Denmark Township mine operation has neighbors concerned

Jason Naber moved his family of five to Denmark Township seven years ago to escape the noise of city life and settle down somewhere more calm. Now some of that noise has followed them.

Just across the street from his development, an existing mine now has new ownership, and the new ownership has a new vision for the site. Martin Marietta Materials wants to rezone agricultural land in an expansion of its recently acquired sand and gravel mine.

"For 12 hours a day we can hear a conveyor belt or crusher running at different points, [it] goes through the house [and] reverberates all the way through," Naber said. "We love the area, but now we’re starting to think do we really want to stay here? We’re the ones losing value to our house, we’re the ones losing value to our daily life."

At a Denmark Township planning commission meeting on Monday night, residents also pushed back against renewal of the mine’s interim use permit. 

They’re asking the township to reduce the mine’s hours of operation from the current 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. schedule and to restrict the number of trucks driving up and down the road each day.

"We’re terrified for the kids, because it’s a narrow county road. There’s no shoulder and you have 900 trucks driving by there," Naber said. "The township needs to slow it down. They need to rein it in and not look just at dollars that the mine is pushing through." 

For now, homeowners will have to wait until the decision on the permit goes before the Denmark Township board on May 1.