Quarry Fight Has Cost Lower Milford $1 million

Lower Milford Township has spent 8 years and $1.1 million trying to stop Geryville Materials from starting a quarry there, according to a Morning Call report.

Lower Milford's legal battle to keep Geryville Materials of Montgomery County from constructing a proposed 628-acre mining operation there has cost the township more than $1 million since 2005, the Morning Call reports

The Call analyzed the township's legal bills and found that in the last three years the bills have come to more than $200,000 a year. 

Some residents have come to question the wisdom of continuing the fight. That includes Jeffrey Tapler, the township's former police chief, who said he doesn't think the township can win the battle and said the continued spending was "ridiculous."

In February, Lower Milford supervisors unanimously voted to deny Geryville Materials' application to construct the quarry off Kings Highway near Limeport Pike. That decision has been challenged in Lehigh County Court. 

For years, residents have waged a "Crush the Quarry" campaign against the development.  

EK November 20, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Money well spent.
Jennifer Moyer November 20, 2012 at 03:19 AM
That comes to $100,000 per year to keep the quarry out. The expense is probably worth it to the residents. Damage to the local roads from the heavy trucks would probably be more than that annual cost. Issues about damage to Lehigh Valley economy by not having a quarry nearby are among the other important ones. I can't blame the residents for wanting to keep the beautiful scenery in Lower Milford looking natural. It is the most beautiful township in the Lehigh Valley. Too bad the high tension electric lines are already spoiling much of the township.
Limeport Resident November 20, 2012 at 04:31 AM
The cost of fighting the quarry is small compared to having the quarry. Over $6M lost in property values in the mile surrounding the quarry alone; added police costs to cover accidents and hazards of 400 trucks/day moving over one of the most dangerous roads in PA; training and equipment costs for our emergency volunteers, not counting the added risk, to cover the quarry operation; cost to PA residents to widen road at entrance to quarry and taking of land by eminent domain will run into millions; damage to homes in Limeport as loud trucks shake homes 10 feet from the road; health costs due to pollution; environmental pollution. There are many quarries in the Lehigh Valley; Geryville Materials has not shown one bit of evidence that any cost savings to the county will result-- it is only greed. Jeff and Ted's comments put Geryville Materials ahead of their neighbors with their defeatist attitude, Donna Wright is right -- give in to predatory developers is poor governance. We need to make sure that developers who want to ravage our Township will know that they must obey the law and meet our zoning ordinances. We need to join together as neighbors and fight greed rather than give in. The Township will ultimately win because most residents are with them and they are right.
Mark Jamison November 20, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Although it's not unusual to see the words "Jeff", "Ted" and "ridiculous" in the same story, this one takes the cake. Gentlemen, unless you live inside that red circle on the map as I do, please don't feel compelled to speak for me. I have a huge investment in this township that in 2013 will cost me $21,000.00 in school and property taxes alone. I pay it because I love it here and I am not looking for change. For the two of you to become self apointed spokesmen for the township and start banging that drum again about giving up this fight so we can have more money for the police department is offensive. It also suggests that either your aging mentor has convinced you to be so paranoid that you believe LMT is such a dangerous place that we need a small army to protect us…..or you have come under the spell of a new puppateer and see some future reward in espousing the virtues of turning the township into a parking lot for tri-axles. Perhaps a shiney new food truck with a free electrical hookup parked at the entrance? Who really knows what motivates you two in this bizarre behavior but you are starting to piss off those of us at the "other end " of beautiful Lower Milford Township. Give it a break.
Don Weinberger November 20, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Geyville Materials has picked the wrong site for a quarry application, the wrong neighbors to offend, & the wrong township to invade. Attempts to circumvent our zoning ordinance are misguided & ill-informed. In very judicial avenue they have fought & appealed, they continue to be turned away. Our township can not be bought or bullied. Our residents will not be swayed by a few. 'Might' will never make 'right'. Hold onto your values, your family, & this beautiful land.
Ron Thornton November 20, 2012 at 07:24 PM
A municipality enacts zoning laws for a reason - that is how residents believe their Twsp should look and function. So, here are a few not so rhetorical points to ponder when considering if the Twsp's defense of its zoning laws is money well spent. Generations of families and newer residents alike live in Lower Milford for a reason - they enjoy its rural nature and lack of commercial development. So why was the original purchase name - 'Dreamfield Farms' - given to the property? Could it be someone wanted to hide their real intent - development of a quarry/asphalt plant/blacktop plant? And what socio-economic principle gives a corporate entity the right to just move into an area believing their interests always trump whatever ordinances or residents' desires exist under the guise that their 'rights' have somehow been violated? Where is it written corporations have some unalienable right to line their pockets with money at the expense of people they believe they can just walk over using legal mumbo-jumbo? Bottom line, the Twsp would not have had to expend the time and money cited had it not been for the arrogance of one of the parties, and 'Johnnie One Note' mantra of a handful of others. In real estate parlance it is all about - Location, Location, Location. And for a whole host of environmental, public safety and quality of life issues - this attempted quarry development in is simply in the wrong place!
Resident of Hosensack November 20, 2012 at 11:24 PM
How many times have Jeff and Ted been told by the Township that they (the Township) have a legal obligation to defend the zoning laws of Lower Milford when they are being challenged. Jeff and Ted...when it is going to sink in?!! PS still have not seen these two at any of the Township meetings!!
FriendsLMT November 24, 2012 at 11:40 PM
We've been watching this case unfold over the last few years. Here in Lower Macungie Township we supported fighting the Jaindl quarry vs. the alternative plan that was confidentially negotiated with our current leadership and Jaindl. The resulting MOU allowed Jaindl custom zoning to build 1.4 million square foot of warehousing. We believe for all the same reasons residents list they are fighting this quarry (truck traffic, safey, tax money) that we should have fought Jaindl's quarry. Now.. we have a different situation since our elected officials simply rolled over. And some believe Jaindl wanted the warehouses all along... But point is your showing a township can fight a developer. Again, different circumstances (yours is also a curative amendment.. vs. our current fight is against the zoning change..) but same idea. In the end our BOC chose to fight the residents who have since challenged the zoning instead of the quarry. Very happy to see a light at the end of your tunnel. You have shown that a community can fight a predatory developer and win, that a community can stand up for IT'S rights. For it's desire to protect it's quality of life. Be thankful for the elected officials you have with the backbone to carry it out. Best of luck and continued success in fighting. friendslmt www.facebook.com/friendslmt
Norman Detweiler November 25, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Where shold a quarry be?
Limeport Resident November 25, 2012 at 03:21 PM
A quarry should be where stone is needed not, as in this case, where stone is plentiful from many surrounding existing quarries. It should be in an area where it can meet the zoning ordinances that ALL developers must meet regardless of industry. It should be where the loss in property values is minimized not over $6M within a mile of the quarry as in this case. It should be where the entrance to the quarry is not on the most dangerous highway in the state. It should be where endangered species are not affected. It should be where the community will not have to pay significantly to provide EMT, fire, and police services to the quarry. It should be where it is beneficial to the community in terms of regional and local development and not just to line pockets of developer & quarry operator. Perhaps the site would be clearer if the developer would have to pay the enormous costs that the community and residents have to bear. Lets fight for legislation to bring us up to par with other countries that care how their resources are spent.


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