The township has spent a similar amount.
Miller & Sons, based in Wrightstown, isn't backing away from the fight. The quarry owners budgeted money for a long legal battle.
"None of this is surprising," said Miller attorney Steve Harris. "We are exactly on course. We expected we would have to do these things . . . we are right within our time budget."
The battle is being waged on a lot of fronts:
* Soon after Miller bought the land in 1988, it filed a "curative amendment" to have the zoning changed to allow the quarry. Four years of hearings ensued, ending with the township supervisors denying Miller's request in July 1992. Miller promptly filed an appeal in Bucks County Court. A court date is set for March 24.
* After the state Department of Environmental Resources issued Miller its necessary operational permits in April 1991, the township appealed the DER's action to the state Environmental Hearing Board, which oversees such matters. A decision has not been rendered.
* The civic association was successful in getting the entire quarry, and the rest of the Gardenville section of the township, placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Miller is fighting this registration on two fronts, one of which it recently lost.
* The association also was successful in Commonwealth Court, where a decision was handed down in January 1992 forcing the DER to re-evaluate the site for its suitability for mining, under provisions of the Clean Streams Act. A public hearing is slated in Plumstead for April 22.
For many years, the state believed that these provisions, which would determine whether a site was unsuitable for mining, only pertained to coal mines. The association's attorney, John VanLuvanee, proved in court that the law also covered quarries as well.
The DER can deny a quarry permit under four criteria, including if it is a fragile or historical site; if it is a renewable resource, such as farmland; whether the land is subject to natural hazards, such as floods, and whether the quarry violates the community's land-use plans.
Mick McCommons, chief of the environmental studies section for the DER, said the agency was reviewing the association's petition that claims the site is not suitable for mining because of its zoning, its historical-site designation, and its being farmland.
"We hope the effect of the historic designation and the unsuitability petition together will stop it. That's the civic association's goal," said Lynne Schutt, an association member and a paralegal working with VanLuvanee.
The first Quaker families started leaving the lower end of Bucks County in the 1700s, following the Delaware River north. Some settled in Plumstead.
Later in the century, Mennonites from Montgomery County also moved to this area, following the Perkiomen Creek toward the Delaware.
The Mennonites also found the Plumstead area to their liking. For the next 100 years or so, the Mennonite presence became stronger.
The significance of these two groups living together, the farming changes that evolved over the years - plus the fact that they settled in an area where there are two watersheds - are among the reasons that Gardenville and the 150- acre Miller site are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
"It's significant because it changed the land-use patterns and agricultural-based architectures" of the area, said Jeff Marshall, historic preservation director of the Bucks County Conservancy.
Attorney Harris doesn't see it that way.
"The fact of the matter is, the Quakers and Mennonites interacted throughout the entire Bucks area. Nothing is unique to the Plumstead area in that regard."
Restrictions on a historically designated site only apply when state or federal permits are required, Harris said.
A private landowner could do what he wanted, but a quarry owner must deal with a myriad of government restrictions and regulations.
Harris also pointed out that the land is now zoned residential.
"It isn't a question that this will remain open farmland. It's only a question of whether it will be developed as a quarry, or (for housing)," he said.