The owner of a gravel pit in Brighton Township has withdrawn his application to rezone a portion of his property, following backlash from area residents.

Ashley Land Development had sought to rezone 32 acres of the 125-acre gravel pit off of Stobart Road from Natural Resources to I-1 Industrial district. The company sought the new designation so they may be permitted to crush concrete onsite as a way to utilize the property that supposedly can no longer be used for residential development as envisioned, due to a contaminated groundwater supply in the vicinity. But community members packed Brighton Township Hall at a May public hearing regarding the request, with residents concerned about the potential for increased traffic, decreased property values, and health issues.

At a meeting of the Board of Trustees Monday, Township Supervisor Patrick Michel informed fellow board members and attendees that Ashley Land had withdrawn their rezoning application. Michel said, “We are not going to entertain that any further at this time. I know we will be keeping our finger on the pulse of what’s going on over there to ensure things go as they are supposed to to the best of our ability…I hope there won’t be any more development on that.” There were no representatives from Ashley Land at Monday’s meeting to comment on their decision to withdraw.

In addition to residents’ opposition, the township had also previously filed suit against Ashley Land, after it was discovered that the company had brought concrete onsite, even though the activity wasn’t permitted within the district. As a result of the lawsuit, the township revoked two of the company’s permits last July. Officials were concerned about allegations that the company had been deceptive in log book recordings to hide the concrete that was coming onsite.

Ashley Land Planner Paul LeBlanc denied the allegations, saying that the company had logged the material. He cited turnovers for the township's engineer and at the weigh-station as contributing factors for the problematic logs. Township Planner Kelly Mathews however confirmed at the May public hearing that the township wasn’t provided the detailed logs until after they had filed the lawsuit. (DK)