County rejects quarry
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.
Leavenworth County commissioners last week unanimously turned down a request for a special-use permit that would have allowed for a rock quarry near 158th Street and Golden Road.
The commission's vote came after the three-member body heard an outpouring of disapproval from nearby residents. The residents have fought the quarry for nearly six months.
Among those speaking on Thursday was Andrea Harrington-Summers, who posed this question to the audience: Who does not want a proposed rock quarry neighboring their property?
Audience members raised their hands in a show of unanimous disapproval of Rocca Processing LLC's request for the permit.
"Your decision here today could change the lives of many," Harrington-Summers told commissioners.
"We put our faith in you," she added.
Nearby residents said they were worried the proposed mining operation would have negative consequences for area cities, including Basehor, Linwood and Bonner Springs. Residents also said the mine would lower property values in the area, pollute the environment and worsen road conditions.
The commissioners' decision came on the heels of a 5-4 vote against the quarry by the Leavenworth County Planning Commission.
And John Zoellner, the county's planning and zoning director, cited the rock quarry's inability to complete a traffic study and work with nearby property owners to smooth over differences.
"They could have done the right thing," Zoellner said. "But they didn't and that worries me.
"If you're going to err, I think you should err on the side of public safety," he added.