Quarry neighbors want noise ordinance



MOUNT DESERT — Several residents of Hall Quarry on Tuesday urged the town’s land use advisory group to propose a noise ordinance that would include the regulation of noise from industrial operations, such as the granite quarry in their neighborhood.

The quarry, which is owned by Harold MacQuinn Inc. and leased by Freshwater Stone & Brickwork, is not currently active. The Planning Board recently resumed its consideration of those companies’ application for a quarrying license.

Many Hall Quarry residents oppose the resumption of quarrying. Peter Aylen, whose property abuts the quarry site, said that if the quarry is ever licensed, it would be good to have an ordinance in place to mitigate the disturbance.

“Noise is the big issue we’re facing with an industrial quarry in the middle of our neighborhood,” he told the land use advisory group, which can recommend ordinances to the Planning Board.

Hall Quarry resident Howard Colter said that the lot next to his was recently cleared for home construction.

“They were cutting down trees, pulling out rock, bringing in Caterpillars, bucking up logs,” he said. “It’s noisy. But everyone is fine with that because it’s temporary. I don’t think anybody in Hall Quarry is saying that’s got to stop.

“The difference,” Colter continued, “is that this [quarry] is a business that may continue for a very long period of time year round. That puts it into a new category of challenge for residents of Hall Quarry.”

Noel Musson, the town’s planning consultant who works with the land use advisory group, reminded everyone that the town cannot enact rules for a specific project or commercial operation.

“If it’s a specific project that’s an example of something we need a general rule about, we can talk about the general idea,” he said. “But this group is not making a judgment on any particular project in the town.”

Musson said the advisory group will need to decide at a future meeting whether to recommend the town consider a noise ordinance. If so, he said, “I would go back and work on a model that would include how you would enforce it.”

Code Enforcement Officer Kim Keene said the land use advisory group already has several issues it needs to deal with this year, so any movement on a noise ordinance related to industrial activities probably would have to wait until at least next year.

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. dbroom@mdislander.com

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