Company seeks rezoning for quarry south of Perry

Georgia Limerock Co. LLC is seeking to have 854 acres in Houston County rezoned to support the development of a limestone quarry.

The land, located south of Perry, currently is zoned as an R-AG agricultural/residential district. Georgia Limerock Co. is asking for an M-2 general industrial district, according to planning documents.

The Houston County Planning Commission is expected to hear the request at its Sept. 21 meeting, said Tim Andrews, the county’s planning and zoning administrator.

If approved, site development is expected to begin this year, with the quarry opening in early 2010. The proposed plant is expected to create 15 jobs and add an estimated $4.5 million in property and equipment investments to the tax digest, documents show.

The proposed quarry would be located within an area south of Ga. 224 and east of Elko Road, just off of Plant Road. The existing Cemex quarry is adjacent to and southeast of the site, documents show.

The location was chosen for its limestone outcropping, which is part of the Ocala Limestone formation running from central Florida to the Fall Line, said Ed Buehler, project manager for Georgia Limerock Co. In few places are surface deposits easy to mine, he said.

“It’s available in south Houston County quite abundantly ... and it’s relatively easy to access,” Buehler said.

About 350 acres — just under half of the site — previously were mined from the 1920s to the mid-1970s, according to documents.

The location also was chosen for its easy access to Interstate 75 from Ga. 224, Buehler said.

The proposed limestone mining operation will provide raw limestone material for use as a road base, Buehler said. Road base is the material between the soil and road surface.

The company hopes to capitalize from the new road construction projects made possible by federal stimulus funds, Buehler said.

“We want to try to time it so we can get there with the demand,” he said.

The limestone would be mined and processed, then hauled off-site, according to documents.

Mining activities, which would be similar to the current mining operation at the Cemex quarry, would occur in phases over an extended period of time projected to exceed 40 years, documents show.

Occasional blasting may be necessary to break up soft limestone and would occur during business hours.

A 25-foot wooded buffer is planned to separate the mining area from adjacent property owned by Georgia Limerock Co., and a 200-foot wooded buffer is planned to separate the mining area from other properties, documents show.

Traffic and noise studies provided by Georgia Limerock Co. show little to no impact on the area.

The project is in the beginning stages of a Developments of Regional Impact review by the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, said Phil Clark, senior planner for the commission.

The review, which is required for all quarries, will examine the quarry’s impact on Houston County and the surrounding region.

The review’s findings are strictly advisory, Clark said.

To contact writer Jennifer Burk, call 923-9705.