Construction materials company wants planning commissions to reconsider their opposition to Eudora quarry project
photo by: Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Commission
A Topeka-based construction materials company is hoping to establish a new quarry in Eudora, and it wants the Eudora and Lawrence-Douglas County planning commissions to reconsider after they voted nearly unanimously to recommend against the project.
At its meeting Wednesday, the Douglas County Commission will consider the request from Mid-States Materials to return the original conditional use permit application to the Lawrence-Douglas County and Eudora planning commissions for further discussion and an updated recommendation. The Douglas County Commission has to give its approval to revisit the application because back in November, the entire seven-member Eudora Planning Commission and all but two members of the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission recommended that it be denied.
Mid-States Materials wants to break ground on a limestone quarry at 1174 East 2300 Road. That’s just south of Eudora and directly adjacent to the existing Hamm Quarry, itself a subject of concerns from neighbors in recent years.
More than a dozen members of the public voiced opposition to the new quarry in November, and not just because of its proximity to an existing quarry. Some were worried about which roads the company planned to use to access the quarry, for example, given that it would be located less than 2 miles from Eudora’s schools.
A letter to planner Mary Miller from Mid-States Materials’ general counsel, Rich Eckert, states that the company believes the primary concern from members of the public was the proposed haul route that would take company trucks past Eudora’s middle and high schools. Eckert says in the letter that the company is prepared to offer the county a revenue plan to rebuild and resurface East 2300 Road from North 1200 Road — the nearest intersection to the proposed quarry — and the intersection of Kansas Highway 10 about 2 miles north.
“We understand that this is a radical departure from what is proposed in our initial CUP application and, therefore, it would be appropriate to take this proposed condition back to the planning commissions,” the letter reads. “Additionally, we would suggest the landowners to be affected on E. 2300 Road should be notified, as most of them are outside of the initial notification area.”
But another letter included with this week’s agenda materials, this one from Eudora Planning Commission Chair Grant Martin, says that the commission’s issues with the proposed quarry go beyond the truck routes, as the group laid out back in November.
Martin said the Eudora commission’s main concern is actually related to Eudora’s anticipated growth over the next 20 years. Eudora is expecting to get a boost from Panasonic’s $4 billion, 4,000-job electric vehicle battery plant coming to nearby De Soto, and the city is expected to continue to expand south and then east toward East 2300 Road during the time the quarry plans on being in operation.
Martin’s letter says this is still the planning commission’s main problem with the application, and that the commission doesn’t think the proposal for a different truck route warrants any further consideration from the planning commissions.
“Existing and future truck traffic and routing is certainly an issue associated with the proposed quarry, but it is the addition of another active quarry in this location (in close proximity to the primary growth area of Eudora) that is central to the Eudora Planning Commission’s recommendation of denial of the conditional use permit in this case,” Martin’s letter reads.
Wednesday’s meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. The meeting will also be available by Zoom. For meeting information, visit the county’s website: dgcoks.org/commissionmeetings.