Residents of the Nottingham Ridge subdivision were invited to a private meeting Monday night to discuss a possible expansion plan for the Hanson Material Service quarry on Route 53.
Nottingham Ridge resident and homeowners' association president Anthony Bonanno said homeowners are concerned that a plan to annex an additional 80 acres could bring the blasting closer to their homes, increasing noise pollution and other issues for residents near the plant.
Bonanno said homeowners received a letter from the village Dec. 2 notifying them of Hanson’s interest in expanding onto the property along Taylor Road. The 80-acre parcel extends west from Hanson’s property on Route 53 past Belmont Avenue, according to Bonanno.
Mayor John Noak said he could not comment on Hanson's proposal. He added Monday night’s invitation-only meeting was not open to the press, and was intended to be a forum for Nottingham Ridge residents to present their concerns regarding the proposed expansion to Hanson representatives. Village board members would not be present at the meeting, Noak added.
Noak said a zoning request related to the expansion plan will go before the village's Planning and Zoning Commission for a public hearing at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, at , 1050 W. Romeo Road. Meanwhile, a public hearing on Hanson's overall application is tentatively scheduled for the village board's regular meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, at Village Hall.
On Monday morning, Hanson Plant Administrator Kim Castro said no one from the quarry was available to discuss the expansion plan or Monday night’s meeting.
Bonanno said many Nottingham Ridge residents, whose homes are located north of the Taylor Road property, were under the impression that the quarry blasting would be a temporary inconvenience.
When he purchased his home from now-bankrupt builder Neumann Homes eight years ago, Bonanno said he received a document stating that the quarry was “coming to the end of its life expectancy.”
“Now they’re talking another 20 years. Who … wants to buy a house next to a quarry and an airport?” Bonanno asked, referring to the nearby . “To be honest, they should never have let this subdivision be built.”
As part of the 2001 annexation agreement for the subdivision, Neumann Homes was required to notify any homebuyers of their property's proximity to both the quarry and the airport, along with the nearby Pinnacle industrial park on Taylor Road, according to Noak.
Residents believe the quarry expansion could bring the blasting even closer to their homes.
“You feel it and it does shake the house,” he said, adding that the blasting becomes a bigger annoyance in the winter when the ground freezes.
“They blast, and you’d swear to God a freight train was going through your house,” Bonanno said, adding that he believes the blasting has even caused structural damage to homes near the quarry. “I’ve got seven cracks in my foundation, two cracks in the ceiling and one in the wall."
Though Noak said it was too early for the village to comment, Bonanno said he has spoken with the mayor and that they discussed ways the village hopes to minimize the impact on residents, as well as the possibility that Hanson may provide homeowners with insurance to cover damage caused by quarry blasting.
“I’ll give them credit, it sounds like they’re trying to do it the smart way,” Bonanno said.
Noak urged residents who have concerns to contact the village.
"If people have questions, we're always happy to talk to them," he said. "They can email, they can call. That's what we're here for."