MECHANICSVILLE, Md. — Recently, the St. Mary’s County Department of Land Use and Growth Management notified the county’s citizens that they will add Sloan Gravel Mine to Morganza Turner Road.

However, there is still possibility to reverse the decision. The St. Mary’s County Board of Appeals will host a hearing on July 8, 2021, for citizens to air their grievances.

Although there is a home and a few barns in the area, the applicant, Chesapeake Trails Surveying LLC, proposed using 18.8 of the total 150.69 acres on the property to create a mining area in three phases for conditional use.

Conditional use in property means they can only use the property after meeting certain requirements. The conditional use type for this property falls under the extractive industry, which means removing natural materials from the surface or subsurface of the ground for sale or further processing.

To grant conditional use, the proposed idea must meet a few requirements. First, the idea has to comply with the district’s standards.

The district that the gravel mine will be in is a Rural Preservation District (RPD). RPDs foster agricultural, forestry, mineral resource extraction and tank farming. Here, the gravel mine would fit into mineral resource extraction.

Second, the idea can not endanger the public, health, safety, convenience, morals, order, or general welfare of the citizens in the area. Technically, gravel mines have to face local, state and federal regulations that ensure that these criteria meet according to the case document. However, this point can be debated when looking at local citizen reactions.

Third, the gravel mine can not injure or ruin the enjoyment of another property in the immediate area. The surrounding forest and land will build the gravel mine up while being 237 feet to the nearest residence.

Last, the gravel mine must allow for acceptable utilities, drainage and facilities which are outlined in its commercial site plan. Additionally, the mine would go through regular inspections for this.

Although many in the community have expressed issues with adding the gravel mine to St. Mary’s County, the decision is not final. The St. Mary’s County Board of Appeals will have a hearing on July 8, at 6:30 p.m., addressing the potential pit. The meeting will be at 41770 Baldridge Street, Leonardtown, MD, 20650.

Citizens can call 301-475-4200 to speak during the hearing. You can email comments no later than 5:00 p.m. on July 7.

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