Residents of Whangarei's Acacia Park are continuing their fight to stop the Otaika Quarry from expanding towards them.
The residents have raised concerns about noise, dust, vibration, decreased house values and visual amenity and environmental damage from the proposal.
Otaika Quarry operators GBC Winstone are seeking a change to the Whangarei district plan which would pave the way for them to dump overburden - the waste topsoil and clay which sits on top of the wanted rock - on a block to the east of the quarry.
Initially the operator sought to have the active quarry area extended to include the block, known as the Peagram Block, and the creation of an "overburden overlay".
The 40ha Peagram Block is owned by GBC Winstone with part of it falling into the quarry's "buffer area".
But at the hearings for submissions on the District Plan, GBC Winstone presented evidence for a compromised position with no extension of the active area and no overburden overlay.
GBC Winstone asked for a plan change so the placement of more than 5000 cubic metres of overburden within the buffer zone a year, would be assessed as a restricted discretionary activity.
A spokesperson told the commissioners "GBC Winstone are still going to need a resource consent to carry out overburden placement".
Typically, overburden placement happens in "campaigns" which take six to eight months and happen every three to five years.
Damon and Marama Keyte's property is on the boundary of the Peagram Block.
"We're concerned for our health. I don't want us to be the guinea pigs," Mrs Keyte said.
She said the family moved to the site because it was peaceful, like living in the country.
Mr Keyte said if it goes ahead, the "tipping trucks" will be an ugly entrance to Whangarei and the town could become known as "the overburden capital of NZ".
A number of residents also submitted evidence at the hearings.
Mia Barton-Boots was frustrated at the moving goal posts.
"How can one compromise a buffer? A buffer should remain for its intended purpose don't you think?"
Acacia Park Landowners Association's Sue McQuade said residents who bought in the subdivision were aware the quarry was operating but knew the buffer zone was there.
"If it was needed prior, why isn't it needed now?"
Resident Andrew Norman said it would be "like living next to a building site except the building never gets finished, but instead it keeps getting rebuilt".
He said caves had been identified on his property and surrounding areas, and he had concerns about any earthworks being put on top of it.
As well as the district plan change, GBC Winstone have made a resource consent application to the WDC under the current district plan to place overburden on the site.
That application proposes 2.4 million cubic metres of overburden would be dumped. Submissions on that application close on August 9.