Hancock gravel pit plans revisited

HANCOCK — An application for a 4.9-acre gravel pit on an 85-acre property on the Thorsen Road has been submitted to the town’s Planning Board.

Since submitting the application, the operator of the project, R.F. Jordan & Sons Construction Inc., has decided to make some changes, including to the site plan. The changes put a public hearing initially scheduled for Nov. 10 temporarily on hold.

The revisited plans follow a years-long process. An application was initially brought to the Planning Board in 2016, according to past reporting in The American.

Back then, a citizens’ petition asked the board to require a traffic study for the project. At the time, the town’s ordinance only required such a study for a project of 5 acres and more.

The board decided to require the study and the developer completed one.

Then, another citizens’ petition led to the approval of a mineral extraction moratorium that put the plans on hold.

As the moratorium was extended from six months to a year, the town approved amendments to its gravel ordinance at a special meeting in September 2017. The amendments require, in part, groundwater and traffic testing for all pits, regardless of their size.

The property where the pit would be located is in the rural/undeveloped zone, according to previous reporting. In that zone, only 4.9 acres can be extracted at a time.

Steve Herrick of Herrick & Salsbury, who is representing the applicant, said there has been groundwater testing and two traffic studies conducted over two summers. He said the plan may go before the Planning Board again in December.

Rebecca Alley

Rebecca Alley

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Rebecca is the Schoodic-area reporter and covers the towns of Eastbrook, Franklin, Hancock, Lamoine, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor and Trenton. She lives in Ellsworth with her husband and baby boy who was joyously welcomed in June 2020. Feel free to send tips and story ideas to [email protected]

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