Proposed Jessup quarry wins initial approval Board of Appeals places conditions on developer Gould

November 27, 1996|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

The county Board of Appeals last night gave initial approval to developer Kingdon Gould Jr.'s controversial proposal for a rock quarry in Jessup that is expected yield 1 to 2 million tons of rock a year for 25 years.

Board members must sign astatement of approval and until they do, they have the authority to change their decision.

Board members plan to review and sign the final document in February.

Richard B. Talkin, an attorney for Gould, would not comment last night on the decision, saying, "When we see the final decision, we'll comment on it."

Last night's decision -- which imposes some conditions on the developer -- brought to an end a 10-month process that has become one of the longest running cases before the board.

Gould, a North Laurel resident and a Washington parking lot magnate, wants to mine a crystalline rock called Baltimore gabbro at the 600-acre site east of Interstate 95, west of U.S. 1 and south of Route 175. Baltimore gabbro, known for its hardness and uniform texture, is used mostly for road construction.

In addition to the rock, the quarry might process and stockpile sand, gravel, clay and fill dirt. It could later house an asphalt plant.

Some residents have fought against the project, fearing that it will hurt their property values and endanger their health. They say they will continue to oppose the project as Gould now seeks the needed state permits to begin mining.

Conwell Sapp, an attorney representing the opponents, said they are deciding whether to fight the decision.

"I think there are a variety of points that can be appealed," Sapp said. The board "made a legitimate effort to try to ameloriate the effects. I'm just not sure it's going to work."

The board tried to address residents' concerns by imposing a series of conditions on the developer, including the following: Prior to the start of quarry operations, Gould will donate approximately 7 acres of land for a community center that will include an outside basketball court, two tennis courts and a youth baseball field.

The developer will donate to the Ridgelys Run Community Association -- a Jessup civic group -- 5 cents per ton of marketable stone product shipped from the project operations, with a minimum donation of $50,000 a year.

The posted speed limit on U.S. 1 between Route 175 and Route 32 will be reduced to 40 mph.

Every five years, the developer must obtain renewal of approval to continue quarry operations, which will end 25 years after the final permit to begin construction is obtained.

The pledges were included in an agreement Gould reached with some residents. Over the past month, board members sought to determine whether they could force him to keep the promises.

Last night, they determined that they could and approved the project, hoping at least that the unusually long case was ended.

"I really don't want to see them back in the next six months," said board chairman George Layman, who appeared weary as the panel did its work last night.

Gary Prestianni, president of the Ridgelys Run Community Association, said he was happy with the board's decision.

Pub Date: 11/27/96

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