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Firm seeks quarry expansion

February 03, 2001

Firm seeks quarry expansion



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


Martin Marietta Materials Inc. is seeking Washington County's permission to expand by 13.5 acres the area it can mine at the Boonsboro limestone quarry.

The Washington County Planning Commission is scheduled to consider the company's request to change its site plan during a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the County Commissioners meeting room in the County Administration Building. No public hearing is scheduled.

The proposed site plan changes call for allowing mining in a 13.5-acre area located in the southeast part of the property. It also calls for putting a four-foot berm on the property and five-foot chain link fence.

Earl Smith, Martin Marietta Materials area manager, did not return phone calls Thursday and Friday.

The Raleigh, N.C.-based company previously mined on part of the 13.5 acres even though it did not have proper county authority to do so, said County Attorney Richard Douglas. That action by the company was a zoning violation, he said.

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The site plan change would allow the company to mine there, said county Senior Planner Timothy Lung.

The request follows a successful push for an industrial mineral floating zone to be added to the existing agricultural designation for 186 acres around the quarry on 20301 Benevola Church Road.

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

On Nov. 15, for the second time in less than a year, the Washington County Commissioners voted on that rezoning, approving it by a 4-1 vote.

In December 1999, the Washington County Commissioners voted 3-2 to deny the rezoning request, at least in part to send a message over the zoning violation.

Martin Marietta appealed the decision to Washington County Circuit Court, which sided with the company.

The July 31, 2000 court decision said the commissioners cited insufficient reasons for the action and should not have made prior zoning violations a consideration in their decision.

During the December discussion, County Commissioner John Schnebly said he wanted to send the company a message because it violated the county zoning ordinance by mining on land where it was not permitted.

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