The Kentucky Court of Appeals has rejected the rehearing for a Clark County lawsuit regarding land rezoning for an underground quarry.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals will not rehear a case that involved Clark Circuit Judge William Clouse Jr.’s 2015 decision supporting the Clark County Fiscal Court’s approval to rezone 165 acres of agricultural land, which would allow Allen Co. to reopen a closed underground limestone quarry. The court of appeals affirmed Clouse’s decision in April of this year, which led to a petition for a rehearing. The petition was denied June 16.
Now the case may be heard by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Hank Graddy, a lawyer who represents the Southwest Clark Neighborhood Association, a group that opposes the rezoning and the quarry, said he intends to file a motion for discretionary review to have the state Supreme Court hear the case.
The case’s controversy dates to 2014 when the Lexington-based Allen Co., a road construction and asphalt paving contractor with several quarries in Central Kentucky, sought to rezone land near the Kentucky River in Clark County, near the Madison County line.
Under the company’s plan, rock would be crushed underground in Clark County and then transported by conveyor belt over Athens-Boonesboro Road and the Kentucky River to an existing crushing yard in Madison County, which the Allen Co. also owns. The conveyor is intended to lessen the use of large trucks traveling roads in the area.
In July 2014, after a planning and zoning commission meeting in which the rezoning request was denied, the Clark County Fiscal Court approved an ordinance which allowed for the land rezone, overruling the commission’s recommendation.
Later that month, the Southwest Clark Neighborhood Association sued Clark Fiscal Court and the Winchester-Clark County Planning Commission, its members and the Allen Co.
The lawsuit asked a judge to conclude that fiscal court’s action was contrary to the county’s comprehensive plan, which is a guideline for land use in the county. Opponents hoped the lawsuit would reverse the Clark County Fiscal Court’s decision.
Opponents of the quarry have said the quarry could harm Clark County’s tourism potential and the historical value of the area. If reopened, the quarry will be near Boonesborough, a community in Madison County founded by Daniel Boone.
The motion must be filed within 30 days of the order rejecting the rehearing, or the motion may be dismissed.