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MILFORD – The Caroline County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a request by Luck Stone to allow it to expand its sand and gravel mining operations.
The supervisors voted 6-0 to approve a special exception permit at their regular meeting on Tuesday of last week after holding a public hearing on the request. The panel received no comments during the public hearing.
The permit will allow the Richmond-based company to mine sand and gravel on a parcel of 451 acres just south of its existing operations, which are located off U.S. 301 south of Bowling Green.
Jon Riley, a land use and development manager for Luck Companies, briefed the supervisors on the company’s request. Luck Stone’s processing plant is located on a parcel of 995 acres, but a special exception permit allows mining operations on only 545 acres.
“We’ve mined all the material we can in that (old) location,” Riley said. “We do no blasting. We mine small areas at a time and remediate as we go along. We re-grade and then re-seed with pine trees. We leave the property better than we found it.”
Riley noted that Luck Stone had reached out to all neighboring property owners for comments on the proposal. “We haven’t heard any significant concerns from our neighbors.”
“I’ve talked to a few of the neighbors, and they had no big concerns,” Supervisor Floyd Thomas said. The parcel is located in the Mattaponi District, which Thomas represents.
Thomas noted that Luck contributes $215,000 annually in direct tax revenue to the county. “You’ve been a good corporate citizen.”
The company’s plant employs nine people, seven of whom live in Caroline. Riley indicated the company would hire another person if the permit was approved.
“If we don’t give you this (permit), you’ll have to close down,” Thomas said.
“That’s right,” Riley said.
The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the request in October and voted 6-0 to send it to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation of approval. No one spoke directly in opposition to the request, and the panel received three letters supporting it.
The processing plant will remain in its current location, but most of the mining activity will move into the new parcel. Material will be hauled by truck to the plant at an access point between the two parcels.
The county planning staff recommended 11 conditions for the permit. They include a natural 200-foot buffer along the Mattaponi River, a 1,000-foot buffer along U.S. 301, and a 100-foot buffer along property lines.
Luck Stone spends over $300,000 with local vendors and businesses.
Depending on market conditions, the additional parcel may keep Luck Stone supplied with enough material to continue its operations another eight to 10 years, according to Riley.
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, which opened in 2004.
The company’s Caroline operations supply sand and gravel to two concrete businesses in Milford.
The new parcel 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.