Hardyston planning board greenlights quarry expansion

Hardyston. Eastern Concrete Materials will extend its quarrying operation into a 254-acre parcel previously owned by Crystal Springs Builders and approved for 484 residential units. The planning board took measures to protect the view from Crystal Springs Resort and give nearby residents notice of blasting activity.

| 08 Dec 2020 | 01:57

The Hardyston planning board on Nov. 23 approved an application by Eastern Concrete Materials to expand its quarrying operations.

Township manager Carrine Piccolo-Kaufer said Eastern Concrete Materials has operated a quarry in Hardyston for more than 30 years. A couple of years ago, the company acquired an additional 254-acre parcel previously owned by Crystal Springs Builders.

Crystal Springs Builders had obtained approval to build 484 residential units on the site, which was then zoned commercial-recreation (CR).

Upon acquiring the property, Eastern Concrete approached the township about possible uses for it, including an expansion of their existing quarry. In 2019, the township rezoned the quarry property and a small portion of the Eastern Concrete newly acquired property in a new zone, the I-3 Industrial/Quarry zone, which includes quarrying as a permitted use.

Piccolo-Kaufer said the balance of the re-zoned property is open space that can be put to municipal or governmental uses in order to enhance the buffer around the existing quarry.

Eastern Concrete presented a site plan, minor subdivision application, and conditional use application to the Hardyston planning board, which held a hearing on Nov. 23. Eastern Concrete sought approval to subdivide the 254-acre parcel so that it could move forward with the quarry expansion.

Protecting the view

The new subdivision and site plan allow for a modest expansion of the quarry that protects the ridgeline and the view. The subdivision follows the boundary of the I-3 zone.

“When you are looking at this piece of property from Crystal Springs hotel, you are able to see the ridgeline,” said Piccolo-Kaufer. She said the quarry now exists behind this ridgeline. The concern was that an expansion too far into the newly acquired property would extract rock from the mountain and destroy the view from Crystal Springs Resort and the surrounding area.

Eastern Concrete must get a quarry license and permit from the township council before beginning any additional quarrying. This means giving additional information to the Hardyston council for review by the township engineer, Michael Vreeland of VanCleef Engineering.

One of the conditions of the township’s approval is that Eastern Concrete must give residents in the surrounding areas adequate notice before blasting. Eastern Concrete agreed to comply with all federal and state guidelines.