More Quarry Quandaries

More Quarry Quandaries

The proposed rock quarry off of Columbus Creek was the big issue at the Sheridan County Commissioner's meeting this week. Being less than ½ mile from other houses, the proposed quarry owner, Bruce Sheeley, had to submit a waiver request that includes conditions to mitigate the adverse affects on the surrounding area from the quarry.
Some of these included limited hours and months of operation and an agreement to pay for necessary dust suppressant.
However, this request was met with strong opposition from neighbors. One neighbor, represented by Attorney Kim Cannon, cited health reasons, including a previously failed heart, as well as the aesthetic disturbances the quarry may cause.

Gail Sistrunk was one of the “neighborhood” residents opposed to the quarry:

One of the conditions the commissioners did change was the number of years the quarry could operate without re-approval—Sheeley asked for 7 and was granted 2. However, some did not see that as an adequate “compromise”:

According to County Commissioner Steve Maier, they received “many” letters in support of the quarry as well.

The material mined from the quarry is used in road and highway resurfacing.

Zebra...some of your

Zebra...some of your comments make me wonder...have you ever injected cans of tuna fish? Maybe you should get your mercury levels checked...ingesting too much mercury can be harmful to the brain...

Please try to keep comments

Please try to keep comments focused on the subject matter and not the person who posted them. Anonymous personal attacks are a violation of our terms of use.


Maybe you have been "up" Columbus Creek a number of times but that is not the same as living there. Wonder what your opinion would be if this was being proposed 1/2 mile from your house. It is easy for you to say that if you really have a health problem then don't live on a gravel road. Picking up and moving is not always a financial possibility. If this quarry can be done within the stipulations of residential areas that would be one thing, but granting waivers to go around the regulations makes me wonder why we have regulations in the first place! It doesn't matter how long you have lived there, it does not give you the right to change the rules because you want to make money off of your property, especially if it affects other people. If a waiver is granted, who will police the area and make sure they are following the number of days, number of trips, etc, that they are being restricted to? I am also curious about the "large number" of letters in favor of this - are they from people in the area? Zoning laws in the county are becoming a joke, since it seems like anyone is able to skirt around them and get what they want. This seems to be happening more and more in Dayton, where I would warn anyone wanting to move here that zoning laws don't mean anything, so be prepared! If you think a business can't move within 1/2 mile of you, think again.


re-phrase on Quarry

Maybe i should re-phrase my post...I spent my summers as a kid growing up on Columbus Creek with my grandparents in the 70's..The Sheeley Ranch was there then and has been for generations..They were as grandpa always said "the best neighbors you could ask for, they respected the land and the area" That is why i believe that the quarry will not cause much if any problems to the neighboring properties. With the stipulations that the commissioners put on Sheeley's everybody should be able to live in harmony.
I will say that some of the obstructionists that have commented like the Sistrunk lady, i don't even see her name as a owner of property on Columbus Creek and some of the other names mentioned in the paper like the Hausserman's have an address of Key Largo, Fl.??
They have 2 years and only in the winter months can they crush gravel.
Thank god the commission isn't a bunch of Liberals and anti property rights.


Maybe the commissions should go take a look at the site and then look around to see if the "obstructionists" complaints are valid. I've been up columbus creek a number of times and I don't see a reason why Sheeleys should be denied. There is a lot of space and if people really have a health problems from dust they shouldn't live on a gravel road. I would be willing to bet the Sheeleys have lived on the Columbus Creek road longer than all the winers combined. Plus, why shouldn't a person be able to make money off his own property that has been held for years upon years.

One common fallacy in the

One common fallacy in the idea of "property rights" is that some people presume that what you do on your land has no impact on the surrounding area. If, for instance, the Sheeley's could keep the dust and noise only on their property...that would be one thing. I don't know this particular issue well enough to say whether they should be allowed to in this case or not, (I'm certainly sympathetic to the fact that we need material for our roads, etc.) I'm only pointing out that you make erroneous assumptions.

Another possible mistake in what you are saying is that the Sheeley family has lived in the area longer than the rest of the neighborhood combined. I do not know how long all of the neighbors have lived there, but the gentleman who had the heart failure has lived and put money into building his home for several decades, I believe.

So are you saying there should be no regulations? I certainly think many regulations may be poorly applied and constructed and are not necessarily the best way to achieve a desired goal. However, in this case, the regulations require that any quarry located within a half mile from another property owner's house must get a waiver and show that they have taken sufficient steps to mitigate the "negative externalities" from their operation. Three houses are located less than 1/2 mile away. I have not studied this situation sufficiently to make a personal judgment on the matter, I am just pointing out you are thinking more demagogically rather than rationally.

Furthermore, the health problems or potential health problems in this case are not just due to the increased amount of dust in air. Quarries are quite noisy. One resident apparently had a heart failure, and has lived there for a number of years. They also train horses for disabled persons nearby (I think, might be wrong, the horses for CHAPS). The noise is apparently a big issue and impediment for the special training these horses require.

For the record, the

For the record, the commissioners did go and visit the site. They also approved the Sheeley's request.

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