When the blasting ends and the dust settles, the proposed quarry site in Jessup will be an "ideal" location for recreation much like other former mining areas that now have tree-lined lakes, golf courses and parks, a landscaping expert told the Howard County Board of Appeals last night.
The Jessup site "is one of the better situations," said Anthony Bauer, a landscape architect, speaking on behalf of developer Kingdon Gould Jr., who wants to quarry rock on a 546-acre wooded site east of Interstate 95, west of U.S. 1 and south of Route 175.
Bauer's presentation, which included a slide show, seemed to give Gould's plan a boost. Even David Carney, one of the county's leading zoning attorneys who is representing quarry opponents, seemed to like some of the designs of housing developments and recreational facilities that were shown in slides.
"Some of them were simply gorgeous," Carney said.
Bauer's comments came as quarry proponents presented final arguments to the board, which has held several hearings in the past four months. More hearings are scheduled.
Gould wants to quarry a crystalline rock called Baltimore gabbro on his "Chase Property" in Jessup. Baltimore gabbro is known for its hardness and uniform texture and most often is used for roads.
In addition, the quarry might process and stockpile sand, gravel, clay and fill dirt. It later could house an asphalt plant.
If all county and state regulatory hurdles are cleared, Gould plans to start the project in two to three years. Mining is expected to last 20 years.
Opponents of the project are expected to begin their testimony when hearings resume next week. Some residents oppose the project because they fear it will increase traffic, create harmful dust and cause property values to drop.
They have formed the Stop the Quarry Coalition to block the project and have circulated petitions against the proposed operation.
In an hourlong slide presentation, Bauer showed board of appeals members how, when mining is finished, quarries have become distinctive residential communities and recreational areas because of the landscape designs.
"It is very desirable to have quarries in populated areas," Bauer said. "They're available for housing. Airports are built on them, recreation areas."
The deep blue lakes and manicured landscapes of former quarry sites that Bauer showed in his presentation even surprised Gould, who has promised similar amenities to Jessup residents.
"I wish I had seen this before," Gould said. "I thought we were pioneering this concept."
When mining is over, Gould has promised Jessup residents, he will develop the site as parkland with a lake and a community center.
He also has pledged to give the Ridgelys Run Community Association -- which includes residents who live near the proposed quarry and representatives of Gould -- 5 cents for every ton of Baltimore gabbro and any other mineral he mines at the site.
Pub Date: 5/24/96