Beaver Materials has proposed a gravel and sand extraction site on 50 acres northwest of 191st Street and Allisonville Road.
The proposal has raised public concern because it is adjacent to Potter’s Bridge Park. As part of the proposal, Beaver Materials will donate 10 acres of the property to the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Dept.
“Once they close on the property, they would immediately donate 10 acres to Hamilton County Parks,” said Denise Aschleman, a senior planner with the Noblesville Dept. of Planning and Development. “That portion is most of the wooded property along the western side.”
The remaining acreage would be used to extract sand and gravel with a digging technique using an excavator and crane. The extraction process would be for 10 years. Gravel and sand would be transported to the Beaver Material property on River Road for processing.
“Once that 10 years concluded, they, in theory, have approximately a 30-acre lake on the northern parcel, and that whole parcel also will be donated to Hamilton County Parks for inclusion in Potter’s Bridge Park.”
Beaver Materials owner Chris Beaver said he wanted to donate part of the land after he recognized how overcrowded the park was during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The park was over-crowded and not big enough for all the demand during COVID, so I decided to see if I can get the purchase to turn it into a beautiful park,” he said.
Beaver said the 10 acres donated immediately could be used to expand the trail system at Potter’s Bridge Park. He also plans to turn some of the farm land at the purchase site into prairie grass help the ecosystem. Some of the property is woodland, and Beaver said the company wouldn’t remove any trees.
When the excavation is complete, Beaver said 100 percent of the property will be donated to Hamilton County Parks and Receration.
“My dream is that this will be the best park in Hamilton County,” he said.
If the proposal is approved, Beaver Materials must keep the property secured. Generally, berms are used, but since the property is in the floodway of the White River, Beaver Materials is proposing a type of fencing that would collapse if the river floods so it is not an obstruction to floodwaters. Parts of the property also will include traditional berms.
Aschleman said the Noblesville Dept. of Planning and Development has received more than 80 complaints from the public regarding the property. Residents protested the proposal in downtown Noblesville Oct. 19. They carried signs that read, “Stop the Beaver Gravel Pit at Potter’s Bridge,” “Keep Potter’s Bridge Park safe, no gravel pit!” and “Gravel pits make bad neighbors.”
The Don’t Leave it to Beaver protest group has created a petition on change.org to stop the gravel extraction. As of press time, nearly 3,500 people had signed the petition.
Beaver said he is open to dialogue with the protestors and is happy to discuss their concerns. He also would offer to take them to Beaver Materials sites and introduce them to the company’s safety director.
“I respect, and our company respects, every (protestor). They have that right, and we respect those rights,” Beaver said. “The only thing frustrating to the business is we would not make a business decision if it hurt the neighborhood environment or anything.”
Originally, the Noblesville Plan Commission was supposed to hear the proposal during its Oct. 19 meeting, but the proposal was pushed to Nov. 16. After the plan commission provides a positive or negative recommendation for the project, the Noblesville City Council will vote on it.
For more, visit cityofnoblesville.org. For more about the petition to stop the proposal, visit change.org/p/noblesville-in-common-council-stop-the-beaver-gravel-pit-at-potter-s-bridge-park-dontleaveittobeaver?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=custom_url&recruited_by_id=ce849510-0993-11eb-8b24-b75967b548a7.