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Boundary board to review annexation

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A protest filed with the Utah County Boundary Commission has taken the annexation of a gravel pit operated by an asphalt company out of city hands for at least six months.

The annexation of 174 acres owned by Valley Asphalt was to be discussed and possibly decided Tuesday. But the issue isn't on the agenda, said a city worker.The petition was filed by owners who claim they represent 500 acres, more than 25 percent of the land within a half-mile radius surrounding Valley Asphalt's property, as required by state law. The asphalt company wanted to expand the gravel pit within the annexation area to include a crusher, asphalt and concrete batch plants.

It can't get approval to do that from the county.

Some residents said during the city's public hearing that Valley Asphalt was operating a crusher anyway. A county planning spokeswoman said the company was cited for the illegal crusher, and it was removed a week ago.

While a decision on the annexation is on hold, the Boundary Commission must first check the accuracy of the petition before proceeding with further reviews and a hearing, said Chairman Clyde Naylor. If it conforms to the law, then the matter is sent to a consultant who reviews the annexation proposal to make sure it is legal. Then a public hearing will be held and the commission will render a decision. That could take at least six months, he said.

The Santaquin City Council held a public hearing on the annexation two weeks ago with most residents speaking out against it. However, the Council has been working for about a year on creating new zoning ordinances that would accommodate the annexation.

When protesters began circulating petitions against it, many residents they contacted were un-aware of the impending annexation or the city's attempt to make it possible, said Colleen Wilson, a self-described protest leader.

Valley Asphalt is currently operating the gravel pit, along with two others west of Santaquin. Its batch plants and headquarters are near Spanish Fork, but if the annexation is approved the company - owned by U.S. Aggregate of California - will move to Santaquin.