The people have spoken

To the Editor:

As reported in last week’s issue of the Islander, the Mount Desert Board of Selectmen is trying to get involved in finding out what is going on with the quarrying license application of Harold MacQuinn.

Board of Selectmen member Martha Dudman requested that the chairperson of the Planning Board attend their meeting on Sept. 19 to give members an update on the process of the quarrying license application review.

Dudman was just as surprised as members of the public in attendance when the town manager stated that because of the recent stop-work order issued to MacQuinn’s by the town’s code enforcement officer, he felt there was no need for the chair of the Planning Board to attend.

Dudman clearly corrected Lunt and restated her request to have the Planning Board chair come and shed some light on the quarry issue so that she would know what to say to residents when they asked her what was going on with the quarrying activities in Hall Quarry.

Registered voters in the town of Mount Desert should be concerned that Dudman’s request went unheeded by the town manager and had to be reissued.

Registered voters, who are the actual legislators in a town meeting form of municipal government, also should be very wary of the fact that their legislative actions at town meeting are being amended by the Planning Board without voter approval.

When voters approved the quarrying license ordinance in July of 2013, they spoke loudly and clearly to the elected selectmen and their appointed Planning Board that they did not approve of having industrial quarrying activities in residential neighborhoods of the town. They defined quarrying in the ordinance as the removal of rock from the bedrock. Period. The Planning Board took it upon themselves to amend this definition in the review process to allow MacQuinn to submit his application.

According to the land use zoning ordinance (LUZO) it is the Planning Board, CEO and Board of Selectmen that are charged with their actions being “guided in accord with the expressed desires of the residents of the town.” Certainly those residents of the town who voted in July of 2013 at a special town meeting on the quarrying license ordinance made their legislative directives known.

The Planning Board is supposed to permit “commercial enterprises in ways which avoid public disadvantage” as well as “protect and enhance public and private property and the value inherent therein.” If the Planning Board approves this quarrying license application, they will be doing the opposite and will inflict public disadvantage and directly allow the harming of property value.

The Board of Selectmen has the right to find out what has been going on over at the Planning Board, as they are jointly charged under the LUZO of protecting the interests of the public and private landowners.

Just ask those who have to live near this quarry about the “disadvantage” that has been inflicted upon residents since 2010.

According to abutters, the peace and quiet they enjoyed for nearly a quarter of a century is gone.

Janet Leston Clifford

Mount Desert

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