Town bans granite quarries

MOUNT DESERT — Residents here voted 92-50 at a special town meeting Thursday night to enact an ordinance banning new granite quarries and any other type of mineral extraction in all zoning districts.

Residents also approved, by voice vote, an ordinance requiring any existing quarry operations that qualify for grandfathered status to obtain a license from the town. Licenses must be renewed annually. The licensing ordinance imposes a number of conditions on quarrying, including limits on noise and other negative impacts on abutting property owners.

The only active quarry in Mount Desert is operated by Freshwater Stone & Brick, Inc., on property owned by Harold MacQuinn, Inc., in the village of Hall Quarry. The two companies maintain that the operation is grandfathered and, therefore, may continue under the new ordinances. However, two couples who live near the quarry site have already filed a challenge to that contention in Superior Court.

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