Boonsboro quarry rezoning rejected

December 14, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

The Washington County Commissioners Tuesday rejected a rezoning request for a Boonsboro limestone quarry, at least in part to send a message over a zoning violation.

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Martin Marietta Materials Inc. had requested an industrial mineral floating zone be added to the existing agricultural designation for 186 acres around the quarry on 20301 Benevola Church Road.

The Raleigh, N.C.-based company said it wanted the industrial mining overlay in order to use the land for office and processing facilities, storage of materials and berm construction.

Commissioner John L. Schnebly, who made the motion to reject the request, said during the meeting he was not ready to discuss why he moved to reject the request.


Earlier in the meeting, Schnebly said he wanted to send the company a message but did not elaborate.

After the meeting, County Attorney Richard Douglas said the company violated the county zoning ordinance by mining on land where it was not permitted.

Permits and Inspections Director Paul Prodonovich confirmed the company mined on an area of about 700 feet by 175 feet that was not zoned for the activity.

Douglas said mining is allowed on three parcels, but the company was mining on a fourth parcel.

"We have told them to stop and they have," Douglas said. He said he thinks the violation occurred within the last year but was unsure of when.

Schnebly later confirmed that the violation was one of the reasons for his motion and vote.

He said he was frustrated with businesses breaking promises and rules.

Attorney John Urner, who represents the company, said he would not comment on the meeting or the violation until he found out more about Tuesday's decision.

Two company employees reached by phone also would not comment on the decision or the violation.

Nobody representing the company attended Tuesday's meeting.

A company representative confirmed at a joint public hearing before the County Commissioners and the Washington County Planning Commission in September that the company may have been operating on property not zoned for mining, but had since stopped.

Tuesday's vote was 3-2 with Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger and William J. Wivell opposed.

The zoning request was met with heated opposition during the September hearing, with residents claiming quarry operations had caused cracked foundations, polluted water, heavy truck traffic, blasting noises 24 hours a day and strong vibrations.

Urner replied that the amount of traffic, blasting, production and noise would not increase if the zoning request were granted.

The company plans to consolidate two pit areas and move its stockpile and an asphalt plant to the southern portion of the property, he said

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