PennCo asphalt plant on collision course with soccer complex, GOPers

Attorney Doyle Estes donated stolen prairie swampland in Pennington County to Rapid City if it would develop a soccer complex. The property is home to buried toxins: residue from Rapid City's early years. Earth hater former South Dakota Attorney General Roger Tellinghuisen and erstwhile director of Dakota Fields, helped raise money for the pitches.
“You’re being asked,” Attorney Roger Tellinghuisen said to the commissioners, “to put one company’s profits ahead of the health, safety and welfare of not only the people who live adjacent to this particular site, but all the kids, and moms and dads, and grandpas and grandmas who are coming to this soccer field.” Doug Noyes, executive director of the Black Hills Rapid Soccer Club, also expressed concerns about the asphalt plant. [Rapid City Journal]
From my inbox:
I want to start by thanking everyone for their concern over the rezoning request to allow an area 1\2 mile west of our soccer Complex to become Heavy Industrial. This issue has long reaching consequences for the neighborhood. We are a half mile away, think about the home and business owners that border the property and what this means for them as well.

I have not sent an email for a while because I was doing research and study of the dangers of Asphalt Fumes and Vapors. I also wanted to determine the impact being west of the Complex vs a different direction.

While the answer to the question of whether exposure to asphalt by road workers working with the substances is clear. It can cause "breathing problems, asthma, bronchitis and skin irritation...and studies have reported lung, stomach, and skin cancers following chronic exposures to asphalt fumes."Source: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/asphaltfumes/index.html. The question of environmental exposure, what we are worried about, causing problems is unresolved.

A paid consultant brought to testify in front of the county commission has tested Asphalt Plant emissions and gave the opinion that they are not significant polluters. I have read one of her papers and as far as the stack emissions (the "oven" that the rock is heated in) I believe she is entirely correct. No one thinks heating rocks is dangerous. It is the rest of the process of making asphalt that releases the dust, dirt and emissions that people are worried about. There is debate in the scientific community about the impact of fugitive emissions.

I am not saying that building this plant will absolutely impact our air quality. The immediate neighbors are a different matter and I feel for them. What I am saying, and no one can guarantee me otherwise, is that it might and that is enough of a reason to oppose its construction.

The even bigger issue, in my opinion, is what opening the area to Heavy Industrial will possibly bring in the future. The City of Rapid City has long range plans for the area now under review to become residential and commercial with some light industrial. This includes the land immediately surrounding the Complex. These uses are compatible with OUR long term plans of a stadium, more fields and parking (YAY!) and an indoor facility. On the other hand here is a partial list of what heavy industrial zoning will allow:

Stockyards, feeding pens, and auction houses for sale of livestock. Tannery or curing or storage of raw hides.
Rock, sand, gravel, or earth excavation, crushing or distribution. Slaughter of animals, including poultry killing or dressing.

Source: Pennington County Zoning Ordinances Section 212-B

BE AWARE! The change will allow such businesses-period-no hearing-no fight-no nothing. This change opens the door to what the law allows and there will be little we can do to stop it.

What we can do now is show up. Lots of us. Hundreds of us. Bring the kids if you can. The last meeting was to start at 10:30, didn't start until after 12:00 and several of the witnesses had to leave. The Chair of the Commission commented on how little opposition was there. They passed the change on the first reading but it is the next reading that matters.

Please come to the Commission meeting. If you want to speak please do, if you don't, at least be there to be counted. While we do not have the money the proponents of this change have we do have numbers. The County Commissioners are politicians and politicians need votes. They need to see as many voters as possible that do not like the direction this is going. There are almost 700 signatures on the survey. If you haven't signed yet please do.

There is only one reason the petitioner wants to move his plant to this location and that is profit. He is following the law in trying to do so. I do not believe his changing of existing zoning for his profit should potentially have a negative impact on the 6 million dollars we have spent on Dakota Fields. Please attend this important meeting to protect the future of our Complex.

–Doug Noyes
Earth hater Doyle Estes is married to ethics-neutral former Board of Regents member, Kathryn Johnson. This interested party has personal histories with both Estes and Tellinghuisen.

My youngest daughter plays for the Black Hills Rapids Soccer Club. In the first photo below she's in the front row holding up a finger while picking her nose, subject of the second image and the tall one in the center of bottom shot. My oldest daughter and their mother are also in that photo.

Way back in 2014 when the Daugaard administration used to post Future Fund recipients who contributed to the Governor's Club slush fund Denny's reelection campaign Estes and Johnson figure quite prominently.

Sparks will fly.


larry kurtz said...

Update, 23 April, 0910 MDT, from Doug Noyes:

"I am sure most of you have heard by now that the County Commission approved the rezoning of 40 acres one half mile west of the Dakota Fields Complex. The rezoning will allow Heavy Industrial in this area, a change from what was formerly zoned as general agriculture. They justified their decision with what I consider to be fuzzy logic, "You should be more worried about the plastic pipe company". Comparing Apples to Oranges, "There is already an asphalt plant out there", it is about a mile away downwind. And, just incorrect statements "City zoning allows Asphalt Plants in light industrial". http://www.rcgov.org/departments/community-planning-development.html scroll to the bottom and look up City Ordinance 17.22.020 Uses permitted.
They ignored the voices of the hundreds of people that emailed, spoke, and signed petitions. They made a decision that will benefit one company to the detriment of all others.

Of all of the people that opposed the change we are probably the least affected. The immediate neighbors' lives will be changed. In the words of the petitioners expert "Emissions from the Rapid City plant would likely disperse before reaching the soccer complex and nearby residential areas.". I don't think we should accept "Likely". Stopping the rezoning will make it absolutely certain it does not happen and that is the goal. The wind does blow from the west sometimes and we may or may not be affected. But we should not accept that possibility.

The biggest concern about this whole issue is not the asphalt plant. The plant will occupy 5 or 6 acres but they are rezoning 40 acres! Tom Lien, the guy asking to do this, has been quiet about his plans for the other 35 acres. The County Ordinance that talks about Heavy Industrial begins with the statement describing the reason for Heavy Industrial zoning "To establish areas for necessary industrial and related uses of such a nature that they require isolation from many other kinds of land uses..." The ordinance continues to list the uses allowed and many are not compatible with the neighborhood that is being impacted. You can find this at http://docs.pennco.org/docs/PZ/ZoneOrdinance.pdf, Many of the other uses are worse than the asphalt plant and absolutely do not belong near houses or sports fields. We have to continue the fight to stop this from happening.

The way we do this is by referring the issue to a public vote. By submitting a sufficient number of signatures we can force the three commissioners to do that which they should have done, LISTEN TO THE VOTERS. We want to see a county wide vote whether to make this zoning change or not.

There will be a meeting Tuesday April 25th at 7:00 PM at Dakota Fields meeting room to get started and to learn about what is required. Former SD Attorney General Roger Tellinghuisen will be explaining the process and procedure of circulating petitions that are acceptable. Please attend this meeting to help protect our Complex."

larry kurtz said...

Update, 25 April, 0505 MDT:

"Commission fails soccer community

I am appalled that the area near the Soccer Complex will be designated Heavy Industrial to build an asphalt plant. What due diligence did county commissioners perform? Do they know what “heavy industrial” means? Did they investigate what chemicals are used in the process of making asphalt? Did they understand that crude oil and several kinds of solvents are used in the production of asphalt? Where will the crude oil come from?

There are health risks to those who work in the plants and to those who may be exposed to the byproducts of production. Most importantly of all, many children and their families, friends, and coaches use the soccer fields. My grandchildren play soccer there. Will we find out years from now that the exposure has negatively impacted the health of these future parents? Workers at the plant can bring chemicals home on skin, hair, clothes, and shoes and transferred on to floors, furniture, or in cars where family members or pets can be exposed.

This is called take-home exposure. This decision begs further discussion and careful consideration. Bottom line: the proposed location is not the right place for the asphalt plant."

Carla Brutico

Rapid City

larry kurtz said...

Update, 10 May, 0707 MDT:

Wrong location for asphalt plant

"The rezoning of the property where Western Construction wants to operate an asphalt plant should absolutely be denied. This is just the wrong location. This process should have included the city of Rapid City in all of the discussions, not just Pennington County. There are far too many differences between the city and county in land zoning and uses that need to be addressed. This could be annexed by the city.

At the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting where Commissioner Mark DiSanto voted not to approve the rezoning, it was denied on a vote of 4 to 3. I would ask what changed Mr. DiSantos’ vote in the first and second readings at the county commission meeting? Commissioner Ferebee abstained from the first vote, his only concern seemed to be who was going to pay for Dyess Road going north to Country Road. He then approved it at the second reading.

This is more than just a soccer field issue. There are several hundred residents who live in this community, and we are all concerned what doors this will open if this rezoning to Heavy Industrial is allowed. This is not a proper location for an asphalt plant."

Cort Wright

Rapid City

larry kurtz said...

Update, 12 May, 0645 MDT:

"Lots of folks are asking "How is the Petition Drive going?" The answer is "Great!" Almost everyone I ask is willing to sign and normally have comments about how it does not make sense to put Heavy Industrial Zoning off the end of our fields.

We are 12 days out from the deadline and it is time to get more of a precise count of where we are. SO MANY of you have taken petitions to circulate. Please send me a brief email with how you are doing and how many signatures you have. We will get an approximation of where we are and what is left to do.

We also need some volunteers to come to the complex this Saturday to circulate petitions. If you could come a little early or leave a little late after your players' game that would be great. Someone will be at the Information Tent (west side of parking lot in the middle between field 10 and 11) to help get you started if necessary.

Thank you for your support."

Doug Noyes