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Updated comprehensive plan causes debate in Utica

Posted by wlpo on January 27, 2016

As history has shown, if you want a big public turnout for a meeting, just bring up sand mining.

According to the NewsTribune, a crowd of about 50 calling themselves CORE, or Conserve Our Rural Ecosystem protested at Tuesday night’s Utica Planning Commission meeting. They’re upset that the proposed new Utica comprehensive plan includes the possibility of additional sand mining.

A consultant who put the new comprehensive plan together says the parts of Utica’s map that say mining just refers to current quarries. It doesn’t mean the land will always be for mining. The consultant agreed to change the term mining on the maps to industry.

CORE member and La Salle County Farm Bureau President Monty Whipple says the comprehensive plan doesn’t preserve or protect land in Waltham Township. He says agricultural land “will be lost forever.”

Despite Whipple and others protests, the planning commission unanimously voted to send the comprehensive plan to the full village board.

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