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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Commission delays quarry decision for third time

Updated: May 27

The Linn County Commission has delayed for a third time action on a conditional use permit for a quarry on East 2400 Road. The permit has received a positive recommendation from the county's planning commission. (Wix file photo)



MOUND CITY – Despite having the power to make changes to the conditional use permit for a quarry, the Linn County Commission at its meeting on Monday, May 20, tabled an application by Mulberry Limestone. The permit application by the company is for a quarry project that would be located just west of the intersection of 2400 Road and Valley on the south side of 2400 Road.


It was the third time the commission has failed to take action on the permit recommended by the Linn County Planning and Zoning Commission. 


Neighbors of the Mulberry Limestone quarry have put pressure on the commission to deny the permit even though there are two active quarries within a quarter mile of the company's proposed site.


The application came before the county commissioners originally on April 1 and was tabled because Commissioner McCullough thought the findings needed to be more detailed. 


On April 8 when Planning and Zoning Director Darin Wilson went into detail about the findings set forth by the planning commission, the application was again tabled because McCullough was not at the meeting. He told county officials he was stuck in the city because his brake lines had been cut.


At the April 15 meeting, Commission Chair Jason Hightower made a motion to approve the quarry application. But neither Commissioner Jim Johnson nor McCullough would second the motion.


Johnson made a motion to table it and send it back to the planning commission in a letter asking that the planning commission look at setbacks and putting the 200-foot setbacks and vegetation planting that Jake Wade, the owner of the property, had offered. Johnson asked if that was all they could add or if they could add other conditions. 


On Tuesday, May 14, the planning commission met and went over the letter requesting the changes to the quarry application and ended up approving setbacks of 200-feet from any road right-of-way and any property line and an opting out clause for any landowner along the boundary of the quarry who did not require a 200-foot set back. The changes were approved 6 to 3. 


On Monday, May 20, Wilson presented the results of the planning board meeting to the county commissioners and reread the conditions that were on the permit.


Johnson asked, “What about the trees, what size of trees?”


Wilson answered that the planning commission just said for the berms to be seeded with grass.


“You can add to this, if you want trees, the commissioners can add trees to this setback, buffer zone,” said Wilson.


McCullough said, “So by statute of law, this went to the planning and zoning and you brought it to us because you had to present it back to us after their findings, correct?”


Wilson replied that was correct.


“I’m just going to say I’m not, I got a few emails about it, I got, you know, your emails. I have not been able to give this the proper attention this last week, so I’m not prepared at all to even discuss it. So, I have not had time to review the emails or anything on it,” said McCullough.


So, you’re making a motion that we table this until next week?” asked Hightower.


“Yeah, I’d make a motion that we table it until, well, next week, what does it look like David?” asked McCullough.


County Clerk David Lamb told McCullough that the commission agenda for May 28 had the 10 to 10:20 a,m. time slot filled, but other than that there wasn’t anything on the agenda.


Johnson seconded McCullough’s motion. All agreed to table the quarry application.


Wilson said that, since they were going to have a week to think about it, he recommended that the commissioners think about what they would like to have in the road maintenance agreement.


Wilson had given them an example from another county when he first presented the quarry’s application. He said if he remembered right it was 10 cents per ton hauled out of the quarry. Wilson asked if they would give consideration for that to be discussed next week.


Hightower asked how that could be made uniform across all the quarries.


Wilson said that it would have to be added to each quarry as they came in for their renewals.

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