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Archive for Saturday, April 2, 2005

Quarry hearing postponed to July

April 2, 2005

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A decision on a controversial conditional-use permit for a proposed quarry near Lecompton won't happen sooner than late July.

N.R. Hamm Quarry officials requested to delay a hearing before the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission until July 27.

The hearing had been set for April 27.

"They indicated that they are working on two large projects and have just not had enough opportunity to speak with the Kansas Turnpike Authority, and they wanted to discuss alternative routes," Sheila Stogsdill, assistant planning director for the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Office, said.

This is the second time the quarry hearing has been delayed.

Hamm wants the quarry on a 175-acre property near the intersection of North 1825 and East 350 roads in northeast Douglas County. The site is on the north side of the turnpike.

Quarry officials say they need it to supply rock for the widening of Interstate 70 between Lecompton and Topeka. The Kansas Turnpike Authority designated Hamm its rock supplier for the project.

Area residents oppose the quarry proposal. They have been collecting signatures for a petition.

"We're pushing 400 signatures," said Paul Bahnmaier, who owns 242 acres next to the proposed quarry site. "We won't turn it in until later now because of the delay. This just gives us more time to collect signatures."

Opponents have put up signs along U.S. Highway 40 and near I-70 to protest the proposed quarry. Residents also have formed a neighborhood association and will meet at 10 a.m. April 9 at the Lecompton Community Building to discuss the quarry proposal.

"We will continue to work extremely hard because we feel it's important to preserve the environment, ecology, typography, scenery and history of the greater Lecompton area," Bahnmaier said. "We're concerned about one another and our children and we don't want to leave a gravel pit that will affect the quality of life for future generations."

The Planning Commission will make a recommendation on the permit to Douglas County commissioners, who will have the final say.

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