A Clark County hearings examiner will soon issue a final decision regarding alleged code violations at a Washougal rock mining operation, in a case Friends of the Columbia Gorge representatives have said is “perhaps the largest ongoing land-use violation ever in the Columbia River Gorge.”
At issue is the legality of a rock quarry located off Southeast 356th Avenue in Washougal and within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Owned by Judith Zimmerly, of Ridgefield, the quarry is currently being mined by the Vancouver-based Nutter Corporation.
In late March, the county’s code enforcement office issued a cease-and-desist order to Zimmerly and Jerry Nutter, of the Nutter Corporation, outlining violations that included the owner’s and operator’s failures to obtain site plan approval for surface mining and maintain Columbia River Gorge Commission approval for a mining operation.
“You are hereby ordered to cease all mining activities within 10 days from the date of this notice and order,” stated the March 29 letter signed by Clark County Code Enforcement Coordinator Kevin Pridemore and then-director of the county’s community development, Marty Snell.
Two months prior to this, in January 2018, Snell had sent another notice, warning Zimmerly and Nutter that his office had concluded the mine had “no valid (Gorge Commission) permit to operate the quarry and … no conditional use permit to allow rock crushing or other activities within the quarry.”