State Rep. Julie Alexander, R-Hanover, on Tuesday testified before the House Committee on Local Government and Municipal Finance in support of her plan to preserve local control while setting a reasonable timeline for officials to review a mining operation’s request for zoning approval.
Alexander, who serves on the committee, said her House Bill 4875 would create a timeline to ensure local governments efficiently review and make a determination on mining applications from producers of aggregates like sand and gravel, which are used in road pavement. She noted her plan would simultaneously maintain important local controls over mining operations, in contrast to other bills introduced in the Legislature that Alexander said would weaken the ability of local communities to place reasonable zoning limits on mining.
“Local issues should be controlled by the people through local elected officials,” said Alexander, a former Jackson County commissioner. “We don’t need more statewide, top-down policies that interfere with community decisions on mining.
“Instead, our law should provide clarity to both local governments and the industry that supplies aggregates for roadbuilding. Access to these materials is vital for cost-effective road repairs. My plan will preserve and clarify local zoning authority over mining, while guaranteeing operators a clear, concise timeline to get a local government’s final decision.”
Alexander’s plan would require any local unit of government to make a final decision on zoning approval for a mining operation within one year of receiving a complete application. If an application is incomplete, the local government would be required to notify the applicant of any issues within 90 days; otherwise the one-year approval timeline would begin. The government and applicant could mutually agree to extend deadlines as needed.
HB 4875 remains under consideration by the committee.
State Rep. Julie Alexander and the Michigan House of Representatives this morning approved Alexander’s plan to hold state government accountable to the people of Michigan when officials exercise emergency powers.