- Associated Press - Friday, June 10, 2016

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) - Lawrence County commissioners have narrowly approved a permit for a rock quarry that has met stiff opposition from area residents.

Rapid City-based Mountain View Ranches LLC sought the county permit for a 192-acre sand, gravel and rock quarry off Crook City Road. The company said only 10 acres would be operated at a time, and that land would be reclaimed as the work progressed.

“This location here is an appropriate location for this activity,” company lawyer Barton Banks said during a contentious public hearing Thursday that lasted three hours.

Area residents worry the operation will jeopardize historic trails and lead to other problems including noise, dust and road damage.

“There are very nice houses within 700 feet of this quarry, and it’s totally going to destroy their family life and value,” opponent Les Auer said.

The county’s planning and zoning board in April recommended approval of the project with more than 40 conditions aimed at limiting the quarry’s impacts on the surrounding area. The commission voted 3-2 Thursday to approve the quarry.

Opponents plan to gather petition signatures to try to bring the matter to a public vote.

“We’ll let the people of Lawrence County decide whether this quarry should go in,” said opponent Kevin Farmer.

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