Raleigh quarry expansion plans crumbling?

April 5, 2011 4:10:17 PM PDT
Raleigh residents opposing a rock quarry expansion in their neighborhood got some welcomed news Tuesday morning.The Raleigh Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend the Raleigh City Council deny Hanson Aggregates Southeast's permit request to build a new rock quarry in northwest Raleigh.

The owners of the Hanson-Crabtree Creek Quarry off Duraleigh Road applied for the permit back in September last year. They want 100 acres west of the quarry rezoned from residential to industrial.

If the rezoning request is approved by the Raleigh City Council, Hanson would then buy the land from the developer that has it now.

Hanson Aggregates is offering incentives -- like promising to drop a long-standing lawsuit against the city, construct a greenway connection and offer the existing pit for flood control -- to get its expansion accepted.

The facility near Umstead State Park was established by the North Carolina Department of Transportation in 1946 and has been excavating granite for decades.

On Tuesday morning, Planning Commission members praised the company for what it is, but said its request to get bigger wasn't a good deal for the city.

They said the company hadn't planned it out well enough, there were potential environmental problems and it would cost the city money.

"The incredible thing was we had a large amount of people willing to dig into this and really expose the problems," opposed resident Andrew Meehan said. "This involved a lot of research and due diligence, a real effort to make our case and I think we saw the results of that today."

Raleigh's mayor says he expects the City Council will uphold the recommendation and vote against the quarry when it takes up the issue at its meeting on April 19.

As for the quarry, representatives for the company say they're weighing their alternatives.

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