive near Birch Island Park and Woods, Glen Lake Golf Center,
the SW Regional Trail and the Kings Forest neighborhood in north central
This space has been provided by Friends of Birch Island Woods to Aggregate
Action and its successor to help residents, agencies, groups and businesses
in north central Eden Prairie evaluate the project and develop greater
community involvement in the industrial district within which it is located.
SUMMARY OF WHAT’S WENT ON...
Aggregate Action has formed a core committee including residents Duane
Wharton, Jan Anderson, Dave Spoor and others. The core committee will
be coordinating pre-arranged and guided visits to the site of the proposed
aggregate transfer facility and Midwest Asphalt. The core committee will
work directly with city officials and the pertinent companies and provide
the media with updates of its activities.
The public documents, commentary and information in Section 5 below pertain
to the proposed L.G. Everist project and to the project’s associated
businesses including Midwest Asphalt and Twin Cities and Western Railroad.
The Industrial Drive project would be close to Birch Island Park, Eden
Wood (a retreat and camp for special needs children and their families),
Birch Island Woods, Glen Lake Golf Course, and Kings Forest, Edenvale
and Birch Island neighborhoods. The proposed facility would be served
by Twin Cities and Western Railroad and supply washed, granite aggregate
to neighbor Midwest Asphalt and other pavement producers in the region.
The EP News reports that L.G. Everist says that sales are expected to
be 30,000 to 50,000 tons during its first year of operation and could
climb as high as 300,000 tons per year by 2015.
A DEMONSTRATION and VISITS
During a Tuesday July 19th meeting at Eden Prairie City Hall,
project proponent A.G. Everist, Inc. and Midwest Asphalt, Inc., Aggregate
Action and representatives from the City of Eden Prairie agreed to meet
again so that each could learn more about the project, resident concerns
and possibly explore improving the plan as it stood on July 19th.
As a result of that understanding, core committee members Jan Anderson,
Dave Spoor, Duane Wharton and Vicky Miller and observers Jeff Strate and
Ken Anderson visited the site of the proposed transfer facility and asphalt
operation with Midwest Asphalt Vice President Blair Bury on August 2,
On Wednesday July 27, 2005 A.G. Everist ran a simulation (demonstration)
of the operation for the City next to the proposed site. Midwest Asphalt
officials also attended. The demonstration included the unloading of washed
aggregate (broken-up granite) from gondola cars on Twin Cities and Western
tracks into aggregate trucks and driven the short distance to Midwest
City Planner Mike Franzen’s report to the City Council about the
demonstration is available via the link in Section 5 below.
Although not alerted about the demonstration, several Aggregate Action
core committee members were on a separate tour of the asphalt operation
at the time and were able to see part of the demonstration.
NOTE: Those wishing to visit these sites need to make arrangements with
Jan Anderson at 952-937-1271 or through Blair Bury at 952-259-0239.
Actions at City Hall
The City Council was expected to move to approve a more finely
tuned project proposal on Tuesday July 19th. Instead the L.G. Everist
project was removed from the City Council’s agenda. This provided
additional time for (1) Aggregate Action, (2) A.G. Everist, Inc., (3)
Midwest Asphalt and (4) the City to share their concerns with one another.
Meetings on July 19, 2005
Aggregate Action held a 25-minute long briefing for interested citizens
at Eden Prairie City Hall at 6 p.m. Ned Hirschler and legal counselor
Tom Casey reviewed the status of the project and outlined the actions
which could be taken to become involved in evaluating the project and
either to oppose the project or request changes to the project.
During the City Council Forum prior to the City Council Meeting, Ned
Hirschler and a few others summarized resident concerns about the project
and the City’s public notification protocol for public hearings
on development projects. City Manager Scott Neal said that in this instance
the legally required notification procedures had been followed but, as
prescribed by law, they could not accommodate the broader concerns of
the project. A brief discussion about what could be done to better inform
the public in future similar situations followed. A more detailed account
of the forum can be downloaded posted here when ready and made available.
At approximately 7:15 p.m. an informational meeting was held in Heritage
Room 3 while the city council proceeded with its regular meeting. Attending
were three groups of people: (1) approximately 38 residents gathering
as Aggregate Action; (2) Project proponents -- A.G. Everist, Inc. President/CEO
Rick Everist and Vice President Rob Everist., Midwest Asphalt Vice President
Blair Bury and (3) City staff including planner Mike Franzen, Recording
Secretary Lorene McWaters and City Attorney Ric Rosow.
The minutes of this approximately 90-minute long meeting that were recorded
an made available by the City are available in Section #5 below. Generally,
the representatives of the A.G. Everist Company and Midwest Asphalt Company
answered questions about the project related to projected noise, dust
and railroad and truck traffic, future land needs in view of possible
expansion of the facility and aggregate stock piling. A number of attendees
continued to have concerns about the project and doubt the projections
pertaining to noise and dust levels that are being anticipated by the
proponents. A.G. Everist and Midwest Asphalt feel that as soon as people
see first hand how the transfer station works (possibly at an existing
A.G. Everist operation in New Brighton) their worries would disappear.
They said that they intend to be good neighbors and operate within all
the restrictions. Midwest Asphalt said it welcomed organized groups to
visit its facility.
Further joint meetings planned:
The proponents agreed to meet representatives of Aggregate Action at its
transfer facility in New Brighton; one they say is similar to the one
being proposed for Industrial Drive in Eden Prairie. The proponents also
agreed with requests during the meeting that if Aggregate Action can soon
identify and present workable changes to the current plan that E.G. Everist
would consider them.
If the final city council approval or rejection of the proposal by law
falls no later than August 16, 2005. If the city takes no action on that
date, the proposal could proceed by default. A.G. Everist could request
a continuance from the city if it feels that amendments to the developers
agreement with the city will improve its proposed project and satisfy
Aggregate Action initiatives:
Aggregate Action organizers said they would form a special committee to
meet with the proponents and visit the existing New Brighton facility.
During its May 23, 2005 meeting, the Eden Prairie Planning Commission
approved the request for the Planned Unit Development Concept of 2.74
acres that the project will occur on. During its June 21, 2005 meeting,
the Eden Prairie City Council adopted a Resolution for the Planned Unit
Development Concept Review of the project and approved certain waivers
and zoning amendments and directed the city staff to prepare a Development
Agreement incorporating Staff and Board recommendations and Council conditions.
July 11, Neighborhood Meeting
On Monday July 11, Council Member Ron Case, Friends of Birch Island Woods
leader Jeff Strate and host Jan Anderson met with a group of 41 people
in Jan’s backyard. They summarized the situation and answered questions
about the proposed project, its current status, the process of reviewing
the project and what actions, if any, might be taken to stop the project
or shape it into a much better and neighborly project. Mr. Case urged
those gathered to bring their concerns to the July 19th city council meeting.
He said that the city’s legal counsel was of the opinion that the
proposal for the aggregate transfer station met the tests for approval
and for the granting of several variances and that the city’s legal
counsel felt that the city had no known legal grounds to stop the project.
Mr. Case along with the group was disappointed that the city’s
standard notification process was ineffective in engaging resident participation
in the review process. Mr. Strate, noting that nearby residents, Friendship
Ventures, Friends of Birch Island Woods and others who have enormous investments
in the well being of northern Eden Prairie should have been alerted months
ago about the proposed aggregate transfer station. The city is may only
be required by law to notify land owners with properties within 500 feet
of a project, he noted, but this is a project which could negatively effect
a whole host of people within a mile of the project. Some were concerned
that their home values would decline.
Ned Hirschler, Dave Spoor and others questioned the credibility of the
proponents estimates of noise pollution and of the city staff’s
acceptance of those estimates. They held that the data that the city is
basing its decision on seems to have not taken into account the additional
noise that will be generated at the transfer site and along the railroad
right of way. Mr. Spoor developed a table of estimates of what the project
will really mean in terms of additional noise from trains, trucks, loading
and unloading and OSHA required alert signals that are prompted by trucks
and heavy equipment when they back up. Mr. Spoors analysis will soon be
posted here. Even though Everist Inc. will be subject to the same limitations
as Midwest Asphalt, there will be much more of the kind of nuisance effects
currently produced by the asphalt producer.
Calls for a better plan and immediate action
Resident David Meyer who works for a cement manufacturer in Eagan agreed
with Mr. Case, Mr. Strate and others that if the project is built, if
should be built in a way that would reduce noise and dust pollution. He
recommended that the group propose measures that are recommended by the
Aggregate and Ready Mix Association (ARM) of Minnesota for the operation
of environmentally clean operation of cement and aggregate facilities.
He mentioned that aggregate transfer stations can operate inside a building
even though such an enterprise involves large trucks and trains.
ARM’s local web site is http://www.armofmn.com/
Contact info for this group is:
12300 Dupont Avenue South, Burnsville, MN 55337
Phone (952) 707-1250; Fax (952) 707-1251
Fred Corrigan, Executive Director, (952)707-1250 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Several attendees volunteered to form an action team which would move
quickly to enable people to weigh in on the issue. One initiative will
be an attempt by Friday July 15 to identify for the city, legal means
to require stricter operating ordinances for the Everist project, Midwest
Asphalt and Twin Cities and Western Railroad.
Some attendees to the meeting posed questions and shared comments about
the history of the industrial area citing past problems and violations
by Midwest Asphalt of operating agreements and past, illegal encroachments
on property owned by the Hennepin County Regional Rail Road Authority
along the east side of Indian Chief Road.
5. Public documents, commentary and citizen notices pertaining to the
Click on any of the links below:
July 27, 2005 report about Midwest Asphalt’s
New Brighton operation and a demonstration conducted for the City of Eden
Prairie of the E.G. Everist aggregate transfer operation. The 7/27/05
report was prepared by EP Planner Mike Franzen and sent to the Mayor and
City Council Members.
July 19, 2005, Minutes from the “L.G.
Everist Neighborhood Meeting.
These minutes of an informational meeting presided by representatives
of L.G. Everist, Inc., and attended by a representative of Midwest Asphalt,
Eden Prairie residents and the City of Eden Prairie represented by planner
Mike Franzen, recording secretary Lorene McWaters and by the City’s
legal Counsel Ric Rosow were recorded by and made available by the City.
Midway through the meeting, City Council Member Ron Case joined the meeting.
June 21, 2005 City Council
June 21, 2005 City Council
(The packet contains background information on the project that includes
the minutes of the May 23, Planning Commission minutes. City Council members
are expected to review these packets prior to council meetings and workshops.)
22, 2005 Eden Prairie News Editorial about the project
July 5, 2005: Un-approved Minutes of the Eden
Prairie City Council Meeting held on July 5, 2005 that pertain to the
proposed aggregate transfer facility
July 9, 2005 flyer announcing neighborhood
informational meeting on July 11th
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THESE TOPICS:
To contact "Aggregate Action" and to participate call Jan Anderson
952-937-1271 or via email at Kander5287@aol.com
CITY OF EDEN PRAIRIE
City Manager Scott Neal at 952-949-8300 or via email him at
Community Development Director Janet Jeremiah at 952-949-8300 or via email
her at email@example.com
To contact Eden Prairie City Council Members follow the links in this
we site's "OFFICIALS"
page in its "Speak Out" Section.
L.G. Everist, Inc web site: http://www.lgeverist.com/
Includes information about the company, associated companies and the Quartzite
Midwest Asphalt Corporation web site: http://midwestasphalt.net/
Includes industry and educational links pertaining to the asphalt industry.
Twin Cities & Western Railroad web site: http://www.tcwr.net/
Mark Wegner will be happy to answer any questions pertaining to TC&W.
Mr. Wegner can be reached at TC&W offices in Glencoe by phone at 320-8647204