The Lamoine Planning Board requested updated information April 18 in its deliberations over an application by Harold MacQuinn Inc. to excavate gravel from Cousins Hill off Douglas Highway. PHOTO BY JACQUELINE WEAVER

Lamoine Planning Board seeks more info on gravel pit proposal

LAMOINE — The Planning Board asked for more information April 18 about Harold MacQuinn Inc.’s proposal to expand its gravel pit off Douglas Highway.

MacQuinn would like to enlarge its Kittridge Pit by 45 acres to 110 acres, including land on Cousins Hill.

The board was considering whether the company’s application and site plan were complete before proceeding with a tour of the site and then a public hearing.

The board asked that it be provided with, among other information, updated financial statements and data on how much gravel has been mined in the area since 2012 in time for another meeting on Monday, June 12, at 7 p.m.

MacQuinn’s attorney, Edmond Bearor, said the company would provide updated information for its letter of credit as well as current information about the amount of gravel MacQuinn has mined in that area since 2012.

The board’s proceedings are complicated by the fact that the application must be considered in the context of when it was filed in 2012.

The permit application is getting a re-hearing following a court challenge to the Planning Board’s rejection of the application in 2014.

The chairman of the Planning Board for this application, Donald Bamman, said he was puzzled that MacQuinn’s map of the site looks different than the one submitted in 2012.

“We’re in that zone of new and old,” said Paul MacQuinn, owner of the company.

Attorney Daniel Pileggi, who is representing the town of Lamoine, told Bamman that he had raised a “valid concern.”

MacQuinn claimed in challenging the 2014 denial of its permit application that two board members, Gordon Donaldson and board Chairman David Holt, were biased.

The company agreed to drop the lawsuit if the two men were not allowed to decide on the application.

Donaldson chose not to run again for the Planning Board and Holt has recused himself from voting on the current proceedings.

The application is being heard under the former gravel ordinance in place in 2012 that required a 50-foot setback, not the current 100-foot setback.

The issue of gravel mining has polarized the town, whose residents indicated their antipathy toward the industry when they amended the Building and Land Use Ordinance in June 2014 to prohibit new mineral exploration and sand and gravel pits within the residential and the rural and agricultural zones.

Those two areas cover most of Lamoine’s land mass.

The MacQuinn application is excluded from the amended ordinance since it was filed prior to the amendment.

Holt, the board chairman who has recused himself, was present in the audience April 18 and said MacQuinn has not reported what gravel was removed from the area since 2012.

“I’m just raising that,” he said.

During the review of the company’s site plan, Holt objected to the scale used in the maps.

“Can we let the board figure this out?” said Bearor, the attorney for MacQuinn.

At the end of the meeting Carol Korty of Friends of Lamoine, which has been given legal standing in the proceedings, asked that all material related to the first hearing on the application be included.

However, under terms of the settlement the application must be considered as it was filed in 2012 without a record of the subsequent comments and hearings.

Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]
Jacqueline Weaver

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