Grist Creek Aggregates’ longtime gravel extraction and processing plant near Laytonville, California, has been given the go-ahead to resume production of asphalt by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.
On Tuesday, a request by Grist Creek Aggregates, a northern county-based gravel, rock and sand company that currently operates the gravel facility at the Longvale site, received a unanimous vote by the supervisors to re-establish its asphalt product by replacing the former asphalt plant with more efficient and environmentally safe equipment.
The Longvale quarry site is located 2.5 miles east of Highway 101, between the north side of Highway 162 and Outlet Creek.
“It was previously industrial, and now we’re just allowing continued use of asphalt production,” said Mendocino County 3rd District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse. “We (supervisors) felt it was very important for the economy and infrastructure needs of the county.”
“The idea is to have a local product instead of hauling it in from elsewhere,” Woodhouse said. “There was neighborhood concerns, but we feel there is always going to be a local impact. Everyone’s input is always valuable.”
According to a background by the county’s Planning and Building Services, the Longvale site began extracting and processing gravel in 1972, before the extraction process was discontinued in 1990. However, the site continued its processing operation.
Planning’s zoning administrator previously approved a use permit in June 2002 to “allow for the continued industrial use of the property as an asphalt batch plant and aggregate processing facility,” though it was noted that little plant activity took place during the 10-year permit allowance because of a slow market by then-owner Granite Construction. Around this time, most of the asphalt equipment was also removed from Longvale, county documents state.
A proposal was made to the county in 2011 for the re-establishment of a concrete batch plant and an asphalt batch plant at the Longvale site, but the application was subsequently withdrawn, according to Planning and Building.
Based on the previous 2002 county permit for asphalt production, Planning and Building Services said there was no significant environmental concerns with that approved process, and as long as the new asphalt facility maintained the same conditions, there would be no need to further evaluate any additional impacts at this time, nor would a new or change of use permit be required.