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Holbert Quarry seeks expansion again

By Fritz Mayer
July 6, 2011

Wayne and Dave Holbert are seeking a permit that would allow them to expand their bluestone quarrying operation, which is now about 10 acres, by an additional 40 acres. The application permit says that the acreage is located in a rural district, and that “operations will consist of blasting, crushing and screening of limestone rock within the permit area.”

If the area is located within a rural district, then it would be allowed with the issuance of a conditional use permit by the township. But if it is instead located within the township’s Delaware River Corridor (DRC) district, then, according to the Lackawaxen Township Zoning Ordinance, the quarry expansion would not be allowed.

Sean McGuinness, superintendent of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, wrote a letter to Brain Stuart, chairman of the Lackawaxen board of supervisors, which said that the acreage is, in fact, located in within the DRC district. As such, the proposed expansion is prohibited not only by the township’s own zoning ordinance, but also by “Land and Water Use Guidelines,” which were developed by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior through Congressional mandate back in the 1980s.

McGuinness wrote, “There are no conditions or standards that the township supervisors can impose on a 40-acre quarry operation in the DRC District to make the use consistent with the township’s ordinance, or the secretary’s Land and Water Use Guidelines.” He said in an email to The River Reporter that if the supervisors approve the permit, he will pursue the matter in court.

But the Holberts may argue, as they have in the past, that the quarry is not technically in the river corridor because it can not be seen from the river. According to sources familiar with the situation, the Holberts applied for essentially the same conditional use permit back in 2008, using that same argument.

The last time the argument surfaced, the question was not settled because the application was withdrawn. It is not clear what the supervisors might decide this time.

Supervisor Rich Krotcha said in an email that at a meeting in June the Holberts appeared before the township with two engineers, one of whom showed a cross-section map and maintained that the quarry is technically not in the river corridor.

He added in a follow-up email that according to the engineer’s study even from the New York side of the river, the quarry can’t be seen unless one travels 200 feet or so up the mountain. He wrote, “Looking at the cross section of the two states with the Delaware River shown, the quarry is beyond the river corridor.”

Ice Cream Excrement

Oibu is full of it and everyone wants two scoops! His garbage disappears as soon as it is out of sight. He shivers in the cold all winter long. His car runs on water, no wait, carbon dioxide! He and his have never consumed a single resource and therefore expect the same from you. What's more they expect you to believe this hogwash. He doesn't want quarries, drilling, or puppy mills. He does, however, purchase and use crushed stone, petroleum and puppies. No conflict whatsoever.

yet more ignorant babble

from someone too simple, too greedy, too consumerist, too materialistic, to understand that it is possible to use resources responsibly, in moderation, or make smart choices.

If there were no conflict we wouldn't have to make these choices. Unfortunately we don't live in the utopian world of limitless resources that Hick imagines for himself, so we have to be a bit 'smarter about these things. Much as Hick doesn't like it, since it crimps his consumerist style or his schemes to get rich quick, we have long since reached the point where we can't just continue with business as usual of developing, deforesting, polluting, contaminating, overcrowding, clearing, and consuming our resources without siginificant consequences. The more people that understand that sooner, the better off we'll all be. If we're lucky, we might even still have some resources left for our use!- but only if we don't consume them all in a quick orgy of greed.

I know it's hard to comprehend, but the point is not that we use resources, it's that they're not limitless and therefore we damn well better make the right choices. If Hick's ilk ran the world we'd probably already be out of fossil fuels and clearing the earth's forests to provide the fuel for our wood-chip powered cars.

too much stupid

is folks like Hick paving over our quality of life and environment and accelerating global warming in the name of "land rights" and a foolish dream that industrializing everything is the way forward. Or those who try to pass off just another fossil fuel with as many or more environemntal problems as all other fossil fuels as "green", preying off their impression of the ignorance of others to make a quick buck before anyone notices the problem.

From what I gather you don't even live here, please keep commentary appropriate to that of an outsider, Hick.

The Hypocrisy Never Ends

It amuses me how the same tired old clowns can clutch a handful of TP, look out of the bathroom window of their wooden house backfilled with crushed stone across their two acre yard past the gravel driveway to a cleared quarry and say "Dammit, that ain't right!". It must be a torturous life you live to realize that you (yes you) are funding this every day with your financial choices. Stone has to come from somewhere. As does gas, wood, water, plastic, corn, wheat, and cheese curls.


yes, weak, to always fall back on calling it "hypocrisy" anytime anyone wants to take responsibility for the future.

Last I checked we have no shortage of rocks, nor any shortage of quarries. Lots of them are in places already scarred, developed, or industrialized. You're not fooling anyone. I support the ability to make a living, but a.) these legal desgnations are nothing new, so it's laughable how some seem to find this a "surprise" and b.) if everyone were a good steward of the land, looked out for their neighbors, and special places were safe from development and/or industrilaization, we wouldn't need these kinds of laws.

But alas, people such as yourself who would bulldoze anything for a buck need to be counteracted with measures to balance things.

You make the same lame arguments pro-gas... that because we all need energy in some form, we must therefore all support extracting difficult to obtain natural gas from rural and natural regions. You must think everyone is as narrow-minded as yourself to believe that Marcellus gas, or Lackawaxen stone, are the only options left for humanity to obtain any kind of resources to ward off the fall of civilization (in contarst,the fall of civilization will actually come when our resources are all spent up, but we never did anything about it and kept on exponentially growing our population all the while- NOT for LACK of using up our resources as you absurdly seem to feel). You make another good point though... perhaps some folks could get by just fine with much less stone (or fossil fuel) than they do!

Ever notice that people that own little or nothing

like to tell how people should be good stewards of the land and how that can be accomplished? (Obie would be a great steward of other peoples' land.) Obie admits he uses these products but feel they need to come from someplace else. This is someplace else for most of the world. Obie must think everyone is as naive and narrow-minded as he is to feel that he must save the world and the area by insisting his pleasures come from someplace farther away. All these anti-drilling obstructionists use the same old tired arguments.

no, you missed the point entirely- as usual

I'm just saying some people are capable of rational thought and/or care about things besides how much money they can make doing the least work.

Own little or nothing? I guess it's all relative. How many hundred acres do you own in the area, Natural? If it's not multiples, you should just quit while you can save face on this one.

We're talking about quarrying within what, 1 mile of the Delaware here, give or take? Doesnt that leave at least 95% of Sullivan, Wayne, and Pike counties open to quarrying (even excluding other lands already owned by various government agencies, it still probably leaves a good 70% of the total land area)? I frankly don't see any problem here. There are no shortage of other quarries in the area. Likewise, I don't see a problem with opposing just a few short years of extra fossil fuel supply that is difficult, costly, fossil-fuel intensive, inherently inefficient, and heavily polluting to obtain, and will industrialize the landscape and quality of life of the predomintantly-rural state of NY for 2-3 decades and leave piles of scrap metal, brownfield sites, fragmented and compacted unusable formerly-productive farmland, and contaminated water in its wake. Who will pay for that? The point is, the local economoy still needs to be viable after Chesapeake and Cabot leave, and we need to think about conserving and using alternatives to fossil fuels- not going hell bent on a quest to pump every last barrel from the earth as quickly as possible. Likewise we need stone, but do you really think we need to remove every last yard of rock in the Delaware valley when the entire earth's crust is made of rock? Give me a break. You should see some of the huge quarries down in (heavily industrialized and urbanized/suburbanized) New Jersey if you think we are in danger of running short of rock products!

I have no issues with current quarrying in the region or with the one in question. If we were talking about a few more acres, I wouldn't oppose that. But 4x larger? That's pretty disruptive. And the law has been on the books for how long now? Trying to negotiate at that time for another 10 acres "grandfathered in" probably would've been a bit smarter (and more likely to succeed) than pleading unawareness the whole time and then hiring an engineer to "reinterpret" the law and asking for 40 acres many years later!

You used that word I told you to think about as well. Please explain how your failing attempts to obstruct the truth give you any credibility to call others "obstructionist"? He who obstructs has little business trying project the same unto others.

This shows how you miss the point.

There is no shortage of other quarries? How does that help Mr. Holbert pay his bills and hire employees? His property is where it is. He has applied for permits. A few nuts say we have lots of rocks so don't let him do it? Is that fair? Is that the attitude that builds economies and countries? It builds other China.

Classic NIMBY

Not in my back yard! Quarry in Jersey. They need the jobs and money more than we do. Then we can burn thousands of gallons of diesel produced else where to transport it here. The stupidity (pronounced hypocrisy) never ends with these people.

more ignorance

Laws not new, Holbert knew, all the rest of the land is available for his use. Not a problem. You guys want to claim the right to anything (and everything) based on land ownership alone. The world, at least the U.S., hasn't worked that way since shortly after the Lousiana Purchase. You'd best get used to it.

Yet again, the point get's missed entirely; this time because you're so enraged at the implications of this one quarry operation as a harbinger for your beloved fracking. Holbert can buy any damned land he wants to quarry. I can live with the fact that I can't build a skyscraper on my land, even though that might pay me lots of money. Why is it so hard for you two to accept that we have laws in America, and that while some may be a nuisance, by and large they exist for a reason. You ignoramuses are perfect examples of how we have the problems we face today in the first place, because you will never once choose a path that's better for the future at the expense of a few dollars. As far as Holbert's land, once again, he'd best not have banked on being able to quarry all of it without having any approval of that beforehand- this news (i.e., the law as related to this subject) is 3 decades old at this point! You don't see Honda or Ford paying a contractor up front to build an assembly line on land they don't own or don't have approvals on yet, do you?? If they can't do it in one place, they buy land somewhere else... just like every other business on the planet!Guess what- if I need a 30-bay truck garage for my business and live in a spot where zoning wouldn't allow me to build it, I either have to move or buy land elsewhere for my 30-bay truck garage- that's just how life works. As far as jobs, economy, the environemnt, etc.- really we just need to be smarter about how we do things, not work harder. We all face challenges in life, jobs come and go... people move their business and buy and sell land all the time. Did Holbert even do anything when the laws were under discussion? If not, he missed his chance. C'est la vie. There's just as much rock up by Greeley as in Lackawaxen, I reckon. Business is business, all businesses must follow laws even though they might cost money or be inconvient. Business owners succeed by working through things, not by lucking out and getting everything they want handed to them every time they ask (oil industry notwithstanding, of course).

I still want to see you guys actually walk the walk when somebody is proposing XXXX on the property right next door to your houses. I'm pretty sure we'd here plenty of loud squawking then, especially if it threatened your money in any way (i.e., livelihood, property value, etc.).

Still no response from natural re: his obstructionism or his local land holdings...

Ignoramuses? Is that something you learned in debate class?

It didn't take long to return to insults, did it? Slowly, you are being drawn out and exposing your dislike for, and envy of, large property owners. Sure you can build a garage in a few different places. Finding a good quarry or a natural gas bearing shale are not always as easy. Your dislike of property rights is not overly surprising as many obstructionists (read non-land owners) lean toward that philosophy.

such a joke

you keep harping on "large property owners" ignorant of the fact that I am one, and also have yet to disclose whether you own so much as ONE square INCH in the region.

Envy? No sir, I have no envy whatsoever towards those fellow landholders in the region. Why would I?

Dislike of property rights?? I'm standing up for mine, thank you very much. I'm all for it, but when one acts as if landholding equals absolute power, all I can think of is a stack of report cards with "does not play well with others" duly noted at the bottom of each. I'm all for land rights, but I do not think the mere act of landholding is equivalent to being in absolute power over one's own small dictatorship.

Once again, your whole argument over Holbert's quarry is hinged entirely on it's relevance to gas drilling. You feel threatened. Or perhaps more accurately, you fear your free meal ticket is threatened.

A good quarry? Jesus, they're everywhere around here! I sympathize, but anyone who can't live by the laws of the land or wants no part in Society or in being part of the "United" states is welcome to move to China, Russia, Afgahnistan, Long Island, the middle of mowhere in Wyoming, or wherever else might more appropriately mesh with their world view. Otherwise, a bit of concern and respect for the land, the people around you (many of whom are also landowners- some of them undoubteldy much larger than you!), the laws of the land, and society as a whole will carry you far. Likewise, a bit of persistence or creativity in the face of adversity is generally a better bet than stubborn obstruction or a demand for "everything, now".

Good quarries are everywhere?

That pretty well ends this discussion. You are stating nonense. The bigger issue is property rights. You feel others can control your property if you are going to do something that frightens them, regardless of how irrational that fear is. You are not a property owner. You are an obstructionist. Quarries have been the lifeblood of the Delaware Valley for a couple hundred years. Now you're telling us that it's second home owners and organic farmers that fuel the economy? Not even close.

there you go again

obsructionist calling others by that name.

Once again this is not "how I feel", It's the law. Like it or not you're stuck with it and so are the quarry owners. Like any business owner, they are free to sell, change location, modify their business plan, or change industries if any aspect of their operations is no longer viable. We are all in that same boat together. Certain people don't deserve special treatment just because ________ (insert favorite special-interest reason of your choice).Property owners do have rights, but they are not absolute and all-powerful like a sole dictatorship. We are all governed by laws, like it or not. It would be pretty ignorant of me to plan to build a huge brothel on my property and then act all surprised when that plan got shut down, wouldn't it? Or to buy a ridgetop parcel and plan to develop it, when ridgetop clearing has been banned for several years now? Business conditions change, and business owners must change, make do, adapt, or fold their cards. You scream hardcore conservative libertarian when it comes to land rights, yet be it continuation of a business or demanding a check in the mail for your gas payments you come off sounding like a bleeding-heart urban liberal demading a handout. Grow up, man- you're not talking about land rights, your're just talking about your egotistical sense of entitlement not being fulfilled.

When PCBs were federally banned in the early '80s, did GE get special permission to continue making PCBs simply because they already owned a PCB plant (aka "property") in Glens Falls so therefore it was their right as ordained by the Lord God Almighty to continue making PCBs for all eternity, despite a law that said no one could ever make a PCB again?

And it is far from nonsense to say there are lots of good quarries. You said as much yourself in your last post! I have nothing inherently against quarrying. I'd prefer quarries to second homes, although for sure a barren moonscape of quarries is not anything I'd want to see either. But frankly, the vast majority of land in this region is available for quarrying to the highest bidder. One small strip is not, and with good reason. Surely taking that perhaps 5% or so of the local land out of circulation for quarrying is not really a significant threat to the local stone products industry. Every business and every property owner has laws they must follow- good, bad or indifferent.

Carry on, quarrymen!

As for Natural, still no evidence that he owns any land or that any of it is in this region. Assumption: all his talk of land rights is pure bunk, and his opinions regarding regional matters are entirely irrelevant, yet he likes to tell real property owners in the region how they should feel because he will somehow profit financially if they do as he'd like them to.


I don't read your rants in their entirety because they give me the kind of headache that too much stupid gives me. Yes let's take the 5% of everything around your house out of circulation. That's reasonable. I highly doubt you own much of anything other than your invasive opinions.

Perfect match between subject and name

CRAZY, and Opinions, is in this case, a perfect match. Just take a look at the photograph. Those who believe in this version of "property rights", live in a vacuum where only they matter, not the society, nor the environment's, health.

Is this photograph of ten acres? What would fifty such acres look like? What would fifty do to the river, the wild and scenic river, the special protection waters, the National Park? What about every damn landowner on the river, in this type of location? Shall they be allowed to clear cut and scrape, blast and God knows what else the land so close to our drinking water?

I would add, it seems clear that this atrocious lack of "caretaker" approach to the land, while perhaps not viewable to the people floating down the river, must be clear to those on the NYS side of the Delaware River. Is this "wild and scenic", or monstrously industrial?

Anyone who thinks this is viable, should simply take a drive from Port Jervis to Hancock, NY. Think of this mature, virtually pristene, forested, landscape, turned into this "viewshed", square mile, after square mile. Add in the roads, and the other infrastructure needs.

How could this possibly remain either "wild and scenic", or, more importantly, "special protection waters".

High volume, slick-water, multi-stage, hydraulic fracturing for shale gas is our savior? Turn this watershed into one, gigantic, quarry?

It is this type of landowner, who should sell, and move out of our incredible, beautiful, rural, residential, area.


This property has been in the Holbert faimly for generations and it has had quarry operations for years. Get off thier back !
This exactly what is wrong with the government on all levels interfering with private property rights.
I dont stand to gain anything for or against but i do get upset when government dictates what can and cannot be done on your own property. Cry babies, shut up and get a life, township gov give the permit , and upper deleware council and nps.....get the heck out of town !!

Mr. Barth moves in and

assures us he is the new sheriff in town and knows what is best for us. He is a legend in his own mind. This country, and especially this area, was built by miners and loggers, not by opinionated performance dancers.

Perhaps this land was built by

anonymous cowards, who attempt to mock me as a "performance dancer", instead of actually dealing with the issue at hand?

I am not "sheriff", nor, am I "new in town", nor am I a "performance" artist", or "dancer", among other fabulous pursuits, in more than 34 years.

As if any of this mattered.

This mr. natural does not live anywhere near the special protection waters of the Delaware River, yet he would have it clear cut in a minute if it meant being able to extract shale gas on his self-proclaimed, "ponderosa".

Stay hidden, natural, you are truly a sad embarassment.

There is no attempt to mock you.

There is no need.