Quarry battle nearly over – or not 



MOUNT DESERT — One side says the years-long battle over the resumption of quarrying in the village of Hall Quarry can finally end the next time the Planning Board takes up the matter, possibly next month. 

The other side says, “Not so fast.” 

The quarry, owned by Harold MacQuinn Inc. and leased to Freshwater Stone, is at the end of a dirt lane off Crane Road. 

Before its meeting on Sept. 7, the Planning Board last met to deliberate on MacQuinn’s application for a quarrying license more than four months ago, on May 3. At that meeting, a question was raised about whether Crane Road meets the town’s road standards, particularly the right-of-way width. 

A section of the approved minutes of the May 3 meeting read: “The issue of the right of way is complicated, and the board needs more information and a plan. The board cannot even begin a proper review without more information on the location of the ROW (right of way).” 

The Planning Board asked MacQuinn to survey the road and show that it complies with the road and drive standards spelled out in the both the land use zoning ordinance and the subdivision ordinance. 

MacQuinn has obtained easements from abutting property owners, and on Aug. 16, MacQuinn’s attorney, Ed Bearor, submitted a map showing that those easements increase the width of the right of way from 30 feet to 50 feet. In an email accompanying that map, Bearor asked Code Enforcement Officer Kim Keene to “arrange a planning board meeting to wrap up its review of this [quarrying license] application.” 

But attorneys representing some of those who oppose the resumption of quarrying have said Bearor’s submittals are not sufficient. 

“MacQuinn must demonstrate that Crane Road complies with the [town’s] street design and construction standards,” attorney Matthey Manahan said in an Aug. 25 letter to the Planning Board. 

“The supplemental deed materials Mr. Bearor submitted on August 16 do not demonstrate – or even attempt to demonstrate – such compliance. Nor has MacQuinn submitted a request for a waiver from those requirements…” 

Manahan represents Hans Utsch and Julia Hazzard Merck, who live on Sargent Point, which is across Somes Sound from Hall Quarry. They object to the noise generated by quarrying, which they and others have said carries clearly over the water. 

Manahan said in his letter to Keene that his clients object to Bearor’s submittal of “the supplemental deed material.” 

“Mr. Bearor has argued on numerous occasions that the record in this proceeding is closed, and the board has on that basis ignored additional evidence we have offered for the board’s consideration,” Manahan said. 

“It is the height of hypocrisy for Mr. Bearor now to offer additional evidence… At a minimum, if MacQuinn’s additional deeds are allowed, the board must review and consider the additional evidence we have offered to show that MacQuinn does not qualify for a QLO (quarrying licensing ordinance) permit.” 

Keene said that Oct. 20 is the tentative date for the Planning Board to resume its consideration of the quarrying license application.    

 

Dick Broom

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]

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