A small rock quarry known as the Family Ranch won approval for its permit May 1 to collapse the roof of a limestone mine at Interstate 470 and Pryor roads.
The Missouri Land Reclamation Commission granted the permit at its regular meeting in Jefferson City, said Bill Brown, a spokesman for the Family Ranch.
Work on the site, 70 acres along the north side of the interstate and west of Pryor, is to completed in phases and back filled.
The property is considered undevelopable because of conditions of the mine which has areas where the roof already is collapsing.
Owner Flip Short proposed removing valuable limestone remaining in the roof and letting overburden set a new ground level. His plan is to then develop the property for commercial uses. He could not be reached for comment.
The mine’s shafts, dormant for decades, extends beyond the property limits and the project was opposed by nearby landowners and some farther away who were worried about the effect on their properties.
To meet some of the concerns, the Family Ranch will not use explosives.
Carol Siegrist, president of the Bent Tree Bluffs homeowners association, said Jim Tosser represented the association at the May 1 hearing before the commission. She said he expressed concern regarding the failure of the operator to show how he would protect the safety, security and livelihood of all those who have property in the effected area.
He asked for a hearing to bring out all pertinent information to this precedence-setting decision, but the commission denied the request.
Siegrist said, “However a part of the permit states there will be no blasting and this was the main concern. BTB residents are aware of the situation and will insist there are no violations of the permit or the promises made in public by Mr. Short.”
Opponents of the project also had questioned whether it would lead to mine collapses off the site and had concerns about noise and dust.
Scott Blankenship, one of the neighbors leading opposition, could not be reached for comment.