Reverse the ruling

To the Editor:

Want to experience the head-banging noise of an industrial quarry right here on Mount Desert Island and witness for yourself the madness of such an operation located in the midst of a quiet residential neighborhood?

You may have your chance should Harold MacQuinn and Freshwater Stone convince the town of Mount Desert Planning Board to grant them a quarrying license to operate in Hall Quarry.

A special public hearing at the next Planning Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 11, at 6 p.m. Please attend and support your island neighbors, speak your voice with ours and let the Planning Board know that in this case, it is the residents who deserve “the benefit of the doubt” by stopping this quarry in its tracks.

Of the many aspects of this quarry plan that are wrong, chief among them is noise, the kind of loud, incessant cacophony that you wouldn’t want near to your home, and neither do we.

Imagine, if you will, that I hire a rock and roll band to play in my backyard at a high decibel level. Someone in my neighborhood surely will call the police, who will visit my home and ask that we ratchet down the noise level. But we don’t, and the band continues to bang out the tunes.

The police will return, of course, and I will be summonsed (or worse) for creating a public disturbance even though there is no noise ordinance. Why? Because we all know what too much loud noise sounds like, and in this case, shutting down the rock party is a reasonable response in a civilized society.

But when the rock and roll band that is Freshwater Stone starts playing its heavy metal music of drills, saws, trucks and other heavy-duty industrial machinery five days a week from morning till night from spring through fall for the next 40 years, well, what legal recourse will we, the taxpaying citizens have? Not much.

This is exactly why an industrial quarrying operation has absolutely no business in a residential neighborhood; it’s a bad idea that no one should have to live near to in an area of town zoned for homes.

In September 2014, just three members of the Planning Board made a preliminary “benefit of the doubt” vote to grandfather this quarry on the flimsiest of evidence – a jumbled collection of paperwork provided by the applicant, while the voices of affected residents went unheard.

Given the mountain of evidence residents have provided the town since that unfortunate vote, information that casts huge doubt on that wrong-headed decision, it is high time the Planning Board examines anew this contradicting evidence.

Through the ensuing three years, the residents of Hall Quarry have been waiting, having been assured by the Planning Board attorney that no part of the application review, including the grandfathering decision, is final until the end of the process. Any decision can be revisited.

Thursday, May 11, is the date to revisit the grandfathering decision. In all good conscience, the Planning Board should give residents “the benefit of the doubt” by reversing their preliminary ruling.

Carey M. Kish

Hall Quarry

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