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Waupaca County voices don’t count

Waupaca County residents, beware

I was told that for a Conditional Use Permit for a non-metallic mine to be blocked in Waupaca County, we would have to argue substantial evidence as codified in Wisconsin Act 67.

In May, the town of Scandinavia turned down a proposed 22-acre sand mine on the Iola Car Show grounds operated by Faulks Bros. based on substantial evidence,

but, as of July 12, the Waupaca Zoning office is recommending that the Waupaca County Planning Commission grant the CUP, stating that conditions will guarantee that nothing will significantly change for the neighborhood.

How can anyone argue with a straight face that “the proposed conditional use will be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained so as to be compatible, and be appropriate in appearance, with the existing or intended character of the general vicinity, and such use will not change the essential character of the same area, such that the use will substantially impair or diminish, the use, value, or enjoyment of existing or future permitted uses in the area.” (page 124 of cms1files.revize.com/waupacacowi/07-12-2023%20PZ%20Packet.pdf)

Isn’t the will of the people substantial evidence? Don’t the hundreds who were surveyed for the 2030 Comprehensive Plan have a say? Don’t the elected representatives of the two communities who were to be impacted by this mine have a say? Apparently not.

No one except the interested parties, solely motivated by profit, have come forward to defend the proposed mine. Over and over, various citizens have argued for saving the area from industrial development as expressed in the Comprehensive Plan. Rather than being allegedly outdated, the Plan was visionary: it spoke to the upcoming generations who will need clean air, calm surroundings, and natural beauty found near the grounds of the Iola Car Show.

You have heard the leitmotiv: location, location, location.

Out of 478,720 acres (Waupaca County’s surface), isn’t it possible for a sand mine owner to look for another 22 acres someplace else?

Is disrupting the lives of so many and alienating many more worth it?

Will individual and private interests override the clear voices of the community?

Will the profit motive of a few win over the will of the people?

Our county representatives “will and shall” decide.


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