Developers of Lee County quarry face opposition from neighbors
Posted August 17, 2015
Updated August 18, 2015
Sanford, N.C. — The proposed Little River Quarry was put on trial Monday night as developers brought an attorney and witnesses.
The proposed quarry will be located off of N.C. Highway 87 in Lee County. Just over 90 acres will be used for mining operations, and the quarry developers argue that nearby residents will hardly notice it.
“We have identified issues that most everyone is afraid of,” said developer Ray Covington.
Developers need a special-use permit from the county to move forward, but they are facing opposition from residents of Carolina Trace, a golf course community across the highway from the quarry site.
Residents are concerned about water and air contamination, noise from blasting and increased traffic. A geologist was hired by the developers to make the case during Monday night's Board of Adjustment meeting.
“There are no chemicals used, it’s a clean process,” said geologist James Izzell.
“It is a very low, muffled rumble,” he added in regards to the blasting.
Carolina Trace Association attorney Mike Thelen argued that testing and planning for the project are not far enough along to determine impact.
“What are the detailed blasting plans for this mine,” questioned Thelen.
“It hasn’t been determined yet,” said Izzell.
Cal Saltzman, a Carolina Trace resident, heard the sales pitch for the project but says he isn’t buying.
“I am an engineer by trade and…[the quarry] won’t help me,” said Saltzman.
Developers are still waiting to learn if the proposed quarry will get the necessary county permit. The Board of Adjustment is scheduled to make a final decision on Sept. 21.