Ordinance for quarry regulations on hold

An ordinance that would place regulations on two quarries in West Fayetteville was delayed at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting to allow quarry operators and business stakeholders to weigh in on the stipulations.

Billy Sweetser, who co-owns Big Red Dirt Farm, said the ordinance could have a “massive financial impact” on his business, but said he had not been contacted by the city to discuss the new regulations intended for his quarry operation.

Aldermen Sarah Lewis and Shirley Lucas, who both represent the west side of Fayetteville, brought the ordinance forward. The objective was to give neighbors in the area relief from the rock blasting, Lewis said.

For example, the ordinance would set a 60-yard buffer between rock blasting and homes in the neighborhood, and it would also establish hours of operation for rock quarries, among other regulations.

The residents of the area have complained that rock blasting shakes their homes, and that rocks and debris fly off the back of the quarry dump trucks. Sweetser said his business gets “20 calls a day.”

Alderman Robert Rhoads, who is on the ordinance review committee, suggested that representatives submit their proposed changes to the ordinance in writing.

“We certainly have some input,” Sweetser said. “Some strong input.”

The issue was left on the first reading, and in the meantime, the stakeholders will meet with City Attorney Kit Williams to review the ordinance.

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