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Monday, May 4, 2015

Quarry proposal on planning agenda

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A proposed rock quarry will be the main topic of discussion Thursday for Shelbyville's planning commission and board of zoning appeals (BZA).

The planning commission will consider a site plan for a rock quarry on L. Fisher Road requested by Wright Paving, the company which is currently embroiled in a $10 million federal lawsuit with the city over the matter.

According to planning and community development director Amanda Rhinehart, for the project to move forward the commission must approve the site plan for the quarry.

If the proposal is approved, the BZA will then look at the question of conditional use for the property. If the commission denies the site plan, then the BZA would cite the commission's rejection as the reason for not granting that use.

"That is a bright-line test, it's very clear that if the site plan doesn't get approved, the special exception doesn't get approved," Rhinehart said.

Ordered to consider

Last November, a state appellate judge ordered the BZA to consider the Wrights' original 2004 application for the quarry "at the earliest possible date," reviewed under the zoning ordinance that existed in February 2004, before changes were made which kept the Wrights from building on the site.

When the initial application for the quarry was made, residents near the proposed site said blasting would damage their property, and the city changed an ordinance to rezone the Wrights' property so that it was no longer permitted as a conditional use while the application was pending.

The company eventually filed suit, and on appeal it was ruled that the public notice of the zoning amendment had been defective and that the change was void.

The Wrights asked the BZA in 2010 to consider their application again under the property's original 2004 zoning, but they refused to put the application on its meeting agenda. A trial court later found that action was arbitrary and illegal.

Later that year, the Wrights filed the $10 million federal lawsuit, demanding the city, planning commission, BZA and former planning director Ed Dodson be held liable for violating their civil, due process and equal protection rights. They are also demanding damages for the future use of the property for quarrying, including all consequential damages and lost profits.

Other business

Two other items will be before the commission as well on Thursday: an equal land swap between the Pitner family and the city, which would exchange a small piece of land for another tract at the former location of Economy Pencil, with the Pitners paying all fees and costs. The matter has already been approved by the city council.

The commission will also look at recommending the approval of two ordinances to correct errors on the city's zoning map for an area on McDale Lane and U.S. 231 North.

The meetings are set to begin at 6 p.m. in the courtroom inside the Shelbyville police station.