Because Orange City Attorney David De Berry couldn't say when the city annexed the Sully-Miller site or whether Ross' case was legit, the council delayed the matter until Jan. 14. But Angus subsequently destroyed that argument, too, by saying annexation took place long before the city's mining zoning code took effect.
"It's a shame so many years have gone by," said Grindle during the Dec. 10 hearing. "It hasn't been out of sight, but apparently, it's been out of mind for the city. The city needs to be more proactive in enforcing the zoning code. Either shut it down or change the zoning code. But don't allow an illegal use to continue."
Problems with Sully-Miller aren't limited to illegal rock crushing. Fieldstone Homes is planning to build 180 or so homes on the site. Not only would these homes sit in the inundation zones for two nearby earthen dams, but they also sit in the natural path of Santiago Creek. It's also now clear, thanks again to Grindle's research, that Sully-Miller never cleaned up its mining site, despite a state law requiring reclamation plans for all surface-mining operations. State officials say they are currently investigating why Orange never requested a reclamation plan for Sully-Miller.