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Old 04-28-2010, 11:01 PM   #61
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I've got a life, but sometimes I prefer a different one....oh, and I'm glad he's being kept from gettin' his mitts on the mits.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:02 PM   #62
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All that permit blocking stuff sounds pretty tedious! Not many homes would inspire that much patience.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:11 PM   #63
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The quarry guy will be like the burglar who sees the "This Home Protected by REWahoo" sign on the house and moves along to the next house rather than mess with REWahoo.

At the minimum you've received some breathing room and time to consider the next steps if quarry guy files for new permits. And QG knows you'll be ready, paperwork in hand.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:20 PM   #64
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If anyone is still following this thread you need to get a life here is an update:

Water permit: The TCEQ Commissioners voted unanimously today to approve our Motion for Reconsideration thus overturning the water pollution abatement plan approved by their agency in February. This will require Zumwalt to effectively begin the approval process over again and address both the technical issues we raised in our motion and open the door for the City of San Antonio to have input on his proposed plan. This will delay his application process for a number of months.

We understand the actions taken by the Commissioners today is uncommon and we are very pleased they agreed to overturn the permit.

Air permit: Zumwalt has filed again for an air permit, having started over again from square one since his first application was denied. Once he publishes public notice of the application we will again ask the public to inform the state of their opposition to granting the permit.

Driveway permit: Zumwalt still has not submitted plans to TXDot for the improvements needed to the state highway.

Scorecard: Two permits applied for, zero permits awarded.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:43 AM   #65
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Several months have gone by since my last update on our battle to stop the quarry. If anyone is interested...

Water permit: Zumwalt filed a revised water pollution abatement plan addressing all the issues we raised before the Commissioners in April. The City of San Antonio water system filed comments on the revised plan, objecting to a number of proposed operating procedures and urged the TCEQ to reject the application. We believe this will carry significant weight with the TCEQ and are optimistic the agency will not approve the plan until additional changes are made. Those changes could increase the cost of the quarry infrastructure by $200,000 to $400,000 which we hope will be cost prohibitive.

Air permit: Zumwalt filed again for an air permit and once again did not meet all the public notification/signage requirements. As a result, the public comment period was extended one month. A ruling on the air permit (approval anticipated) is expected by mid August.

Driveway permit: Zumwalt still has not submitted plans to TXDot for the improvements needed to the state highway at his point of access. This probably won't happen before the air and water permits are approved.

Scorecard as of July 21: Two permits applied for, zero permits awarded. (The initial applications were submitted in November of 2009 with a proposed start date of January 2010).
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:18 PM   #66
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Sounds like Zumwalt might need a better development staff...
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:24 PM   #67
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Great news, REW! That'll teach 'em to mess with y'all.... Sounds like that plan is DIW.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:09 PM   #68
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Crossing my fingers for you and your neighbors that no dirty little deals get made.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:59 PM   #69
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I was asked to update the status of our ongoing battle to stop the quarry. Things aren't going too well:

Water permit: After the City of San Antonio voiced objections to a number of provisions in Zumwalt's revised water pollution abatement plan, he revised his plan once again addressing some, but not all the issues raised by the city. A decision by the state (TCEQ) is expected by the end of September, either approving the plan or asking for further revisions.

Air permit: After exhausting all our options, on August 11 the TCEQ granted Zumwalt an air permit to operate a rock crusher at the proposed quarry site.

Driveway permit: Zumwalt still has not submitted plans to TXDot for the improvements needed to the state highway at his point of access. This probably won't happen before both the air and water permits are approved.

-----
We have no reason to believe the TCEQ won't approve the water permit now that Zumwalt has addressed a number of the outstanding issues. I think it is unlikely the permit will be delayed for further changes, but I'd love to be wrong in my assumption.

If the water plan is approved the quarry may begin operations. They cannot (legally) transport truckloads of crushed rock off-site until the driveway permit is granted, which will involve adding acceleration and turn lanes to the two-lane state highway or moving the driveway to another location. Of course this will take time to accomplish, but the quarry can be blasting, crushing and building stockpiles while road construction takes place.

Not good.
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:16 PM   #70
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That just sucks, REW. It was probably a fait accompli from the get go, but you fought a good fight.
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:58 PM   #71
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Too many payoffs.
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:00 PM   #72
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How discouraging! I hope this turns out to be better than expected. I wonder how many of your neighbors planning on selling (or attempting to sell) if the quarry begins operations. It doesn't sound good.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:09 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I wonder how many of your neighbors planning on selling (or attempting to sell) if the quarry begins operations. It doesn't sound good.
Seven of the approximately 40 homes in the subdivision are for sale - four of those border the ranch/future quarry. Only one has sold.

I'm taking some consolation in the fact our property doesn't border the ranch. We are 0.6 mile from the quarry site and we're behind a ridge, which will dampen some of the noise. We'll be in much better shape than the six houses located on top of that ridge who will be in direct line of sight of the quarry - and only a few hundred yards away. But the real hurt will be for the folks living in a couple of houses on the other side of the ranch/quarry. Those two houses are on another ridge looking down on the quarry, less than 400 yards away.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:16 AM   #74
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Will the compromises you forced him into make things any better than his original plans?
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:28 AM   #75
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Will the compromises you forced him into make things any better than his original plans?
Unfortunately, no. Even more unfortunately, one of the concerns voiced by the City of San Antonio will likely make his operation even more "noise polluting".

He had planned to locate his rock crusher and the diesel generator powering it inside the quarry pit, 25 feet or more below the surrounding terrain. The city had concerns the ever-deepening pit could uncover a fault in the rock which would allow a spill of diesel fuel to contaminate the underground aquifer which supplies more than half the drinking water to the city. Now it will be sitting on the surface at full volume rather than surrounded by rock walls dampening the noise.

Yeah, I know: another great example of The Law of Unintended Consequences.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:34 AM   #76
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Seven of the approximately 40 homes in the subdivision are for sale - four of those border the ranch/future quarry. Only one has sold.

I'm taking some consolation in the fact our property doesn't border the ranch. We are 0.6 mile from the quarry site and we're behind a ridge, which will dampen some of the noise. We'll be in much better shape than the six houses located on top of that ridge who will be in direct line of sight of the quarry - and only a few hundred yards away. But the real hurt will be for the folks living in a couple of houses on the other side of the ranch/quarry. Those two houses are on another ridge looking down on the quarry, less than 400 yards away.
It does sound like you will be in much better shape than those in houses right next to the quarry.

I hope that it turns out to be less of a problem than you expect. If it isn't, I wonder if it might not be worthwhile to sell and move on, like those 7 neighbors plan to do. Life is too short to put up with much aggravation if there is a way around it. Peace and quiet (and peace of mind) are worth a lot.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:47 AM   #77
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I hope that it turns out to be less of a problem than you expect. If it isn't, I wonder if it might not be worthwhile to sell and move on, like those 7 neighbors plan to do. Life is too short to put up with much aggravation if there is a way around it. Peace and quiet (and peace of mind) are worth a lot.
We have no current plans to move, but then the quarry hasn't been granted the necessary permits to operate yet - and we haven't experienced a blast, heard the constant roar of the generator, the incessant grinding of the crusher or the irritating "beep, beep, beep" of all the trucks and equipment when they are in reverse gear.

An added concern: although we are somewhat protected from noise by the ridge separating us from the quarry, the prevailing wind direction is from the South - and the quarry is southeast.

And to think I was once concerned about hearing loss...
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:03 AM   #78
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Half a mile makes a big difference. We have lived near airports and air force bases here and there. The difference in decibels between us (.75mi off the landing path) and friends .3 miles closer was very noticeable. We were fortunate to have that distance. I think it's a logarithmic drop off.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:05 AM   #79
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We have no current plans to move, but then the quarry hasn't been granted the necessary permits to operate yet - and we haven't experienced a blast, heard the constant roar of the generator, the incessant grinding of the crusher or the irritating "beep, beep, beep" of all the trucks and equipment when they are in reverse gear.

An added concern: although we are somewhat protected from noise by the ridge separating us from the quarry, the prevailing wind direction is from the South - and the quarry is southeast.

And to think I was once concerned about hearing loss...
If the worst comes to pass, it is still possible that after a month or two you would acclimate to the noises and might not notice them so much. Or not! But it would be nice if that was the case.

If you do decide to move, remember that all you need is that one buyer who is willing to put up with the quarry in exchange for the experience of living in your beautiful home. (Yes, I remember a photo of it that you posted once.)

By the way, we are city dwellers and even so we never hear anything from either of our properties at all except for the Friday night fireworks after minor league baseball games (and I am used to that by now). I used to hear a neighbor's dog, but he died. Even the constant low-flying helicopters in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath have disappeared. You have my sympathies. To me, peace and quiet is the main reason to own a home in the first place.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:20 AM   #80
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Sorry for your backyard headache. Several years ago, I built a house in a new subdivision next to the golf club I belong to. Located a couple of miles just outside the city limits. After 5 years the subdivision developed nicely and property values rocketed. And the city took notice and decided they wanted to invite us in through annexation. I immediately put my house up for sale and got lucky. Sold it to a family moving from NY. The potential for higher property taxes didn't bother them as the new rates were still cheap compared to what they had been paying. But 7 years later, there are still lot's of houses for sale in my old subdivision. Not all because of city taxes as the economy has a lot to do with it now. Glad I got lucky.

I wouldn't be surprised to see those houses in your neighborhood just sit there. Bad time to be selling, unless they want to sell cheap. Hopefully the noise will not be a factor for you guys.
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