Douglas County Commission adds more conditions, approves amended permit for rock quarry expansion near Eudora

photo by: Meeting screenshot/Douglas County Commission

Patrick Watkins, bottom left, an attorney for Hamm Companies, speaks to the Douglas County Commission on Monday, Aug. 19, 2020, about the companies request for a permit to expand its rock extraction operation at a quarry near Eudora.

A rock quarry near Eudora now has the authority to expand its mining operation.

After adding some more conditions, the Douglas County Commission on Wednesday approved amending a conditional use permit for Hamm Quarry, 2364 North 1200 Road, which allows the company to expand its extraction operation into 51 acres west of its property. The amended permit also allows the rock quarry to expand the amount of land that can be mined at one time from 30 acres to 50 acres.

The 51 acres the quarry plans to expand into are at 1258 East 2300 Road, which is about a mile east of the southern edge of Eudora, a part of town that includes Eudora’s middle and high schools.

Background:

Douglas County Commission to again consider expansion of Eudora rock quarry; concerns raised over 185-foot-deep pond

After considering concerns from the Eudora Planning Commission, the county commissioners and the company agreed to include several new conditions, including the creation of a new review process that allows the county to review truck traffic conditions in the area if the company’s production increases over a certain amount and limiting a pit slated to become a pond to become no deeper than 135 feet, among others.

Those conditions are meant to address the planning commission’s concerns that the quarry’s expansion into the lot for new mining would increase the amount of truck traffic in the Eudora area, as well as concerns about safety hazards a deep pit on the property poses.

Additionally, Patrick Watkins, an attorney for the quarry, noted the depth of the larger pond in the original application was incorrect. The proposed pond was originally expected to be 185 feet deep, which would take between six and eight years to fill with water.

The planning commission said the depth of the pond was of “extreme concern,” but an additional review found it would actually be 132 feet deep. The company also plans to place a 6-foot chain-link fence around the pits during the reclamation process, which would remain in place until the pits are full with water and are considered ponds.

The commissioners thanked the company for working with the county and Eudora to come to a compromise and agree to new conditions. Previously, the County Commission twice deferred taking action on the permit because of concerns brought up by the city and nearby residents.

“It is impressive there has been some give and take on both sides, and I appreciate that,” Commissioner Nancy Thellman said.


In other business, the commissioners approved a rezoning of a portion of land at 173 East 1250 Road from Ag-1, agriculture district, to Ag-2, a transitional agricultural district. The property owner said in the zoning application that he wanted to rezone about 12 acres of his 34-acre property into a homestead and then sell the remaining 22 acres for farming purposes.

The commissioners also deferred taking action on a proposed site plan for the construction of a 35,000-square-foot structure at the southeast corner of North 1900 Road and East 1450 Road, which is also known as U.S. Highway 24. The structure would be an agriculture shop and office structure for Sod Shop, a sod and stone business.

The commissioners said they wanted to provide more time for the county to study water drainage in the area, which was a concern brought up by neighbors and the Douglas County Kaw Drainage District.


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