Letters to the Editor

Gravel pit: Pits don't follow rules

Up until two months ago the house we lived in backed up to Imperial Road. Imperial Road is used by gravel trucks from the Henni Road area. There are two gravel pits on Henni Road, one is a county pit and the other is privately owned. Well, let me tell you how disruptive gravel trucks can be. Sometimes they would be hauling on Imperial Road starting at 4 a.m. The trucks are not quiet. The trucks run daily, sometimes even on Saturday. Sometimes the gravel trucks even drive through the residential area of Fircrest Estates where many children play. The trucks are spaced anywhere from five to 15 minutes apart, continuously. The trucks go way too fast for this residential area. As if it is not already hard enough to get out onto Highway 20 from Jones Road, try sitting behind two gravel trucks. Your wait can take up to 10 minutes.

Recently, we purchased a home on Vanderwell Road. This same gravel pit could affect us in our new home if they start digging behind our property. In our title report, there was mention of a Conditional Use Permit that the gravel pit has obtained. We wanted to see what this permit consisted of. We spoke to the clerk at the Community Development Department. She said the permit was in storage because it had expired in the ‘70s. She pulled it and called us back letting us know that we could come and look at it at any time. We went down to Coupeville and as the permit was being handed to us, it was snatched up by supervisor Debra Little. She said that she must review it before we could look at it. Now isn’t this permit public record? Well, we followed up for four weeks and she never returned our phone call. When we did get her on the phone and she said she had still not reviewed it, therefore, we could not see it. At this time I asked for her supervisor, Phil Bakke, and he looked into it and said to come look at it anytime.

Gravel pits are not good neighbors. The county pretends not to know anything. I asked them if environmental impact studies have been done, and they didn’t know. When I was calling to find out the load limits for Henni and Imperial roads, no one could come up with that information. All they would say is, “The trucks are legal and anyone has the right to use the roads.” Somehow, I do not think that this is true. Load limits are placed on the roads for just that — to know what the roads can take. Like someone told me down in the county building, “Somehow gravel pits seem to get things passed through.”

This is just plain wrong. Any other type of business has to go by the rules and regulations of the permits, etc. issued. Why are gravel pits exempt?

Christina Urtasun

Oak Harbor

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