City of Russellville v. Vulcan Materials Co., No. 78-235

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Writing for the CourtSHORES; TORBERT
Citation382 So.2d 525
PartiesCITY OF RUSSELLVILLE, a Municipal Corporation in the State of Alabama v. VULCAN MATERIALS COMPANY, a corporation.
Decision Date28 March 1980
Docket NumberNo. 78-235

Page 525

382 So.2d 525
CITY OF RUSSELLVILLE, a Municipal Corporation in the State of Alabama
v.
VULCAN MATERIALS COMPANY, a corporation.
No. 78-235.
Supreme Court of Alabama.
March 28, 1980.

Charles A. Graddick, Atty. Gen., Sarah Kathryn Farnell, Benjamin Cohen, Asst. Attys. Gen., Montgomery, for appellant.

Macbeth Wagnon, Jr. and Gary E. Meringer, of Bradley, Arant, Rose & White, Birmingham, for appellee.

Page 526

SHORES, Justice.

At issue in this case is the validity of a municipal ordinance challenged on both constitutional and statutory grounds. The ordinance purports to regulate the detonation of explosives within the police jurisdiction and corporate limits of the City of Russellville. It is challenged by Vulcan Materials Company, which operates a limestone quarry located at the city limits. Because we agree with the trial court that the ordinance is beyond the constitutional power of the City to enact, we affirm on that ground, and pretermit discussion of the numerous other issues raised on this appeal.

The history of this litigation, insofar as pertinent, is as follows:

Vulcan, or its predecessor in interest, has operated the limestone quarry in question since 1959. The process of removing limestone rock from the quarry requires the periodic use of explosives. The evidence introduced at trial tended to show that the quarry has detonated explosives without increase in the frequency or intensity of the blasting since 1959. It is located near two residential subdivisions which, it is alleged, were created prior to the beginning of the blasting, but which have been built up considerably since that time. Residents of the subdivisions testified at trial that the blasting caused them annoyance and property damage of various sorts and that petitions had been circulated around the neighborhood for years in an attempt to halt the blasting.

In 1976, the then Attorney General filed an action in the Circuit Court for Franklin County seeking to enjoin the blasting on the theory that it constituted a nuisance within the meaning of Code 1975, § 6-5-120. Following a trial on the merits, the trial court issued an interlocutory decree instructing Vulcan to conduct its blasting so as to limit the resulting particle velocities to 0.5 inch/second at a point 1600 feet from the blast, and 0.75 inch/second 1100 feet from the blast.

On November 21, 1977, the City Council of Russellville, after consulting with an expert in the field of vibration damage to materials, adopted Ordinance 77-113, which reads in pertinent part:

All blasting within the police jurisdiction of Russellville shall be conducted so as to cause a particle velocity of no greater than 0.4 inch/second for any occupied dwelling located within the city limits of Russellville. (Emphasis added.)

At the time this ordinance was adopted, both Vulcan and the City mistakenly assumed that the nearest dwelling to the quarry within the city limits was located at a distance of 1100 feet from the quarry. Vulcan filed this action seeking to have enforcement of the ordinance enjoined and for a declaratory judgment that the ordinance is...

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19 practice notes
  • Storer Cable Com. v. City of Montgomery, Ala., Civ. A. No. 90-T-958-N.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • 9 Octubre 1992
    ...designed to accomplish a purpose properly falling within the scope of the police power." City of Russellville v. Vulcan Materials Co., 382 So.2d 525, 527 (Ala. 1980). "Cities may not, under the guise of the police power," the court continued, "impose restrictions that are unnecessary and un......
  • Peak v. City of Tuscaloosa, CR–09–0805.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 29 Abril 2011
    ...State, 266 Ala. 256, 96 So.2d 582, conformed to in 39 Ala.App. 161, 96 So.2d 592 (1957).”City of Russellville v. Vulcan Materials, Co., 382 So.2d 525, 527 (Ala.1980). “ ‘The concept of the public welfare is broad and inclusive. The values it represents are spiritual as well as physical, aes......
  • Sharon Steel Corp. v. City of Fairmont, No. 16349
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 10 Julio 1985
    ...Yates v. City of Milwaukee, 77 U.S. (10 Wall.) 497, 19 L.Ed. 984 (1870); City of [175 W.Va. 488] Russellville v. Vulcan Materials Co., 382 So.2d 525 (Ala.1980); City of Denver v. Mullen, 7 Colo. 345, 3 P. 693 (1884); Jewel Tea Co. v. Town of Bel Air, 172 Md. 536, 192 A. 417 (1937); Potashni......
  • Moore v. Mobile Infirmary Ass'n
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 27 Septiembre 1991
    ...guaranteed by the Constitution, we have not only the power but the duty to strike it down. City of Russellville v. Vulcan Materials Co., 382 So.2d 525 (Ala.1980); Peddycoart v. City of Birmingham, 354 So.2d 808 I. Right to Trial by Jury The right to a jury trial in the courts of this state ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • Storer Cable Com. v. City of Montgomery, Ala., Civ. A. No. 90-T-958-N.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • 9 Octubre 1992
    ...designed to accomplish a purpose properly falling within the scope of the police power." City of Russellville v. Vulcan Materials Co., 382 So.2d 525, 527 (Ala. 1980). "Cities may not, under the guise of the police power," the court continued, "impose restrictions that are unnecessary and un......
  • Peak v. City of Tuscaloosa, CR–09–0805.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 29 Abril 2011
    ...State, 266 Ala. 256, 96 So.2d 582, conformed to in 39 Ala.App. 161, 96 So.2d 592 (1957).”City of Russellville v. Vulcan Materials, Co., 382 So.2d 525, 527 (Ala.1980). “ ‘The concept of the public welfare is broad and inclusive. The values it represents are spiritual as well as physical, aes......
  • Sharon Steel Corp. v. City of Fairmont, No. 16349
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 10 Julio 1985
    ...Yates v. City of Milwaukee, 77 U.S. (10 Wall.) 497, 19 L.Ed. 984 (1870); City of [175 W.Va. 488] Russellville v. Vulcan Materials Co., 382 So.2d 525 (Ala.1980); City of Denver v. Mullen, 7 Colo. 345, 3 P. 693 (1884); Jewel Tea Co. v. Town of Bel Air, 172 Md. 536, 192 A. 417 (1937); Potashni......
  • Moore v. Mobile Infirmary Ass'n
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 27 Septiembre 1991
    ...guaranteed by the Constitution, we have not only the power but the duty to strike it down. City of Russellville v. Vulcan Materials Co., 382 So.2d 525 (Ala.1980); Peddycoart v. City of Birmingham, 354 So.2d 808 I. Right to Trial by Jury The right to a jury trial in the courts of this state ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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