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No decision yet on quarry rezoning request

County attorneys asked to develop new draft of conditions

County attorneys asked to develop new draft of conditions

June 16, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

The Washington County Commissioners did not reach a consensus Tuesday on whether to approve or deny a rezoning request that would allow Martin Marietta Materials to mine an additional 77 acres west of the current Pinesburg Quarry northwest of Williamsport.

Commissioner William J. Wivell asked county attorneys to develop a new draft of proposed conditions for the rezoning for the commissioners to consider at a future meeting.

Already, Martin Marietta has agreed to a list of eight conditions that includes restrictions on blasting, provisions for well protection, regular meetings with nearby residents and a buffer around the new quarry area, Assistant County Attorney Kirk C. Downey said.

Neighbors of the quarry have protested the expansion at two public hearings.

Commissioner James F. Kercheval said he supported the request because expanding an existing quarry is preferable to creating a new one or importing stone into the county.

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Kercheval said the expansion would actually move the mining operation further from the homes of most of the residents protesting the expansion.

Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire had problems with six of the eight conditions proposed, while Wivell requested only two major changes.

Wivell said he would like to see more "teeth" added to a requirement that the mining company meet with nearby residents to require the company to work to address problems brought up at those meetings. He also said he wanted to require the company to move a historic home at the center of the proposed expansion to another location, such as the buffer zone at the edge of the property.

Martin Marietta Materials has said it would not increase the intensity of its mining operation, but sought the new mining area for use when it exhausted the potential of its current property in about 15 or 20 years.

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