Quarry proponent Gould was quarry opponent in 1969

July 25, 1996|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

The developer seeking to dig a quarry in Jessup testified against a quarry proposed for his own neighborhood 27 years ago, according to transcripts of a 1969 case presented to the Howard County Board of Appeals this week.

Kingdon Gould argued then that a quarry near his home on Murray Hill Road in North Laurel would be unsightly and dusty, create unsafe road conditions and harm his property's value -- the same concerns raised by opponents of the quarry Gould wants to build in Jessup.

"It's like we were plagiarizing his words [from the earlier case], but we didn't even know they were his words," said Rosemary Ford, an area resident opposing the quarry, who attended the Tuesday night meeting at which the transcript was presented.

But Richard B. Talkin, an attorney representing Gould, dismissed the 1969 testimony as irrelevant, saying that proposed quarry was "of a different era," before local and federal regulations were put in place.

Gould is seeking approval for a quarry on a 546-acre wooded site he owns in Jessup off U.S. 1, allowing the mining of a crystalline rock called Baltimore gabbro.

Baltimore gabbro -- known for its hardness and uniform texture -- often is used for road construction. It hasn't been produced in Maryland for at least 15 years.

The Board of Appeals began hearings on the proposed quarry in January and is expected to conclude them next month.

Board members have visited the site of the proposed quarry and an existing quarry operation owned by Gould in Frederick County.

During Tuesday night's hearing, quarry opponents submitted a transcript of Gould's testimony from a 1969 Board of Appeals case in which Contee Sand and Gravel Co. sought to open a quarry near Gould's home on Murray Hill Road. The transcript was not discussed during Tuesday's hearing.

In that 1969 testimony, Gould said that "the opening of the quarry on that site, even with controls, regardless of any control that could be devised, would have a definite deleterious effect on the value of my property "

"This property developed for a quarry would be an unsightly eyesore which would be directly in my line of vision from my property," Gould testified in 1969. "I would be concerned with the physical disturbance that I would expect from the operation of a quarry, that is to say, dust, vibration, noise from crushers and trucks, from loaders, from drilling and blasting

"Insofar as safety goes, I would be concerned with the truck traffic as it goes down Murray Hill Road, which is a very narrow, dangerous road," he said.

Quarry opponents have cited similar concerns as reasons the board should reject Gould's Jessup request.

But Talkin said that the Murray Hill quarry proposal was not the same as Gould's plan for Jessup.

"This is an entirely different operation," Talkin said. "That was almost 30 years ago, and in the past 20 years there has been an exponential" improvement in the way quarries are run.

Talkin also said that the concerns about trucks causing unsafe roads are different because Murray Hill is a much narrower road than U.S. 1.

"Murray Hill is not U.S. 1," he said. "Comparing the two quarry proposals is not even comparing apples to apples."

Pub Date: 7/25/96

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