Quarry location

Shown is the quarry location on GoogleMaps. An appeal filed in Dane County Circuit Court challenges the village’s zoning administrator’s decision that the non-metallic mining operation can expand to the south. The Waunakee Village Board will discuss zoning procedures and rules and regulations regarding blasting on its Feb. 15 meeting agenda.

Residents in the North Ridge and Waunakee Heights neighborhoods sometimes feel their homes shake as blasting occurs – part of Veridian’s development of the Heritage Hills subdivision.

But many seem more concerned about the expansion of a neighboring quarry at Schumacher Road just south of Easy Street.

“We don’t know what the exact timeline of the Veridian is, but it’s a limited project and will go away,” said Bruce Hoesly, “unlike Quincy Ridge which can go on, in effect, indefinitely.”

Hoesly is one several property owners named in a second appeal related to the Quincy Ridge quarry expansion. Filed in Dane County Circuit Court in November, it challenges the Waunakee Zoning Board of Appeals’ decision to uphold the village’s zoning administrator’s determination that non-metallic mineral extraction on Quincy Ridge’s 30-acre expanded site is a permitted use.

William and Dorothy Blobner first challenged the zoning administrator’s decision before Waunakee Zoning Board of Appeals in the fall. Those who filed this latest appeal in Dane County Circuit Court retained the same attorney as the Blobners’, Christa Westerberg.

“The one point is our concern that that this property is subject to Waunakee’s zoning jurisdiction,” Hoesly said.

The Quincy Ridge Quarry is located in the Town of Westport but within Waunakee’s Extraterritorial Zoning Jurisdiction. Unlike some quarries located in townships, the housing density has increased around Quincy Ridge, and Veridian’s Heritage Hills subdivision is planned to grow around it, as well.

In arguing the case before the Waunakee Zoning Board of Appeals in September, Westerberg argued that state laws “about city and village zoning allow non-conforming uses but say the non-conforming use may not be extended.”

She went on the say, “Now, it makes sense that the legislature would treat cities and villages differently because they are usually more densely populated than counties,” noting that the expanded use would likely “affect the public health, safety and welfare of more people.”

The village’s zoning administrator based his decision, saying the property is within Dane County’s zoning authority, as the village adopted the county’s zoning code for all of its extraterritorial areas.

Attorney Bryan Kleinmaier, who represented the zoning administrator, noted that the case “not a policy issue; it’s not a planning issue. It’s purely a legal issue.” In previous cases, the courts have said that contiguous parcels are deemed as part of the use, Kleinmaier added.

Several members of the public voiced concerns during the village board’s Jan. 21 listening session, and the issues surrounding the quarry were placed on the board’s Feb. 15 meeting for discussion.

Hoesly, who was a licensed attorney and published state statutes when he worked for the state Legislature, said the Quincy Ridge owners and the village have filed their answers to the appeal and he expects the judge to make a decision in this summer.

“There’s a schedule where each of the parties have time to file written arguments,” Hoesly said. “The last written argument has to be filed in April.”

The judge’s decision should come in about 90 days afterwards, he added.

“A lot more people feel the Veridian blasting, but people are seeing the kinds of things we’re concerned about,” Hoesly said, including the effect on property values and the ability to enjoy one’s property during those quakes nearby.

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