Quarry owner sues county in Georgia for allowing competing, allegedly illegal site operation
The owner of a quarry in Rockdale County, Ga., is suing the county, alleging that it allowed another site to continue operations after it was ordered to shut down three years prior, The Rockdale News reports.
Broad River Quarries LLC wants the county to close a Georgia Stone Industries (GSI) quarry. According to the report, quarrying is not allowed in the area because it is in the county’s watershed.
The report notes that the ban started in 2000, when the area was zoned as a Watershed Protection District. The quarry that already existed there at the time was grandfathered in and allowed to continue operations until ceasing operations for six consecutive months, when it would no longer be allowed to operate as a quarry again.
The site shut down due to inactivity in 2006, and the land became available for purchase in 2010. According to the report, Broad River considered buying the property to prevent competition but decided against the purchase when the county told the company quarrying would no longer be allowed at the site.
Operations began again in 2011, Rockdale News reports, and the county’s planning director, Marshall Walker, issued a notice ordering the site to cease operations. Walker granted the site owner a business license in 2012.
The site did not obtain a business license in 2013 or 2014, but the county sent the company a letter noting its intention to issue a business license next year with conditions including safety, maintenance and hours of operation, according to the report.
The report adds that the suit claims the county is treating Broad River Quarries’ competitor more favorably for “arbitrary and capricious” reasons.