Whitesburg residents are finding out this week about a businessman’s proposal for developing a Rock Quarry off Black Dirt Road north of city limits, and they are asking why they were not notified sooner.
“It is frustrating to find out that county government has known about this for more than a week and residents are just finding out about it this week,” former Carroll County District-5 commissioner and Whitesburg resident Kevin Jackson told WLBB Radio Thursday morning. “I know we had elections going on, and… I hope that did not have an effect on getting out the information. But, right now we are gathering information and learning how it will impact us.”
Residents in the southeastern part of Carroll County have taken to social media to express similar concerns and wondering what they can do to have their opinions heard.
All quarries are subject to a Development of Regional Impact (DRI) review through the state. The review process includes giving parties potentially affected the opportunity to comment.
According to documents obtained by WLBB Radio, on June 8th as part of the process, the Three Rivers Regional Commission sent out a memorandum to those parties determined to be potentially affected by a “proposed development in Carroll County for a new construction aggregate facility.”
Those parties were identified as Three Rivers Regional Commission Council; City and County chief elected officials and key staff in the following counties: Carroll, Douglas, Fulton, and Coweta; school superintendents in the preceding counties; development authorities of the preceding counties; Atlanta Regional Commission; GA Department of Natural Resources; GA Department of Transportation; GA Environmental Finance Authority; GA Department of Public Health; and the Carroll County Water Authority.
***(Carroll County’s 3rd District Commissioner Tommy Lee reached out to WLBB Radio Friday morning to state that he was never made aware of the rock quarry memorandum. The planned project is not within Lee’ s district).
According to the Three Rivers regional document, the developer, Green Rock, LLC, proposes to construct a new construction aggregate facility for mining and shipping off of GA SR5 within Carroll County on approximately 360+/- acres. Construction completion on this project is 9 +/- months at this time and is pending approval from all necessary parties. The proposed end use for the facility will be an establishment of a construction aggregate facility.
The developer estimates the value of the property at build-out will be approximately $20,000,000. No existing land uses will be displaced, and the developer has determined that the regional workforce supply is sufficient. The developer has also determined water will be supplied via an onsite private well, wastewater will be treated by a private septic system, and landfill capacity exists for this project. The proposed development will affect protected river corridors and floodplains. Buffers, retention ponds, and storm water drainage designs will comply with the Army Corps of Engineers and State of Georgia surface mining requirements for required permits. It is anticipated that there will be transportation improvements required that have yet to be determined at this time.
Documents state the business could see traffic of 50 truck loads per day at peak.
The property to be used is zoned agricultural. Permitted uses include the development of natural resources including the removal of minerals and natural materials provided that no machinery used for such purposes be located closer than 200 feet to any property line. So, a rezoning request through Carroll County is not necessary in this case. The proposed map shows a 200 foot buffer between the property line and the land which would feature the quarry and plant.
The parties who were offered the opportunity to comment via the memorandum were given 15 days to do so, beginning on Monday, June 8, 2020, and ending on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.
—– #UPDATE (2:50pm Thursday 06-18-20)
Carroll County District 5 Commissioner Ernie Reynolds and County Community Development Director Ben Skipper told WLBB Radio that they contacted the developer and regional commission. They say they have secured an extension to allow the public additional time to review and comment on the planned project’s impact.
“We’ve asked the developer to meet with the public and asked the regional commission to allow for a 60-day extension on the comments so that residents can share their concerns and get questions answered regarding the potential rock quarry,” Skipper said. “We hope to be able to provide additional information soon.”——-
Parties not identified in the original memorandum who also believe they will feel an impact from the project are encouraged to submit their comments via email to Three Rivers Regional Commission Planner, Kimberly Dutton at email@example.com .
Dutton told WLBB Radio Thursday that the collected comments will be shared with the agencies listed in the impact memorandum. A number of the agencies on the list will make the final decision regarding approval and permitting, she said, “For example, the Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division… and, with it being located near the Chattahoochie River, that could involve the Army Corp of Engineers, too.”