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Sumner rock quarry proposal hits another snag

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Anthony Holt

After a more than six-year battle, property owners in Castalian Springs are breathing a sigh of relief that their quite community may not be home to a rock quarry; at least for now.

The Tennessee Court of Appeals handed down a ruling Monday against Western Farms, LLC, upholding a 2014 state ruling that the county acted properly when they denied the rock quarry proposal.

The group first proposed in 2011 to build the facility abutting Corum Hill Road. In addition to a rock quarry, the proposal also included a rock crushing plant, a concrete plant and an asphalt plant.

The County Board of Zoning and Appeals denied the request in July, 2011, saying the property zoning of R1A did not allow for a quarry.

Western Farms, LLC then took their appeal to the Sumner County Chancery Court, where then-chancellor Tom Gray upheld the county's decision.

In May, 2014, the state appellate court dismissed the case, ruling the county acted properly. In this week's decision, the state upheld the trial court's ruling that the county planning commission's actions were proper in their denial of the rock quarry.

Should the company choose to appeal this latest ruling, the next step for them would be the Tennessee Supreme Court. Unlike previous appeals, Western Farms, LLC would have to be granted permission before the case could be heard.

Nashville attorney Tom White represents Western Farms, LLC has previously stated he and his client are prepared to take the matter to the Tennessee Supreme Court if necessary.

County Executive Anthony Holt said county leaders stand behind their decision to support residents in this matter.

"The county was within its rights in our decision and I am pleased and feel confident the justice system will prevail and we will ultimately, no matter how far they want to take it, win this case," Holt said. "What we did was right and good for the community and the county and ultimately, for the owners of the property owners in Castalian Springs. This was an inappropriate place for a quarry."

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