Quarry Moratorium Vote Set for Nov. 6

MOUNT DESERT — When voters here cast ballots in the Nov. 6 general election, they also will decide whether to impose a six-month moratorium on quarrying in town.

The board of selectmen Tuesday night set that date for a secret-ballot vote on the issue.

If the moratorium is approved, it will be retroactive to Aug. 6, which was when the board decided to put the question to voters. That means any applications for quarrying permits submitted since that date would be put on hold.

The proposed moratorium was prompted by complaints from some residents of Hall Quarry about the operation of a nearby granite quarry owned by Harold MacQuinn, Inc. and leased to Freshwater Stone. Officials of the two companies maintain that, although quarrying is no longer specifically allowed by the land use zoning ordinance (LUZO), granite removal has been continuous at the Hall Quarry site over the years, so it qualifies for grandfathered status. Several neighboring residents disagree.

The current ordinance does not actually mention quarrying. But it allows for “mineral extraction” in most zoning districts, and the planning board recently ruled that quarrying qualifies as mineral extraction.

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Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]