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General News

Commissioners Approve Ordinance Designed To Stop Americus Quarry

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Kristin Malavenda
/
http://wbaa.org/

Tippecanoe County Commissioners have given final approval to an ordinance that bans a new quarry if 100 or more residences are within a two-mile radius of the proposed operation.

The move puts the future of a proposed limestone quarry near Americus in question.

More than 100 members of the public attended a public hearing at this morning’s Commissioners meeting.

Five spoke out against the ordinance that establishes a buffer zone between quarries and residential areas. All were associated with Rogers Group— the company seeking to establish the quarry.

Fourteen people encouraged Commissioners to approve the new rule, including Buck Creek state senator Brandt Hershman.

“The ordinance before you represents a reasonable way to help control the development of the county in a respectful way that allows for development to continue, both industrial and residential, but does so in a measured way to keep adequate separation to minimize potential negative impacts,” said Hershman.

Rogers Group has already received its paperwork from state agencies for the quarry and has a request for a special exception filed with the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Company attorney Andy Gutwein suggested this would make the Americus quarry exempt from the new ordinance.

“Based on statutory law as well as case law, Rogers Group has vested rights in order to allow them to complete the process under the laws that existed at the time they began the process,” says Gutwein. “So while the ordinance may accomplish a prohibition on any other mines in Tippecanoe County, it will not be binding on this particular project.”

The ordinance passed by a vote of 2-0, but commissioners acknowledge the matter of the Americus quarry could end up in court.