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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Supreme Court of Virginia sides with Sneads, Caroline

The Supreme Court of Virginia has sided with the Snead family and Caroline County officials in a long-pending case involving the right to mine a 60-acre property off U.S. 17 for sand and gravel.

In late 2008, Caroline’s Board of Supervisors approved a special-exception permit for the Clark’s Cut II mining operation on the north side of U.S. 17 along the Rappahannock River. The 60-acre parcel is on the other side of U.S. 17 from Emmett Snead’s farm.

About 15 people with properties near the planned mining operation filed a lawsuit against the Snead family and the Board of Supervisors, claiming mining is not permitted in a rural preservation district.

This past spring, Caroline Circuit Court Judge Harry T. Taliaferro III sided with the Sneads and county. Late last month the Supreme Court of Virginia declined to hear an appeal in the matter, effectively ending the case and clearing the way for mining of the property.

Earlier this year the Supreme Court of Virginia also sided with Caroline’s supervisors and the land owner in a similar lawsuit involving Vulcan Materials Co.’s efforts to mine sand and gravel on the Black Marsh Farms property off U.S. 17.