A proposed sand mining project in the Buffalo County town of Dover won backing in a 3 to 1 vote by the county's zoning committee.
A conditional-use zoning permit sought by four family landowners to mine sand on agricultural land in Dover was passed on to the Buffalo County Board of Adjustment.
The permit goes to the board of adjustment with advisory positions for and against issuing it.
The Dover Town Board says the permit should be denied. The zoning committee is for approving it with conditions.
The board of adjustment has authority to issue a sand mining permit with conditions set by county policy as well as others deemed appropriate for a project.
County zoning supervisors said the project developer, River Valley Sands, LLC, of Utica, Minn., should furnish neighboring landowners in Dover with land value protections as well as safeguards to monitor and protect air and water quality.
River Valley Sands wants to mine 24 million tons of sand over the course of 20 to 30 years, opening and closing 5 to 10 acres of land at a time.
The zoning committee heard 35 minutes of public comment from 13 people opposed to the mining project.
Some opposed raised worries about water quality protection and loss of property values. They said the company should provide financial assurances.
Others raised concerns about health, traffic safety, loss of serenity and worries about long term impacts of mining.