Broad River Quarries LLC, an Elberton mining company, has reportedly filed a claim against Rockdale County, accusing county officials of permitting another mining company of illegally operating. According to Broad River, the quarry is not in according with local zoning laws and needs to cease operations.
The type of granite mined by the competing quarry is one of the issues—it is the same type of granite mined by Broad River, but apparently of an inferior quality. In addition, the county’s zoning ordinance holds that any land use that is discontinued for six or more continuous months cannot be reestablished, and the county previously stated that the property was no longer eligible to be used as a quarry because of a bankruptcy filing back in 2010. In the suit, Broad River is asking the court to order the competing company to cease operations, as well as for damages and attorney fees.
Readers familiar with real estate issues know that land use and zoning is a big topic. Generally speaking, land use usually refers to local regulations touching upon the way real property is utilized. Local governments usually have very specific regulations regarding land use, and any development must fall within those regulations, unless a variance is granted. Obtaining a variance is not always easy because one must have it approved by local authorities and have the general support of the community.
An experienced real estate attorney knows how to assist in obtaining variances and getting projects approved, and those facing this situation should contact such an attorney early on in the planning process. Likewise, businesses and individuals who run into zoning-related issues can contact an experienced real estate attorney for advice, guidance and advocacy.
Source: Rockdale Citizen, “Quarry operator suing Rockdale County,” Alice Queen, May 28, 2014.