Equal footing

To the Editor:

I am writing in regards to an Islander news story about the attorney for the businesses seeking a quarry permit raising a “red herring” flag. It was published Jan. 15.

Allowing the operation of a polluting industrial quarry in the quiet residential village of Hall Quarry flies in the face of common sense. The quarry produces noise – daily, unrelenting, piercing and nerve shattering noise which ignores all property boundaries as its disruptive effects spread outwards to pollute the natural environment of Acadia National Park.

Approving the permit for such a disaster will place the Mount Desert Planning Board in direct conflict with its duty to protect the residents as outlined in Section 1.2 of the Quarrying License Ordinance, which requires that the Planning Board take into consideration:

“A. Preserving and protecting surface and groundwater quality and quantity for current and future use of the town and/or its residents.

“B. Preserving the town’s natural resources, property value and their future ability to be an asset to the town and its residents.

“C. Controlling the amount of potential pollution which can be discharged into the town’s environment.”

In order to circumvent the Planning Board attorney’s regrettable practice of restricting residents’ verbal input at meetings, those concerned with this issue should send their comments directly to the planning board by good old-fashioned letter to P.O. Box 248, Northeast Harbor, ME 04662.

Please do this well in advance of the March meeting during which the review of the quarrying license application of Harold MacQuinn will continue.

The voters spoke in July of 2013 when they agreed to a moratorium on quarrying in Mount Desert. The right thing to do would be for the board to place the needs of residents on at least an equal footing with the “benefit of the doubt” they gave to MacQuinn’s when they allowed his application to be submitted in the first place. They took that action even though he lacked the proper paperwork to support his assertion that his previous operations were in keeping with the ordinance definition of a quarry.

The entire village stands to lose if one landowner – who doesn’t even live on his property – can profit from a commercial venture which trades quality of life for cash.

Janet Leston Clifford

Bob Clifford

Hall Quarry

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