Permitting – June 2014

Quarry Has Issue Over Lack of Permit
An Elberton, Ga., mining company has filed a lawsuit against Rockdale County, Ga., according to the Rockdale Citizen, claiming that the Planning and Development Department is allowing a competing granite quarry to operate illegally and asking Rockdale Superior Court to shut it down. Broad River Quarries LLC, represented by Conyers attorneys John Nix and Michael Waldrop, is seeking declaratory judgment, an injunction against operations, damages and attorney fees in its lawsuit filed May 21. The lawsuit maintains that the county has allowed competitor Georgia Stone Industries to operate the quarry despite the facts that a quarry is not a permitted use under the Watershed Protection zoning and that the business cannot legally be issued a business license.

Among the issues in the lawsuit is the type of granite quarried by Broad River in Elberton, which is the same type of granite at the quarry in Rockdale County. Broad River claims on its website that it operates the only active Silver Cloud granite quarry in the world and describes Silver Cloud granite as having the “perfect marbling of grey and white.” The quarry in Rockdale County is the only other known source of Silver Cloud granite.

Permit Issues in Canada
According to the Guelph Mercury, the Environmental Review Tribunal is giving the City of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, the chance to appeal a decision made by the province regarding River Valley Developments Inc.’s permit to take water at the Dolime quarry. On May 2, the provincial adjudicator approved the city’s application for appeal, which was submitted at the beginning of 2013, kicking off a process that could end at a tribunal hearing down the road.

The quarry is currently owned by River Valley Developments, a subsidiary of Carson Reid Homes, and operated by James Dick Construction. The City of Guelph is not opposed to the company continuing to take water. The issue is related to the conditions attached to the permit granted by the Ministry of the Environment at the beginning of 2013. This permit allows the company to take water until the end of 2017.

Iowa Quarry Seeks Permit Amendment
The operators of a sand quarry north of Decorah, Iowa, want to amend their permit to include, among other things, expanded hours of operation, according to the Decorah Newspapers. The Quandahl Family Trust Farm and Wiltgen Construction Co. of Calmar have submitted a petition to the Winneshiek County Planning and Zoning Commission seeking to amend their conditional-use permit for the quarry at 1842 Canoe Valley Road. The site is approximately 15 acres.

The Commission will hold a public hearing on the petition. The Commission will make its recommendation to the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors, which ultimately decides whether to approve the amended permit. According to Winneshiek County, Iowa, Zoning Administrator Tony Phillips, the petition also is requesting an end to a requirement that calls for the permit to be renewed every five years.

Washington Permit Battle Goes On
Jefferson County, Wash., officials have agreed to a $500,000 settlement with Iron Mountain Quarry, resolving a damage claim by the quarry against the county for lost revenue, according to the Peninsula Daily News. David Alvarez, Jefferson County chief civil deputy, said the settlement resolves two damages claims that would have otherwise required a lengthy trial, with many experts on both sides who would have testified as to Iron Mountain Quarry’s allegations of lost profits. The county had a counterclaim against the business for staff time and expenses incurred.

The settlement will be paid by the Washington State Risk Pool, less a $10,000 deductible. The settlement was reached in Kitsap County Superior Court on May 16 and was expected to be finalized at the end of May, according to the Jefferson County Superior Court Clerk’s Office. Iron Mountain LLC of Bothell is seeking to develop a 142-acre gravel quarry on Pope Resources land near Port Ludlow and has been involved in a permit process dating back to 2007.

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