Quarry opponents make their case Developer's lawyer objects to testimony

August 02, 1996|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Armed with research materials they have gathered over the past several months, opponents of Kingdon Gould's proposal to quarry a site in Jessup tried last night to counter testimony from the developer's experts, much of what they said meeting with objections from the proponents' attorney.

"My back yard is not the only source" of hard rock such as the Baltimore gabbro that Gould wants to quarry, said Melinda Hamilton, a Jessup resident who opposes the quarry.

Leah Woodbury, one of the leaders in the fight against the project, testified that she had visited several quarries in Maryland and found them to be a "blight" on the surrounding neighborhoods.Heavy trucks damaged roadways, she said.

"The road is very warped. It's like driving over a washboard," Woodbury said of a section of Greenspring Avenue near a Baltimore County quarry.

Gould and his opponents gave been fighting for eight months before the Howard County Board of Appeals. The case has been one of the longest ever heard by the board.

At issue is a quarry that could last 25 years or more. Gould wants to quarry a crystalline rock called Baltimore gabbro, which is known for its hardness and uniform texture, on 546 acres he owns east of Interstate 95, west of U.S. 1 and south of Route 175 in Jessup.

Baltimore gabbro hasn't been quarried in Maryland for at least 15 years, and Gould's property is believed by the state Department Natural Resources to be one of the last sites where gabbro can be quarried in Maryland.

Some residents oppose the project out of fear that dust from blasting would endanger their health and their property values.

Last night, Gould's attorney tried to cut short opponents' testimony, saying they were not experts and lacked investigative skills.

"We object to anything anyone told her," Gould's attorney, Richard B. Talkin, said as Woodbury testified about her interviews with residents near the quarry off Greenspring Avenue.

Despite the objections, the opponents were allowed to present their evidence.

"We'll give [the testimony] the weight it deserves," said George Layman, the board's chairman.

Hearings on the quarry will continue at 7: 30 p.m. tonight.

Pub Date: 8/02/96

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