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Washington County residents question dirt mine

by Tom Sissom | November 2, 2018 at 1:06 a.m.
The Washington County Courthouse, Tuesday, February 14, 2017 in downtown Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Residents of the Wedington Woods area, west of Fayetteville, were rebuffed Thursday in their effort to have the county planners hear their concerns about a red dirt mine they say is being opened in their neighborhood.

Dick Johnson, who lives on Pin Oak Road, and a half dozen other residents of the area came to Thursday's planning meeting but were told at the outset of the meeting the board didn't have a "rumored" change in land use on its agenda.

What’s next

The next meeting of the Washington County Planning Board & Zoning Board of Adjustments is set for 5 p.m. Dec. 6 in the County Courthouse at 280 N. College Ave.

Source: Washington County

Johnson said the group has been trying to bring their concerns to the county without success.

"We come here today to try to get on the agenda of the Quorum Court," Johnson said. "We feel like we deserve a place on the Quorum Court's agenda."

Brian Lester, county attorney, told the group they needed to have a justice of the peace ask their issue be placed on the Quorum Court's agenda. Lester also said the group could make use of the public comment period at Quorum Court meetings.

"The Planning and Zoning Board can't place things on the agenda," Lester said.

Johnson and the rest of the group left the planning meeting and said they will pursue an opportunity to bring their concerns to the Quorum Court. Johnson said a property on Harmon Road has been "under heavy construction" including the construction of a new exit road from the property, and the neighbors are concerned about heavy truck traffic and safety. He said a request to use the property as a red dirt pit was denied by the county in 2015 and the neighbors are concerned the work being done is a precursor to such a project.

Terri Davis-Beaupre, another resident of the Wedington Woods area, said she wants the question to be an agenda item for the Quorum Court. She said she had spoken to the Quorum Court during public comment periods and seen no results.

"It doesn't do us any good," she said.

During its regular meeting, the Planning Board approved plans for a new electrical substation for Ozarks Electric Cooperative Corporation on 6.8 acres off North Jackson Highway in northwestern Washington County. According to Nathan Crouch, county planning director, the substation is meant to provide power to the increasing number of poultry houses in the area. The board approved the plans unanimously.

The board also approved plans submitted by Wade January for the Shadow Elm Meadery on 1.71 acres on the War Eagle peninsula, off Eagle Bend Road. According to information from the planning staff, mead is an alcoholic beverage similar to wine but made from honey. The plans call for a mead production facility only, with no tasting room or other walk-in business on site.

Also, Thursday, the board approved plans for a used car lot at 14871 Wildcat Creek Road by Joshua Duggar. Crouch said the permit would bring the business into compliance with county regulations. The board discussed issues including fire protection for the property, the number of cars allowed on the site, and screening the business from adjoining residential property before approving the permit.

The board also approved plans for an addition to a business, with the understanding the development must meet conditions to provide adequate fire protection. The board approved plans for a 10,000 square-foot shop building for the JL Bry-son Inc. location at 20121 E. U.S. 412.

NW News on 11/02/2018

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