Gravel pit appeals in Surry withdrawn

SURRY — An abutter to a Morgan Bay Road gravel pit has withdrawn her appeals of the pit’s permitting after reaching an agreement with the owner.

The pit in question, which is located off Morgan Bay Road, was permitted by the town of Surry last August.

Scarlet Kinney, an abutter to M.E. Astbury & Son Construction’s pit, has withdrawn her two appeals of Astbury’s permit to the Surry Zoning Board of Appeals.

Kinney’s attorney, William S. Kelly of Belfast, issued a letter to Surry Appeals Board Chairman Dale Sprinkle dated Dec. 18.

“Please be advised that Scarlet Kinney and M.E. Astbury have reached a settlement agreement, the result of which provides that Scarlet Kinney hereby withdraws her appeals dated May 3, 2017, and her appeal dated Sept. 22, 2017, relating to the decision of the Planning Board’s issuance of a permit on Aug. 23, 2017,” Kelly stated.

During an Appeals Board meeting last October, Kelly had cited a number of issues as the basis of the appeals, including a lack of due process for Kinney during Surry Planning Board hearings.

The attorney stated that the Planning Board repeatedly violated Kinney’s rights and those of other abutters by limiting their opportunity to speak at the hearings.

Another issue for the appeal was that the board did not make any findings of fact for “applicable review criteria” under Surry’s Unified Development Ordinance, according to Kelly.

“By its nature, a settlement agreement is an imperfect solution from either party’s perspectives and it is one that has resulted from a significant amount of effort, time and energy of the parties,” Kelly stated in the settlement agreement.

Eaton Peabody attorney Andy Hamilton represents Astbury.

“Both parties worked hard, made compromises and treated each other with respect,” Hamilton said Tuesday.

The agreement includes a number of conditions for the operation of the pit.

The pit will operate from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday except for two Fridays a month, when Kinney holds conferences and workshops.

Another stipulation is that there won’t be any crushing of gravel at the pit. Powered sorting and sifting will take place Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The agreement also includes a provision for buffers and berms to protect Kinney’s property from any adverse effects from the pit operation.

This includes the establishment of a 50-foot buffer, which will include planting new vegetation — a mixture of native bushes and trees.

Yet another provision of the agreement states that dust and noise will be mitigated as much as possible including but not limited to spreading calcium chloride on the road to keep down the dust.

Also, equipment engines are not to idle when not in use.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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