Rogers Group Seeks Special Exemption

Rogers Group, Inc. is once again seeking a special exception for a proposed limestone quarry, according to the Journal and Courier.

“Rogers Group is moving forward with our project and is looking forward to serving customers in the Greater Lafayette, Ind., market,” company spokesman Tom Kenley told the paper.

The company highlighted quarry construction and operations jobs as benefits of the project. The proposed location is the only place in Tippecanoe County where the desired resources are available, and the operation would generate $80,000 to $100,000 in tax revenue each year.

Bill and Kay Miller, co-presidents of the Americus Area Community Coalition, said they’re not surprised. They expected Rogers Group to exhaust its options before truly canceling the project.

The special exception issue is slated for two upcoming public meetings. The county’s staff report advised the executive committee that approval of the site “will substantially adversely affect the Comprehensive Plan.” The Board of Zoning Appeals will take the results of the executive committee and rule on other aspects of the petition. This includes traffic generation, outdoor lighting, noise, operation hours and other legal requirements.

Martin Marietta Plant Decision Upheld

A Weld District Court judge sided with commissioners in their approval of an asphalt and concrete plant about a mile northeast of Johnstown, Colo., according to the Tribune. The judge’s decision, at least for now, brings to an end a nearly two-year fight that grew louder after commissioners thwarted their county’s planning department and planning commission in approving the Martin Marietta Materials plan in August 2015.

Nearby residents filed suit, citing violations of county code and what they characterized as an arbitrary decision on the part of the commissioners, among other allegations. Weld commissioners, on the other hand, are pleased with Judge Taylor’s ruling. “We’re very happy with the decision of the court,” Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer said. “The judge was adamant that we followed the rules, and our policies.”

The judge’s decision comes after commissioners were required to revisit their initial decision, as Taylor in August 2016 ordered commissioners to better explain their decision to approve the plant. Taking the new explanation into account, the judge affirmed the commissioners’ initial ruling granting special use to the plant.

Wisconsin Zoning Code Change Benefits Quarries

A proposed Madison, Wis., zoning code change would allow quarries to formally operate in the city and permit operators to expand mining into adjacent properties, according to the Cap Times.

Though the current zoning code does not allow mining, four identified rock quarries are operating in the city because they were running legally before being annexed.

When a property is annexed, it keeps its legal entitlements, Assistant City Attorney John Strange said. These mines can continue operating as “nonconforming uses” until the mine’s resources are exhausted – between 20 and 30 years – or the operator changes the mine’s use.

Under the proposed ordinance, mining operators could apply to rezone their property to create a new special zoning district called the Nonmetallic Mineral Extraction District. Strange noted that the option is voluntary, and mining operators could continue to operate as they have been.

Operators would have to renew their permit to blast every five years, Strange said. Close proximity to the city can be a benefit especially for road projects and recycling services, Strange said. However, these quarries are located near residential areas and neighbors have had concerns regarding blasting.

Colorado Quarry Project on Track

A proposed quarry for Marengo, Ill., likely will be a lot bigger than initially expected, according to the Northwest Herald. Last February, the city of Marengo approved an 80-acre annexation agreement with McHenry, Colo.-based company Super Aggregates, which sought to develop a quarry that would be attached to 175 acres of land within Marengo city limits.

Now the company wants to merge property with an existing 256-acre quarry to form a new sand and gravel mining entity, Marengo Lakes LLC, according to Marengo city documents.

The project will go before the Planning and Zoning Commission after a public hearing. The commission could make a recommendation on the zoning change, which could classify the site as a manufacturing site with a special use permit under city codes. The City Council would vote at its subsequent meeting on the amended annexation agreement and zoning change.

Jack Pease of Super Aggregates said the quarry should be operational by the spring.

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