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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Residents air concerns as quarry company seeks expansion

Posted by on Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 4:18 PM

RALEIGH— Neighbors peppered Hanson Aggregates Southeast officials with questions Tuesday night at an information session on the company’s plans to expand its Crabtree Quarry operation.

The crowd packed the Glen Eden Community Center parking lot and overflowed from the room with brooms being used to prop open back and side doors to get a view of Hanson’s presentation.

Residents worried about the noise, the vibrations, the view and their property value. They reminded Hanson that the their current quarry, which was built in the 1940s, is now surrounded by neighborhoods.

Hanson Aggregates Southeast is hoping to expand their operation at Crabtree Quarry.
Gray Styers, the attorney representing Hanson, attempted to quell fears by explaining that the group wants to purchase 100 acres to the west to sure up a “long-term resource for us to quarry,” not to ramp up the pace and scale of blasting.

“The amount of activity for the quarry area does not change by the quarry size,” Styers explained. “It’s a function of demand.”

Blasts now occur once every two weeks. The current quarry, located between Duraleigh and Ebenezer Church roads has two decades of life remaining, Hanson officials estimate.

The group has the option to purchase 100 acres of property once slated for the Hamptons at Umstead Development. The move, if the City of Raleigh approves a rezoning request, would occur in about three years, General Manager Chris Ward said.

Though several residents voiced disappointment and raised concerns, one said that the quarry has been a good neighbor and that they would rather have a quarry operation there than more houses.

That neighbor was definitely in the minority, though. Hanson has hired FiberTech Vibra-Tech, which next week will test the impact of blasting at the new site.

Though the data might assuage some concerns, as one homeowner noted, “people buy houses on perception, not on scientific data.”

She called for a study of the impact on real estate value.

You can find an in-depth story on Hanson’s rezoning permit application here and in this week’s print edition.

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