Discussion of a proposed quarry expansion and eventual shopping center in Camden County will have to wait for the Sunrise Beach Planning Commission.
The board could not establish a quorum Monday evening when four of seven members did not attend due to other commitments, mainly work related, according to village P&Z administrator Roger Corbin.
Village residents serve on the planning commission on a volunteer basis.
Commissioners were scheduled to review a dual application from Magruder Quarry and Equipment and Charles and Phyllis Turner to Camden County P&Z for a rezoning and special use permit that seek to expand Magruder's Sunrise Beach quarry into the county and eventually build a large scale retail center across the two properties that span these jurisdictions.
Without a quorum, the meeting could not be held though a crowd of residents against the quarry expansion had attended to comment on the proposal.
Instead, Corbin explained the proposal and the process for the application which lies mainly with the county.
An intergovernmental agreement between the Camden County Commission and Sunrise Beach Board of Trustees allows each jurisdiction to officially comment on P&Z cases involving property within 1 1/2 miles of the village-county boundary. In this case, the property in question is adjacent to the village.
If Sunrise Beach recommends denial of the rezoning, it would take a two-thirds supermajority — rather than a simple majority — of the county planning commission to approve the B-3 request.
The Sunrise Beach Planning Commission was set to review the Magruder case and make a recommendation to the village trustees.
Now, it is unclear whether or not the village planning commission will reschedule its meeting in order to make a recommendation on the case.
The village trustees are scheduled to hold their regular meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, July 8, at which time they may go ahead and vote for or against the proposal. The planning commission could try to reschedule prior to the trustees meeting but that could be difficult due to the Independence Day holiday.
The board of trustees could also be table a decision to give the planning commissioner more time to review it.
The issue is timing. The Camden County Planning Commission will open the case and public hearing July 17. If opposition is heard, which is likely, the case will automatically be tabled to the Aug. 21 meeting.
Magruder and the Turners are seeking to rezone 30 acres, owned by the Turners, located directly south of the current quarry operating in Sunrise Beach at Eddie Ave. and Highway 5. The rezoning proposes to change the property's designation from agricultural-residential to high impact commercial which is suitable for big box commercial stores.
Page 2 of 3 - They are also seeking a special use permit with the Camden County Board of Adjustement to quarry or mine the land to prepare it for the proposed future development.
Camden County P&Z Administrator Don Hathaway has said the BOA has the ability to set a limit on the grade work as well as the length of time for quarrying with a special use permit. The hearing for the special use permit will be held July 24.
The application proposes to mine the property to a grade of 700 feet. The time to reach that level will be driven by market demand of the products sold at this quarry, the application states, and final design and layout of buildings will vary to match demand and sales of real estate at the time of development.
In the permit application, it states that the permit request is to "permit responsible land development by combining the exiting quarry property with this parcel into a commercial project."
Magruder's Sunrise Beach location is already zoned commercial. The quarry is a non-conforming grandfathered use under Sunrise Beach P&Z.
The proposal would approximately double the size of the current mining operation. The project area would abut Highway 5 from Eddie Ave. (formerly Lake Rd. 5-45) on the north to Tree Lane (formerly Lake Rd. 5-48) on the south.
The expansion of operations would roughly double the size of the quarry for a total of approximately 60 acres. The proposed finished area of overall development consists of approximately 50 acres with roughly half on the Turner property in Camden County and half on the existing quarry in Sunrise Beach, according to Hathaway.
The applicants state that the proposal would prevent the existing quarry from "continuing to excavate to depths that will ultimately end in a deep pond" that would be unusable and a detriment to adjacent property values and a public safety concern.
In the reason for request statement of the application, the applicants state that the best interest of the neighboring properties is to limit the depth and life of the existing quarry through this plan.
"Neighbors wrongly believe quarry depth is limited by some fictitious level. This quarry will operate for another 20 years without ground water problems or issue from the Mine Safety as an open pit mine. Approval of this special use permit will limit the depth and life of the quarry," the application states.
The existing quarry was annexed into the village several years ago under a different company after planning and zoning was implemented in the county but not in the village.
The quarry has faced opposition in the past to operations. There were significant complaints from residents and business owners near the quarry about blasting operations, leading to the formation of the Sunrise Beach Quarry Accountability Committee.
Page 3 of 3 - The committee's advocacy led to some changes in state regulations and village ordinances. The issue also sparked renewed interest in P&Z in the village, leading to its adoption in 2009.
There were also complaints about a former asphalt plant at the site under a different operator.
When Magruder attempted to open a temporary asphalt plant at the quarry for its repaving work on Highway 5 this summer, the short term conditional use permit was ultimately denied by the Sunrise Beach Board of Trustees with stated concerns from board members regarding public health and welfare.