After You Beat Them, Join Them
The benefits from getting involved in the community through a well-conceived program may not materialize for a few years, but it will pay off. Even if you have no plans to expand or construct another quarry anywhere near your local site or elsewhere, it will lead to having fewer complaints made to the county or town and, therefore, the local officials will have less reason to take them seriously.
There is no magic cure that will eliminate all opponents to a quarry development. We need to understand that the big three reasons people oppose your projects will remain — blasting, dust, and truck traffic. As long as these three components are part of any quarry development, there will be opponents. The key is to make the opponents the unreasonable minority. It will also protect you from some of the frivolous attacks that inevitably will come your way. Residents who know you will defend you.
It’s worth the effort.
Christopher Hopkins is senior vice president of aggregate and mining for The Saint Consulting Group. Saint Consulting is an international land use political consulting firm headquartered near Boston, Mass. Hopkins resides in Franklin, Tenn.
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