WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - The Washington County, Virginia Board of Supervisors is facing controversy as they prepare for a vote that would allow a rock quarry near Sugar Hollow Park.
In June 2016, the board of supervisors voted seven to zero against rezoning the property. Now the measure is back with some added restrictions on site development.
Neighbors still oppose the rezoning. They’re concerned about road safety and pollution.
"Also the impact of property values. You know, no one's wanting to live near a rock quarry with the noise and the dust associated with it," neighbor Chris Robinson said.
Nina Rizzo often visits Sugar Hollow Park, which borders the property.
"One thing that I'm concerned about is the safety of the air quality,” Rizzo said. “I have asthma. I know a lot of people who have asthma."
Rizzo points out the park attracts a lot of people.
"The park is used not just by our local residents, but it is a regional destination for many sports teams. The Randy Smith Classic cross country meet is here."
She worries that a quarry would pollute the air and drive away people.
"Everyone who comes here deserves to have clean air."
Opponents also worry large trucks on narrow roads
But the board is less certain of their decision than they were a year and a half ago.
"I mean, as long as it stays a quarry, I don't know that I have that much trouble with it," Board Member Eddie Copenhaver said.
Copenhaver said he does not believe the air will be polluted.
"From what I've seen, dust does not leave the quarry area," Copenhaver said.
He referred to a document from the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, which contains a list of findings. It lists the laws and safety regulations that would apply to the site, but does not say whether mining would result in pollution.
Questions remain over what supervisors will do to address pollution concerns.
The site’s property owners said they wouldn't comment at this time.
Other commissioners also didn't calls for comment, and one said that the issue was too hot to talk about.
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