This quarry in Hall Quarry is at the center of a dispute that will move to the court system. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Quarry fight not over yet: MacQuinn appeals to court

MOUNT DESERT — Harold MacQuinn Inc. and Freshwater Stone and Brickwork Inc. have taken their quest to be allowed to operate a granite quarry in the village of Hall Quarry to court.

They are appealing a decision by the Mount Desert Planning Board in June, which the Zoning Board of Appeals upheld in October, that the companies were not eligible to apply for a quarrying license.

MacQuinn owns the quarry, which Freshwater has leased and operated periodically since 2010.

MacQuinn applied for a quarrying license after voters at a special town meeting in July 2013 adopted ordinances banning new quarries and requiring any existing quarry operations to be licensed by the town. A requirement for licensing was that an existing quarry must be eligible for grandfathering under the land use zoning ordinance (LUZO). That meant active quarrying must have continued without a break of more than 18 months prior to 2009 or 12 months since then.

In June, after more than two years of sporadic hearings, the Planning Board by a vote of 4-1 found that at various times over the years, the quarry had been dormant for too long to qualify for grandfathering, and because of that, MacQuinn was not eligible to apply for a license.

The Appeals Board upheld that decision in a 3-2 vote.

Last Friday, attorneys Ed Bearor and Jonathan Hunter of the Rudman Winchell law firm in Bangor filed an appeal in Hancock County Superior Court on behalf of MacQuinn and Freshwater. They asked the court to “declare that the Planning Board erred in its determination that Hall Quarry is not an existing, active quarry with standing to apply for a quarrying permit.”

They further asked the court to send the matter back to the Planning Board “to hear and decide the merits of plaintiff’s 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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