Pit Expansion Application Incomplete

At the April 18, 2017 special Lamoine Planning Board meeting, the Board’s activity centered around checking boxes on two lists. One list was for the gravel permit application to expand the Kittridge Pit to include Cousins Hill, and the other was for the Site Plan Review which allows the expansion area to be considered for a gravel pit. A finding of completeness for both lists would allow the announcement of dates for the site walk and public hearing.

A recurring stumbling block in this do-over is the confusion between what is old and must be unaltered, and what must be updated. The settlement reached in late 2016 between the Town and Harold MacQuinn, Inc. stipulated that the original application must be resubmitted and judged according to the Town Ordinances of the time (2012). First item on the checklist proved to be emblematic of this confusion, the ownership information. The application states the owners as MacQuinn, Inc. and Ralph and Mary Miro, but now the property is owned only by MacQuinn. The item was considered incorrect, but complete. For several items of the checklist, the same issue arose. The property abutters were not correct. The pages of the application were variously dated either 2012 or 2017. The property plan had old, inaccurate contour lines according to audience member John Holt. The letter of credit was 5 years old. The stated amounts of gravel extracted were from 2011 and 2012. It was these two items, numbers 9 and 11 on the list, that were considered incomplete by a vote of the members. At this point it became impossible for a date to be set for the hearing.

It was suggested that the completeness be found with conditions to remedy the inaccuracies, and that the remedies be delivered by MacQuinn before the next meeting. Board Member Perry Fowler opined that this has not worked in the past, and that the Board has often faced pit owners with active permits and no inclination to fix old conditions. For this reason, the board affirmed the application incomplete.

Friends of Lamoine pointed out that several items were missing from the old/new application. Written testimony from citizens at the 2013 public hearing and opinions from Planning Board members written in support of their vote to reject the permit were not included.

Ellsworth American’s Jackie Weaver was in attendance and wrote an article about this meeting for the April 20, 2017 edition.

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