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Quarry site plan approved

July 02, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Despite concerns about buffer zones and possible impact on water quality, the Washington County Planning Commission gave site plan approval Monday night to the Beaver Creek Quarry, which wants to expand its mining operations by more than 90 acres.

All planning commission members but George Anikis voted to approve the plan. The expansion plan now hinges on the quarry receiving its state mining permit.

Carl Boyer, who represented the quarry at Monday night's meeting, said after the meeting that he was pleased with the outcome.

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"We expect to hear from the state on our permit by July 4," Boyer said.

A late June hearing held by the Maryland Department of the Environment drew about 40 people who were concerned about safety, protecting the view and preserving the spring that feeds Beaver Creek.

H.B. Mellott Estate Inc. is seeking the state permit for the quarry, which is near the Md. 66 exit of Interstate 70.

Boyer, vice president of the environment department for H.B. Mellott, said at the earlier hearing that the permit would enable the quarry to extract better rock for concrete and asphalt on land known as the Schneider property.

Berms would be built around the quarry and planted with grass to help maintain the aesthetics of the surrounding area. Fencing is also part of the requirements in the expansion.

Bert Iseminger, an ex-officio planning commission member, moved for the approval Monday night with conditions that quarry personnel notify property owners of blasting, either by letter or by telephone.

"And if the spring that feeds Beaver Creek is affected, there will be a cessation of blasting," Iseminger said.

Mellott attorney John Urner said there is a plan in effect if the water is interrupted, "whether it is us or not."

Still, a number of nearby residents voiced their concerns with the ruling after the meeting.

"I'm disappointed," said Norma Heaton, who lives at 21116 Black Rock Road. "My main concerns are with the visual setbacks and fly rock."

Heaton said she has never experienced any property damage from fly rock from a blast but still she said she worries.

"You can't stop traffic on I-70 when there is a blast," Heaton said after the meeting Monday night.

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