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Blackman rock quarry question goes to court

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Chancellor Robert Corlew will get another shot at Rutherford County’s zoning resolution on Jan. 15 when preliminary arguments are presented in the Blackman-Murfreesboro Rock Quarry dispute.

The Rogers Group Inc., which owns the quarry, requested a conditional-use permit to rezone approximately 135.9 acres from residential to industrial for resource extraction.

But, due to conflicting language in the zoning resolution, the Rutherford County County Commission voted at its October meeting to take the evidence to a judge for a declaratory judgment.

At issue is the setback requirement for resource production and extraction (Section 7.03 of the resolution).

In the current resolution, quarries must be set back at least 1,500 feet from surrounding homes zoned residential 100, R-40, R-20, R-10 and R-8. But the homes surrounding the Murfreesboro-Rutherford County Rock Quarry are all zoned R-15, as is most of the unincorporated county.

However, it was found that the R-15 designation listed in the 1984 Rutherford County Planning Resolution and no supporting documentation that the County Commission voted to repeal the R-15 setback requirement.

In October, Director Doug Demosi released a memo that said evidence researched by the Rutherford County Planning Department shows there is no documentation the R-15 zone was removed from the setback clause by an act of the commission.

“After researching the issue as requested by the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners, there appears to be no evidence that the original language of the provision in question was ever changed from R-15 to R-20,” Demosi said in the memo.

The declaratory judgment would decide whether the zoning resolution applies to the R-15 setback and if it setback applies to the Rogers Group conditional use permit.

At its October meeting, the commission approved an amendment to the zoning resolution that changes its language to include all residential property in the disputed section. But because the Rogers Group had already submitted its request, the amendment does not apply.

Read more from:
Business, County Commission, Environment, Murfreesboro, Planning Commissioner, Planning Department, Rock Quarry, Rogers Group, Rutherford County, Zoning
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Members Opinions:
January 03, 2009 at 9:50am
The Hooever quarry is more than 1500 feet from my home by my estimate, but it the blasting still affects it. All the neighbors can feel the effects. Some have claimed shaking walls and items falling off the walls. Many of us have suffered the effects of abnormal house settlement, wall cracks, etc. Not to mention the continuous traffic of heavy dump trucks rumbling back and forth all day on the county road behind us. So close to the homes that just one truck going off the road into a home, will not only topple it but can very well kill anyone inside.

If you ask me.... 1500 feet is insufficient. Builders should be prevented from constructing homes too near quarries. For those granted permission, the city and the county should require the builders to contribute to the erection of protective road barriers to protect the homes.
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