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“It is with anger, disillusionment, sadness and frustration that Quarry Neighborhood Action Group shares that all efforts to stop development at the Old Stone Quarry have come to an end and short of civil court, digging, filling, dumping and blasting may commence soon. It is important to share why and how this has come to pass.
Quarry Neighborhood Action Group was initiated in August 2019 for the purpose of informing, organizing and initiating action of interested parties regarding Quarry Bluff Development LLC (QBD) and the Margaret Dreutzer Trust application for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a 117-unit campground on the Old Stone Quarry on Bay Shore Drive, Sturgeon Bay. Tom Goelz and Mike Parent are agents for QBD and Peggy Dreutzer Turk is the trustee for the Trust which owns the 57.4 acres. In March, 2020, the CUP was unanimously denied by the DC Resource Planning Committee (RPC).
This denial resulted because of opposition from YOU and thousands of other individuals (petitions, Facebook, distribution lists), tens of thousands of dollars spent, hundreds of letters in opposition and hundreds of hours of meetings by 12-15 members of the Quarry Neighborhood Action Group (QNAG) and Bay Shore Property Owners Association (BSPOA) who have led the charge. An appeal of the CUP Denial was ultimately withdrawn by the developers.
Despite the denial, Quarry Bluff Development, in conjunction with the owner Peggy Dreutzer Turk, continued to plan development at the 57.4 Quarry site and submitted multiple inconsistent and contradictory configurations of development to DNR and DCLUS. BSPOA and QNAG continued to oppose, question and express concern but the plat was ultimately approved on August 18, 2022 by the RPC. Responsibility for liability, maintenance and oversight of the development are extremely unclear in documents submitted because some are NOT signed and SOME reflect confusion about ownership. Despite repeated concerns by the committees to delineate responsibility for potential property damage, road damage, groundwater contamination, personal injury, Green Bay water contamination and public safety, DCLUS advised residents that that would be an issue for “an attorney”. Thus, if Sturgeon Bay groundwater becomes contaminated due to this development, who you gonna call? We don’t know. If your basement cracks as a result of blasting, who you gonna call? We don’t know. If rocks from the fragile and fractured karst surface of the quarry wall injures someone or damages property, who you gonna call? We don’t know. If flooding occurs because of the Stormwater Management Plan to control runoff, who you gonna call? We don’t know. Neither does the DNR or DCLUS.
Since first learning of the development of the Quarry in 2019, individuals have discussed with Peggy Dreutzer Turk or the developers dozens of times options for creating an educational, historical or geological community or public use for this Niagara Escarpment treasure, including purchase at Fair Market Value. All efforts to discuss purchase at Fair Market Value have been rebuffed. Purchase prices that are acceptable to the owner or developers, who are under contract, are unreasonable, unrealistic and inconsistent with waterview lots that have sold in the last two years.
After the August 18, 2022 approval of the 27 lot Major Land Division Plat, BSPOA and a number of aggrieved residents from the Bay Shore Drive Area filed an appeal on September 6 to DCLUS to be sent to the Board of Adjustment (BOA). Mariah Goode, DCLUS, at the direction of Sean Donohue, Door County Corp Counsel, basically refused to send the appeal to the BOA indicating that it had been “improperly directed”. The issues addressed in the appeal are outlined below. Our questions and concerns remain unanswered and unaddressed by any agency that could have made a difference in preserving and protecting the quarry. Every step of the way, QNAG and BSPOA have been rebuffed in our effforts to get answers to these questions and concerns. Short of legal action in a court of law, Door County government has closed the door on any possible future action by the county to preserve and protect the quarry. We anticipate that construction will begin soon on the wet pond and road since those are the first requirements. That is assuming that the finances for the infrastructure, which will be costly and extensive, are available.
Here is a summary of the approval of the 27 lot Major Land Division:
In June 2021, a 43 lot subdivision Conceptual Plan was submitted to DCLUS;
On February 11, 2022, the Wisconsin DNR approved a Stormwater Runoff Permit for 29 lots at the Quarry property;
On April 19, 2022, a Preliminary Major Land Division Plat for 27 lots was submitted to DCLUS. This changed to 31 and then back to 27;
On August 18, 2022, the Resource Planning Committee approved this Major Land Division for a 27 lot subdivision in a 3-2 vote. Ken Fischer, David Enigl and Roy Englebert approved; Hugh Zettel and Morgan Rusnak dissented;
On September 6, 2022, an appeal was drafted by two former attorneys and filed by BSPOA. and sent to DCLUS to be considered by the Door County Board of Adjustments. DCLUS has refused to submit the appeal to the BOA at the direction of DC Corp Counsel Sean Donahue.
The issues addressed on the appeal were:
The Preliminary Plan Violated Applicable Law and the Approval was otherwise Untenable;
The approved Preliminary Plat does not conform substantially to the Conceptual Sketch Plan, as outlined in Section 3.03 of Zoning Code;
The approved Preliminary Plat creates landlocked parcels in violation of Section 3.04 of the Zoning Code;
The Private Road Agreement does not satisfy requirements of Section 6.01 of the Land Division Ordinance.
Stormwater Runoff Management Plan (SRMP) ambiguities regarding the Maintenance Agreement and the RPC failed to address or impose Protective Conditions based on concerns;
The approved Preliminary Plat poses unmitigated and elevated risks of groundwater contamination;
The RPC arbitrarily and unreasonably declined to act to protect endangered species living in the quarry;
Please continue to communicate with us via email if you have any questions. One resident has inquired about liability for personal injury and property damage and been advised that consulting with an engineer might be advisable. If you are in the vicinity of the quarry, please consider taking photos of your house foundations and property for future reference. Review your property insurance for coverage. Have your water tested for a baseline in case of possible future groundwater contamination. Protect yourself. The Door County powers that be will not.”