Clark County

Judge nearing decision on Clark County quarry

The Allen Co.'s Madison County quarry sits across the Kentucky River from land in Clark County where it seeks to open an underground limestone quarry. The company proposes to put a conveyor across Athens-Boonesboro Road and the river to transport crushed stone.
The Allen Co.'s Madison County quarry sits across the Kentucky River from land in Clark County where it seeks to open an underground limestone quarry. The company proposes to put a conveyor across Athens-Boonesboro Road and the river to transport crushed stone. Herald-Leader

WINCHESTER — A judge is getting closer to deciding whether the rezoning for an underground quarry in Clark County will stand.

After a hearing Wednesday, Clark Circuit Judge William Clouse gave attorneys 20 days to file "findings of fact and conclusions of law" that will present their arguments for or against the 2014 rezoning.

The Southwest Clark Neighborhood Association filed suit last year to overturn the rezoning of 165 acres of agricultural land that would allow the Allen Co. to reopen a closed underground limestone quarry near Boonesborough.

The company wants to mine the rock in Clark County and transport it by conveyor belt over the Kentucky River to the Allen Co. property in Madison County.

Hank Graddy Jr., the attorney for the neighborhood association, said the county's zoning ordinance and comprehensive plan should be amended to include quarries. He argued that there was no legal authority for a quarry without that explicitly stated in the county ordinance and plan.

"That's the way planning and zoning is supposed to work," Graddy said. "This is a misuse of the planning and zoning system."

He also argued that industrial uses are to be kept within the Interstate 64 corridor, according to Clark County's land use map.

John Rompf, the attorney for the Allen Co., said the land-use map "is not a straitjacket" but should be read in conjunction with the zoning ordinance.

Rompf said fiscal court determined that the quarry "falls within the comprehensive plan."

"The legislative body has made that finding already," he said.

Once Clouse has the findings of fact and conclusions of law, he presumably will make a decision unless he sees a need for another hearing. No other hearing date was scheduled at the conclusion of Wednesday's proceeding.

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