MOUNT DESERT — The application by Harold MacQuinn, Inc. and Freshwater Stone and Brickwork, Inc. for a license to operate MacQuinn’s granite quarry in Hall Quarry is going back to the planning board for reconsideration because the town did not appeal a judge’s ruling that the board erred in finding that the companies were not eligible to apply.
Judge Michael Duddy of the Maine Business and Consumer Court wrote in his Oct. 12 decision that the planning board “erred as a matter of law” in basing its finding on the town’s land use zoning ordinance (LUZO) rather than on the quarrying licensing ordinance.
The 21-day window for appealing the judge’s ruling to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court closed Nov. 2 without the board of selectmen having discussed the possibility of an appeal.
So, the planning board must now reconsider the MacQuinn/Freshwater application in light of the judge’s ruling.
The two companies applied for a quarrying license more than four years ago, in June 2014. Three months later, the planning board concluded that the quarry was “a lawful, nonconforming pre-existing use,” and, therefore, MacQuinn and Freshwater were eligible for apply for a quarrying license.
But in June 2017, the planning board reversed that decision, finding on a vote of 4-2 that the companies had not met the LUZO’s standard for continuous quarry operation.
After the town’s zoning board of appeals upheld the planning board’s decision, MacQuinn and Freshwater took their appeal to the Maine Business and Consumer Court.