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Goshen Zoning Board OKs gravel pit on Route 73 property

GOSHEN — Town officials in Goshen have approved a three-year gravel removal project on property located on Route 73.
The Goshen Zoning Board of Adjustment granted a conditional use permit for mineral extraction to property owners John Sherry, William Tessier and Clifford Bauman to mine roughly 100,000 cubic yards of gravel from their property located on the south side of Route 73, approximately 1,200 feet east of the intersection of Route 73 and Hathaway Road.
The gravel extraction will occur on 3.3-acres of a 62-acre property that, after mining is completed, the landowners plan to level, seed with grass and possibly plant apple trees. The extraction site is located roughly 800 feet from Route 73 and is not visible from the road.
The decision came earlier in November following a deliberation and three public hearings on Aug. 29, Sept. 12 and Oct. 10.
The project is not without its detractors, as neighboring property owners appeared at all three hearing to air their concerns about noise and dust. The nearest residence is approximately 1,600 feet west of the site and is the home of Hope Wurmfeld, who attended all three public hearings. Wurmfeld hired Anthony Stout of the Lakeside Environmental Group, who appeared before the board to discuss noise concerns, particularly regarding truck noise. He referenced a measure of sound called the dBA (A-weighted decibels), which is an expression of the level of sound as perceived by the human ear.
He stated that an acceptable noise level would be 55 dBA and that according to his analyses, the noise level would reach 58 dBA at the Wurmfeld residence. This analysis was based on the assumption that trucks generate 88 dBA at 50 feet, the Wurmfeld residence is about 1,600 feet from the pit site and that in straight line open field conditions sound diminishes 6 dBA with each doubling of distance.
But in its decision, the board stated that the topography and heavily wooded nature of the area would result in the rate of noise attenuation, or reduction through the air, would be considerably higher.
“If it were just 10 percent higher at 6.6 dBA, the 55 dBA standard suggested by Mr. Stout would be met,” the board wrote in the findings.
The permit also requires that there will be no crushing, screening, jack hammering or similarly loud equipment operated at the site. There also will be no blasting at the project site. Because of this, the board decreed that dust would not be an issue. Heavy equipment used at the site will be limited to excavators, loaders, bulldozers and trucks. Silt fencing must be installed throughout the site for the duration of the project to minimize erosion.
Extraction operations will take place during the months of June through October between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. No extraction operations will be carried out on Sundays.
The property owners were asked to put up a $7,000 performance bond with the town to ensure that the property is reclaimed properly and according to the permit once the project is completed.
The property owners must also receive Act 250 land use permit approval from the state before any work can begin on the site.

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