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Mathes Quarry property rezoned

A longtime Harrison County business that was in operation before the county adopted planning and zoning had its property rezoned and plans to make improvements.
Mathes Quarry, in business 56 years, asked the Harrison County Advisory Plan Commission to rezone its property south of Corydon from A-R to I-2. Reggie Timberlake, representing Mathes Quarry, addressed the plan commission at its March 6 meeting.
The quarry has 61.14 acres on the east side of Old S.R. 135, where the quarry bed, scales and office is located, and another 12 acres between new and old state roads 135.
Timberlake said the 12-acre site has been used mainly for stockpiles. Now, the quarry intends to erect a new office and scales there and use the area for parking and a staging area for its trucks.
“We thought it would be a good time to bring the property up to (code),” he said. “We plan to pave the (private) gravel road” that connects the old and new state roads.
An asphalt plant is being installed on the 61 acres, he said.
Several neighbors of the quarry voiced concern about the traffic hazard caused by dumptrucks entering and leaving the quarry, as well as the condition of the road in front of the quarry and the high speeds motorists travel on Old S.R. 135. (One neighbor said it’s not necessarily Mathes Quarry employees doing the speeding.)
Neighbor David Whipple also questioned what else could possibly “pop up” on the Mathes property if it’s rezoned I-2.
“It’s crazy that it’s been called A-R,” said plan commission member Jim Klinstiver. “A lot of houses wouldn’t be there if it had already been rezoned.
“It’s a ‘grandfathered’ business that has a perfect right to expand,” he said.
Klinstiver later said he believes relocating the scales across Old S.R. 135 will “almost” eliminate quarry trucks driving on Old S.R. 135.
He moved to send the request to the Harrison County Board of Commissioners with a favorable recommendation. Joe Martin seconded the motion, which passed 5-1-1. Jerry Dryden cast the nay vote, while Carl (Buck) Mathes abstained because he is related to the applicant.
The county commissioners, at their March 17 meeting, approved the request.
Also at the March 6 meeting, the request by Countrytyme Kentucky LLC to rezone property at the southwest corner of Old Dam 43 and Rehoboth roads was given a favorable recommendation by the plan commission.
Chuck Johnson of Countrytyme requested the zoning change, from A-R to PUD (Planned Unit Development). The company hopes to develop 12 lots, ranging from 4.3 acres to 11.71 acres, on the property.
Dryden asked Johnson if he or another representative from his firm would be willing to discuss a subdivision layout that would allow for more houses, closer together, and fewer entrances on county roads.
“I think there could be a more suitable design than the four submitted” by Countrytyme, Dryden said. “This is a valuable piece of land; it deserves better than this.”
William Keaton, whose property adjoins the proposed subdivision, asked, “If Countrytyme is happy with 12 lots, why can’t we be happy?”
Earlier in the meeting, Keaton expressed concern about increased traffic on Rehoboth Road. He asked several questions about the details of the PUD, such as price range and square footage of the homes, and whether they would be on a sewer system or have septics. He also asked if the creek would be monitored for pollutants, and if a buffer zone would be installed between his property and the subdivision.
“Most of these items will directly affect the value of my property,” Keaton said.
Johnson said the houses would be “stick-built” and a minimum of 1,800 square feet. Each would have its own septic system.
“We don’t build the homes, but we do set the guidelines for what can be built on the property,” he said.
With regard to monitoring the creek, Johnson said the health department will issue permits that specify where the tanks are placed.
Johnson said he thought the ravine that runs between Keaton’s property and the proposed PUD would be “a natural buffer zone.”
County planner Eric Wise suggested the possibility of a conservation zone, which would stipulate that trees within so many feet of the property line cannot be removed.
A motion was made by Charles Crawford to send the request with a favorable recommendation to the county commissioners in “general terms” with the stipulation that Countrytyme return with the exact lot locations and their corresponding driveways, with a maximum of 12 lots. Joe Martin seconded the motion, which failed, by one vote, to pass.
“It’s nowhere near infrastructures; it’s out in God’s country,” Ott said about his decision to vote against approving the request. “The (county) comprehensive plan does not promote this area for development.”
“I’m not anxious to see this property developed,” said Klinstiver, “but I feel we’re getting as good as we’re going to get.”
Plan commission member Mathes made another motion to approve the request, adding that Countrytyme work with Harrison County Engineer Darin Duncan to ensure that there’s adequate sight distance at the intersection of Old Dam 43 and Rehoboth roads. Klinstiver seconded the motion, which passed 6-1. Ott cast the lone nay vote.
Countrytyme asked for some time before having the county commissioners hear its request.