- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) - Lawrence County residents have resoundingly rejected a proposed rock quarry in scenic Centennial Valley.

Nearly two-thirds of the 1,749 people who took part in Tuesday’s special election voted against allowing Rapid City-based Mountain View Ranches LLC to develop a 192-acre sand, gravel and rock quarry off Crook City Road, according to Deputy Auditor Brenda McGruder.

The County Commission narrowly approved the project in June on a 3-2 vote, with dozens of conditions aimed at limiting the quarry’s impacts on the surrounding area. Residents who still opposed it gathered enough petition signatures to force the public vote and a judge later rejected an attempt by Mountain View Ranches to block the election.

The company had challenged whether an election was legal, arguing that the county’s approval was an administrative decision that couldn’t be referred. Judge Randall Macy ruled that the issue was a legislative matter that could be subjected to a public vote.

Opponents feared the quarry would jeopardize historic trails and lead to other problems including noise, dust and road damage.

Mountain View Ranches said the area is appropriate for a quarry and that the operation wouldn’t be disruptive. The company said only 10 acres would be operated at a time, and that land would be reclaimed as the work progressed.

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