Quarry proposal passes

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Marshall County Commission approved a controversial rezoning request at their Monday night meeting, allowing the expansion of mining operations at the Pottsville quarry operated by the Rogers Group.

Rogers Group had requested that 153 acres, split between two parcels, be rezoned from agricultural use, A-1, to M-1, allowing for additional limestone mining at the site.

A public hearing period held before the commission meeting, repeated a scene that has played out several times already before the county’s planning commission.

Residents of the area, especially from Highway 99, Kenny Nelson Road, and Collins West Road, spoke again in opposition to the rezoning.

Neighbors of the quarry spoke about damage to their homes from vibrations caused by blasting at the site, concerns about the impact of their wells and property values, and overall quality of life.

The dust from the site, the truck traffic into and out of the quarry, and the repeated sound and vibration from the blasts were described by more than one neighbor as “unbearable.”

“The people pushing for this don’t live here, we do, “ said Connie Porter, a resident of Collins West Road.

Rogers Group presented their plans and measures that they were implementing on order to lessen the impact of the quarry.

Derek Roberts, a vice president with Rogers Group, told the commission that the company was working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to add a turn lane and an acceleration lane on Highway 99 to lessen traffic issues.

He said that the Pottsville site would be purchasing their own street sweeper to keep debris off of the road.

After the 30 minute hearing, commissioners voted 12 to 5, with one abstention, in favor of rezoning the two parcels.

Commissioners Toby Adams and Shelton Davis, who represent the 3rd District in which the quarry is located, voted against rezoning the property. Commissioners Dean Delk, Mike Waggoner, and Glen White also voted in opposition.

Commissioner E.W. Hill abstained from the vote due to his association with Volunteer Materials, the quarry adjoining the Rogers site.

The Marshall County Planning Commission voted in December to give an unfavorable recommendation to a proposal that would have rezoned the entirety of the two parcels, 309 acres, for mining purposes.

Rogers Group returned with another request, reducing the amount of land to be rezoned by half.

The planning commission chose, at their meeting last week, not to take action on that request after both sides again presented their cases.

None of the members made a motion to bring the requests to a vote, meaning that the request passed to the county commission for action.

The rezoning will next appear before the Board of Zoning Appeals for further consideration.

All land for mining uses is considered a special exception to regular zoning rules, and the BZA will still have the ability to set conditions on the land use.