To the Editor
In the state of Maine, it is illegal to practice medicine without a valid license from the state. It also is illegal to drive a car without a license, to fish for lobsters or dig for clams without a license, to operate a restaurant serving liquor or to hunt game without a license. Any person engaging in these activities without a license is subject to prosecution by state or local authorities.
The town of Mount Desert enacted an ordinance which requires a license from the town in order to operate a quarry within town limits. Why does Freshwater Stone seem to believe that it can ignore this ordinance and resume quarrying activity without a valid license?
If “grandfathering” is the answer to this question, then further questions arise. How long must a quarry remain inactive before it loses the right to be “grandfathered”?
Entering an old quarry and removing stone which was separated from the bedrock many years ago is not a definition of quarrying. Prior to the recent resumption of actual quarrying (separating rock from its matrix by means of drilling, blasting, etc.), when did the last quarrying take place?
Can this clearly be documented?
It is inconceivable that the town of Mount Desert would have rezoned an active quarry area as a residential subdivision, thus encouraging people to invest in the development of a residential community. For most citizens, their home is their single greatest investment, a hedge against the expenses of proper care in their old age. If quarrying is allowed in a settled residential community, the homes located there will be drastically decreased in value. Their owners will not be able to sell and recoup the investments in their homes.
While this may or may not constitute a legal “taking,” it definitely does constitute a moral and physical “taking.”
Who is going to be responsible for this grand larceny?
MacQuinn? Freshwater Stone? The town of Mount Desert?
Please answer these questions!
Anne Stebbins Funderburk