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.