Land owner withdraws bid for rock quarry in Lancaster County neighborhood

Land owner withdraws bid for rock quarry in Lancaster County neighborhood
The mining would be a few thousand feet from a couple houses in the Lancaster County neighborhood. (Source: Morgan Newell, WBTV)

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - A land owner in Lancaster County has withdrawn a bid for a new rock quarry.

The land owner said Monday they no longer want to pursue the bid, even though it hasn’t yet went to the council - who would have had the final say. The planning commission previously decided to deny the request with a 7-0 vote.

Neighbors had been speaking out against the proposed rock quarry in their community for some time. For months, people living near the site in have been showing up to meetings to lobby against it. They were concerned about how close it would be to their homes.

On April 20, Lancaster County’s planning committee was packed with people ready to fight against the quarry, but the lawyer representing the property owner geared for a fight of his own.

Don and his son Stacy Faile have lived in this area for years, but now they are concerned their tranquil rural escape will become anything but if a rock quarry come to the area.

”I don’t think anybody. Anybody would want a rock quarry in their back yard,” said Don Faile.

When he said back yard, he meant it. Don Faile can stand right next to the entrance of the rock quarry and still be on his land. This was a huge concern for him for not only because of the health effects, but also because of the proximity. He says he already lives near two rock quarries, both in a neighboring county but only about two miles away. He showed WBTV cracks in his brick and bathroom tile from the blasting shaking his house. He says it’s only because of the quarries a few miles away, so he cannot imagine what it would be like a few thousand feet away.

”My father’s 87 years old my mother’s 82,” says Stacy Faile. “They are not going to be able to pick up and move and find another location.”

”We know we’re a guest in this community in addition to being a neighbor. And we want to be a good neighbor,” Alex Shissias, the property owner’s lawyers, said at the April 20 meeting.

Shissias said he had an answer for most of the problems people in the community brought up. That includes traffic and roads, property values, blasting and contaminated well concerns.

The environmental lawyer still had an uphill battle, though. Planning staff have already recommended denying the request despite what Shissias called “significant information and added protections.”

“For staff to pick that up and say we’re still denying this is very disheartening,” he said.

Shissias has not commented on the land owner’s withdraw of the bid as of Monday morning.

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