Area proposed for rezoning

The thick blue line running diagonally is Rock Fence Road, west of Adairsville. The acreage inside the blue lines on both sides of the road is the large area proposed for rezoning and potential mining use.

A grassroots group opposed to the potential for a mining operation on Rock Fence Road near the Barnsley Resort has scheduled a public meeting in downtown Adairsville for Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Yellowstone LLC has asked the county to rezone 466 acres from agricultural to mining use. The company currently controls mineral rights to the property, which sits on both the north and south side of Rock Fence Road.

The surface rights to the property are owned by Springbank LLC, a timber company out of North Carolina.

Sharon Nelson Viktora, whose property sits just to the east of the proposed mining site, started a Facebook page to oppose the project. The Facebook group now has more than 900 members.

Viktora said she expects a representative from the Barnsley Resort to be one of the speakers at the event. Representatives of the resort have come out strongly in opposition to the project.

“Potential destruction to the streams and lakes along the golf course creates a risk of losing the protected wetlands on our property, and the wildlife who call this land home,” said Barnsley President David Friederich in a Letter to the Editor of the Rome News-Tribune.

The letter goes on to say, “blasting proposes imminent risk to the historic structure of the 1840s era Manor House Ruins which the community has enjoyed visiting long before the resort was developed.”

Viktora also expects a representative from the city of Adairsville to speak as to how a mining operation might impact the city water supply at Lewis Spring.

The Lewis Spring plant provides water not only to the city, but to much of unincorporated Bartow County, and portions of Floyd County and Gordon County.

“The proposed mining site could impact a huge section of our water recharge area,” Viktora said. “Most of the people in that area are on wells, and the irony of it all is that most people who would be directly impacted by the mining don’t have access to municipal water.”

Even if people had access to the municipal water, she said, the proposed mining operation would amount to a double whammy if it impacted Lewis Spring.

“There are still people that don’t know about this, so we’re trying our best to get as much information out there as possible,” Viktora said.

The Northwest Georgia Regional Commission is currently conducting a Development of Regional Impact review of the proposal.

It is scheduled to go before the Bartow Planning Commission, 135 W. Cherokee Ave., for a public hearing on Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. The proposal will go before sole Commissioner Steve Taylor for a final decision on Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 10 a.m. in the same building.

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