A Cumberland County Superior Court judge will hear arguments Tuesday for and against the city of Westbrook’s consent agreement with Pike Industries to mine its rock quarry off Spring Street.
The hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. before Judge Thomas Humphrey, who is presiding over a lawsuit filed by Pike against the city last year after the Zoning Board of Appeals decided the company had no right to operate the quarry at Five Star Industrial Park.
Idexx Laboratories and other tenants of the park opposed the quarry. Idexx dropped its opposition after city officials and Pike crafted the agreement to allow the quarry to operate with some restrictions.
Other opponents, such as Smiling Hill Farm and Artel lnc., both intervenors in the lawsuit, are expected to argue against the consent agreement, from which they say they were excluded. Artel, which makes precision measuring instruments, contends that blasting in the area would interfere with its manufacturing process and force it to move. Warren Knight of Smiling Hill Farm said the blasting would be bad for his dairy cows.
Residents of a nearby neighborhood known as Birdland, who have filed their own lawsuit against the city seeking to invalidate the agreement, had hoped that their attorney, David Lourie, would be allowed to make arguments at Tuesday’s hearing. But they learned last week that the judge will allow Lourie to present evidence but not make oral arguments.
Birdland neighborhood residents contend that in approving the consent agreement, the city council created a “spot zone” for Pike in violation of the city’s zoning laws. “We still have our own case. It is not over by any means,” said Gary Swanson, a neighborhood resident.
Humphrey is expected to make his decision about the agreement sometime in the next four to six weeks.
Knight said he does not know what further legal action he will take should Humphrey approve the agreement.
Jonathan Olson, regional manager for Pike Industries, was not available for comment, and city officials did not return calls seeking comment Friday.
Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at: