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  • LUBA nixes quarry

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  • A state appeals board crushed plans for a rock quarry on Dead Indian Memorial Road this week, citing potential traffic problems along the mountainous route.
    This is the second time the Land Use Board of Appeals has issued an opinion against a proposed aggregate operation that has pitted landowner Joe Dauenhauer against neighbors along Dead Indian.
    &
    We obviously respect LUBA, but it is a disappointing decision,&
    said Grants Pass attorney Duane Schultz, who represents Dauenhauer.
    Tom Kane, one of three organizers for opposition to the quarry, along with Laurel Miller and Donna Shu, said he was pleased with the news of LUBA's decision.
    &
    We&
    re confident that the entire Ashland community feels a bit safer now when they travel Dead Indian Memorial Road.&
    &
    We&
    re thrilled with the decision,&
    said Miller, one of about 100 neighbors who have protested the project with Jackson County.
    She said LUBA&
    s opinion upheld a ruling last year by county hearings officer Donald Rubenstein, who also expressed concern about traffic on the winding rural road with steep slopes.
    &
    LUBA was pretty clear about the decision of the hearings officer,&
    she said. &
    He didn&
    t extend his reach.&
    Medford attorney Mark Bartholomew, who represents Miller and neighbor Tom Kane, said the LUBA opinion clearly specifies that Dauenhauer didn&
    t adequately address off-site traffic concerns.
    Dauenhauer proposes excavating about 45 acres that have been zoned aggregate resource by the county.
    Dauenhauer first attempted to establish a quarry operation at his property in the mid-1990s, leading to the eventual rezoning from exclusive farm use to aggregate resource.
    Neighbors appealed the county approval to LUBA, which decided in their favor and sent the matter back to the county hearings officer in 2003. Dauenhauer has since dropped plans for a 24-hour-a- day asphalt operation.
    Schultz said his client hasn&
    t decided what the next step will be, but he foresees an appeal of the LUBA decision to the state Court of Appeals.
    He said his client could either drop the idea or submit a whole new application to the county, which would require an expensive traffic study.
    &
    It&
    s up to my client and his family to decide,&
    he said.
    Dauenhauer said Tuesday that he wasn&
    t aware of the LUBA ruling and preferred not to comment.
    Schultz understands that neighbors have concerns about the proposed rock plant. &
    The need for these raw materials is not going to go away,&
    he said. &
    Roads are made up of raw materials from properties like this.&
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