Following a five-year battle to mine gravel from property he owns, Albert Lee Yager d.b.a. The Gravel Pit will finally be able to proceed without dealing with challenges from his neighbor.

On Tuesday, the Lake County Commission, acting as the Board of Adjustment, approved an amendment to a conditional use permit issued in May 2016 which prevented The Gravel Pit from mining gravel within 1,000 feet of his neighbor's property line. The area in question lies along SD-34 east of 457th Avenue.

Since that time, the decision has been revisited three times: in May 2019, October 2020, and on Tuesday morning. The company's current neighbor spoke in support of the proposed amendment.

"I have no objection at all," Jane Dubbelde said. "They've reassured me everything will be back the way it's supposed to be."

The Gravel Pit is now able to continue mining the property up to 1,000 feet from the neighbor's residence, the distance established by ordinance in Lake County. Donna Yager, who works with her father, told commissioners they would "do what we're supposed to do."

Commissioner Aaron Johnson asked for a timeline and was told the company is working to reclaim the area already mined and should be finished mining that area by next year.

"I should be pretty much done this year, but I want to say next year," Lee Yager said. He indicated he wasn't able to bid on at least one project because they did not know what the outcome of Tuesday's hearing would be but have obligations to five or six townships to fulfill.

He discussed reclamation efforts with commissioners, which includes seeding down the area, and invited them to look at what they have already done. Donna Yager said inspectors have been impressed with the area completed.

"I think it looks really good," Commissioner Adam Leighton said.

In other issues related to planning and zoning, the commission:

-- Heard the first reading of Ordinance No. 21-74 which will rezone Tract 3 of Colton Park Siding South Addition between Lake Madison and Round Lake in Wentworth Township. The ordinance would rezone the area from Lake Park District - 1 to Lake Park District - 3 to allow large storage buildings.

-- Granted a variance for Corey and Shannon Gerry to build a garage addition onto an existing single-family home in Herman Township. As a result of additional development near the home, it now sits on a corner lot which requires front yard setbacks on two sides of the house. They asked for a 40' variance on one side, placing the structure 35' from the lot line.

-- Granted a variance for Justin and Amanda Rey to replace their existing deck on the lakeside of their house and add an upper-level deck for a second-story walkout. The home is on a nonconforming lot in Wentworth Township.

-- Approved a conditional use permit for Dan and Stacey Dougherty to build an oversized attached garage on a new single-family home in Lakeview Township. The structure meets all setbacks for the lot.

-- Approved a conditional use permit for Lance Nordstrom of Nordstrom Investment Co., LLC, to build an oversized storage structure for Jacobs Landing Campground occupants in Lakeview Township. The structure will include 12 storage bays.

-- Approved a conditional use permit for Lance Nordstrom of Nordstrom Investment Co., LLC, to expand Jacobs Landing Campground in Lakeview Township from 33 full RV hook-ups with rural water, sanitary sewer, and electricity to 56 full hook-up sites.

-- Approved a conditional use permit for McCord Stowater to build an oversized attached garage on a new single-family home in Lakeview Township. The structure will meet all setbacks for the lot.

-- Approved a plat of Tract 1 O'Hara Addition, subdividing a lot for future single-family residential development in Franklin Township.

-- Approved a plat of Tract 1 of Brod Addition, subdividing the existing farmstead away from the adjacent farmland in Lakeview Township.

-- Approved a plat of Lot 1 in Block 2 of Lakes Community Addition, subdividing a lot for future single-family residential development in Wentworth Township.

-- Approved a plat of Lot 19 in Block 8 of Lakes Community Addition, subdividing a lot for future single-family development.