Quarrying plan hits neighbor resistance Genstar seeks to connect two existing pits

November 19, 1992|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

Plans to expand quarry pits between Westminster and New Windsor met some resistance from neighbors last night.

While several residents raised concerns about traffic and noise, others flatly voiced opposition to Genstar Stone Products Co.'s plans during an information meeting at the Comfort Inn in Westminster.

The most vocal opposition came from John Russell, a Wakefield Valley Road resident who lives near the limestone quarry. He was among 30 residents at the meeting.

"How could you in a clear conscience allow all this [land] to be turned into two rock quarries?" Mr. Russell asked the Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission, also referring to the Arundel Corp.'s plans for two quarries near the Genstar site.

"The quarry is a mile from my house and I can hear the beep-beep of trucks. I don't need an alarm clock," he added. "I get up when Genstar starts working."

Genstar has submitted concept plans to county officials to expand its pits along the former Medford Road between Route 31 and Nicodemus Road.

James M. Mason, the company's manager of exploration and planning, noted that the firm has operated the quarry for about 30 years and is now asking to dig to the full extent allowed there. Mr. Mason said the firm's plans will mean about a 10 to 15 percent increase in land use.

Included in the plans are the closing of Old Medford Road -- now a quarry road -- to connect two existing pits and adding an aggregate stock pile and a temporary processing facility.

Prior to the meeting, planning commission members, county officials and residents toured the firm's Medford operation. County law requires the company to sponsor a public tour and meeting as part of the approval process.

Noelle Floreen, also a Wakefield Valley Road resident, urged the planning commission to restrict traffic of heavy trucks on surrounding side roads, including Stone Chapel and Bowersox roads.

As part of expanding its existing quarries, the firm plans to relocate its main entrance from east Medford Road to west Medford Road. The relocation would occur in three-to-five years, Mr. Mason said. Residents are fearful the relocation will mean increased traffic on side roads.

Company officials said they don't expect an increase in truck volume because of the proposed pit expansion. They are proposing to expand the pits to dig deeper for limestone, they said.

The county Planning Commission will consider comments made at yesterday's meeting and may recommend changes to Genstar's initial site plan before deciding whether to approve it. Public comment will be accepted through the first Friday in December, county officials said.

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