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Opponents petition judge to block Mellott rezoning

July 23, 1999|By BRENDAN KIRBY

Opponents of a decision to rezone land that H.B. Mellott Estates Inc. needs to expand have gone to court to block the move.

Henry Heaton II, Roger Worthington and Neil A. Wright, who live near the mining company, petitioned a Washington County Circuit Court judge on Friday to block the rezoning.

All three men are members of the Friends of Beaver Creek, a group that was formed in 1985 in an unsuccessful effort to block expansion of the quarry on its east side.

The Washington County Commissioners voted 3-2 last month to rezone 79 acres in the northeast corner of the Md. 66-Interstate 70 interchange.

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Wright said neighbors' concerns focus on the feared impact on the neighborhood's character. Opponents of the rezoning also have pointed to the possible effect on the ground water and the nearby Beaver Creek Spring, which feeds the Albert M. Powell Trout Hatchery area.

"We thought we had a good case. The commissioners decided against us. All I can say is we have hired lawyers that think we have a case," Wright said.

County Attorney Richard W. Douglas was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

Mellott officials referred phone calls to the company's attorney, John Urner, who could not be reached for comment.

The rezoning added an industrial-mineral overlay to match the zoning on the rest of the quarry. The overlay is needed so the company can extract mineral reserves from the property.

Mellott officials have said they do not plan to begin work in the rezoned area for at least eight years.

Staff Writer Scott Butki contributed to this story

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