Residential concerns prompt quarrying suspension in Maine

April 2, 2013

Bangor Overlay District

Last week, the Business and Economic Development Committee in Bangor, Maine, backed moratorium on future quarry development in the area, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The Bangor City Council will likely vote on the moratorium on April 8.

The suspension, which could last up to six months, was developed when residential concerns about homes on Union Street and Downing Street resurfaced from last spring and summer. Residents are concerned about nearby quarries causing a decline property values and an increase noise and disruptions.

One proposed resolution, developed by City Planner David Gould, is an overlay district consisting of four proposed zones that would allow for quarries outside the city’s growth boundary and at least 500 feet from residences. The four zones total 845 acres.

However, there were concerns about whether the established overlay districts would provide enough useful stone or sand for quarries. Councilor James Gallant said if the city sets the boundaries without first checking to see if quarries can use the land, “this may all be for nothing.”

Randy Gardner, owner of Gardner Construction Enterprises, suggested the city request U.S. Geological Survey data to determine whether the materials at the four sites can be used for quarries.

While the overlay district relieved some concerns, other residents still wanted other resolutions like a better definition of the city’s ordinance relating to quarries, which states that a quarry is allowed to operate if it is “not seriously detrimental to the neighborhood.”

The moratorium may be lifted before six months has passed if the city council comes up with a solution.

(Photo: City of Bangor, Maine)


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