Lowell quarry developer digs court victory

2013-05-09T19:30:00Z 2013-05-09T21:51:17Z Lowell quarry developer digs court victoryBill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com

LOWELL | A proposed limestone quarry east of Lowell moved one step closer to reality Thursday after the Indiana Court of Appeals buried a suit to stop its groundbreaking.

The appeals court ruled the owners of two farms adjacent to the quarry site didn't have legal standing to challenge the Lake County Council's 2010 decision to grant the quarry developers a zoning change to allow its excavation.

Ronald and Christy Hoffman and Sunnybrook Farm LLC argued they were denied procedural safeguards by county officials.

Jim Wieser, an attorney for Singleton Stone LLC, said the decision was welcome. He said the company is now awaiting a decision on a separate appeal of a decision to banish Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-Crown Point, a quarry opponent, from using his position on the county drainage board to stall the quarry further.

Wieser said if there is a favorable ruling in that case, Singleton will push for a drainage permit and, if granted, begin construction.

The quarry would be on a 600-acre site southeast of Interstate 65 and Ind. 2.

Scheub, who represents residents living around the proposed quarry site, led opposition to it three years ago when the developers sought and won zoning approval. Opponents fear pumping needed to empty the quarry of groundwater might dry up local wells and flood drainage ditches.

However, the Lake County Council gave its qualified approval to zoning the site for business in 2010 on the strength of promises by Singleton to minimize any environmental impact.

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