To the Editor:
The opening paragraph of section 4 of the Mount Desert land use ordinance, pertaining to nonconforming uses (i.e. grandfathering) states “non-conforming conditions that existed before the date of this ordinance or amendments therein shall be allowed to continue, subject to the requirements set forth in section 4.
“Except as otherwise provided in this ordinance, a non-conforming condition shall not be permitted to become more non-conforming.”
The ordinance further states, in section 4.4, that expansions of nonconforming uses are prohibited … .”
I don’t think anyone can dispute that the level of quarrying being practiced for the past few contentious years at the MacQuinn-Freshwater Stone operation in our neighborhood is several orders of magnitude larger than what had been carried out in the past.
That is not a difficult argument at all to make, considering that this former quarry had been essentially undisturbed for at least the 20 years we have lived here.
In spite of Paul MacQuinn’s claim that conditions of “continuous use” have been met – and in the experience of all of us living here, they have not – it would seem that this new ramped-up Freshwater Stone version of quarrying is clearly too nonconforming to be considered allowable under any circumstances.
Jeff Gammelin of Freshwater Stone reportedly is calling the granite being noisily extracted in our neighborhood “Acadia Freshwater Granite.” I think it would be more aptly named “Freshwater Blood Granite” and sincerely hope that my friends and neighbors would find other sources for their stonework needs.