Wednesday, May 22, 2013
WESTBROOK - The City Council voted Monday night to amend the city's zoning to allow Pike Industries to continue quarrying on Spring Street.
The council voted 4-1, with Victor Chau opposed and two councilors absent, to include so-called performance standards for the Spring Street quarry in the city's manufacturing district zoning rules, said City Administrator Jerre Bryant. Councilors John O'Hara, Brendan Rielly, Michael Foley and Michael Sanphy voted in favor.
The change was made in response to a ruling in June by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on an appeal of a consent agreement between the city, Pike and neighboring Idexx Laboratories.
The agreement was reached in 2010 after Idexx complained about Pike's planned expansion of its Spring Street quarry. It laid out regulations for the use of the quarry, including limitations on the number of blasts and the noise and vibration it could create, and was approved by the Maine Business and Consumer Court.
Nearby businesses Artel Inc. and Smiling Hill Farm appealed the agreement.
The Supreme Court partially granted the appeal, saying the city could only enforce the consent agreement conditions if they were written into a zoning ordinance.
Since that decision, Pike has not blasted rock on Spring Street. Pike's attorney, Tony Buxton, did not return a call Tuesday morning seeking comment.
The proposed zoning amendments were reviewed by the city's Planning Board and then by the council.
The Business Court temporarily approved the consent agreement in August, conditional on the zoning changes being pursued, and now will have to decide whether to permanently approve it.
Warren Knight, president of Smiling Hill Farm, said the council did not include all of the performance standards, including those regarding buffering, in the zoning ordinance.
"Without a doubt, they've done it the wrong way," he said.
Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at: