MILFORD – Representatives of Luck Stone answered questions from the Caroline County Planning Commission about the company’s plans to expand its sand and gravel mining operations off U.S. 301 south of Bowling Green.
The Richmond-based company has applied for a special exception permit that would allow it to mine an additional 451 acres just south of its current Caroline operations.
Four Luck Stone officials attended a work session of the Planning Commission Wednesday evening and answered questions about the company’s application.
The commission has scheduled a public hearing on the company’s request for its regular Oct. 17 meeting. It will make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, which will vote either to approve or deny the permit.
The company needs more land that contains sand and gravel deposits in order to keep operating its Caroline plant, said Jon Riley, land use and development manager for Northern Virginia for Luck Companies.
The processing plant would remain in its current location, but most of the mining activity would move into the new land parcel if the company’s request is approved, said Riley.
Milton Bush, the commissioner representing the Mattaponi District representative, where Luck Stone’s operations are located, asked if company representatives had discussed their plans with neighboring residents.
All the neighbors but one have been contacted, said Riley, and they have been receptive to the company’s request. The only concern they have expressed, he said, was for their wells. However, the mining operations will only go about 15 deep, which should not impact ground water supplies, indicated Riley.
Some neighboring residents live on U.S. 301 near the entrance to the plant. They will be protected by a 1,000-foot buffer set back from the highway, said Riley.
Bush also asked about noise, but Riley indicated noise levels should not be an issue. The sand and gravel material will be extracted by a machine that will load it onto haul trucks to be transported to the plant. An access road will be built to connect the two parcels.
Depending on market conditions, the new area may keep Luck Stone supplied with enough material to continue its operations another eight to 10 years, said Riley.
The Luck Stone plant, which opened in 2004, operates 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and employs nine people. The plant’s two largest customers are concrete businesses in Milford, and sand and gravel from the plant is trucked to the two companies.
The tract where it is seeking to expand contains 531 acres. It does not have frontage on U.S. 301, and the company would use its existing entrance for access.
The tract is owned by Ray Campbell Jr. of Bowling Green, clerk of Caroline County Circuit Court, along with two brothers and a cousin; the other three are not residents of Caroline County.
According to its application, Luck Stone does not plan to increase the production capacity of its existing plant nor would there be any increase in truck traffic entering or leaving the plant.
Like the current area that is mined, the proposed area of expansion contains land that fronts the Mattaponi River. The river would be protected in the expansion area by a 200-foot-wide buffer.
The area of the proposed expansion would be divided into two areas to be mined, one of 79 acres and the other 167 acres, and also leave about 205 acres in reserve.
The processing plant is located on a parcel of 995 acres, but a special exception permit allows mining operations on only 545 acres.