A group of Gorham residents is suing to stop a controversial quarry the town’s Planning Board approved in March.

Concerned Citizens of Gorham filed an appeal April 30 in Cumberland County Superior Court, and is considering additional legal action against town approval of an asphalt plant.

In its filing, the group seeks a reversal of the Planning Board decision, arguing that a hydro-geological study conducted at the Mosher Road site was insufficient and that the town’s zoning ordinance is inconsistent with its comprehensive plan.

The Gorham Planning Board approved the request from Shaw Brothers Construction Inc. on March 31 to mine rock in the quarry and approved a blasting permit.

“The claim indicates the Planning Board didn’t follow its own rules and regulations, which it is required to,” James Cloutier, the group’s lawyer, said Tuesday.

Following approval of the quarry, the construction company received permission on April 28 for an asphalt plant. The quarry and asphalt plant, both to be located on a 125-acre, industrially zoned site, received approval after a months’-long review by the Planning Board. Shaw Brothers introduced the plans for the quarry and asphalt plant to the town in 2006.

Burleigh Loveitt, chairman of the Gorham Town Council, Tuesday called the appeal “unfortunate,” and said he supported the Planning Board decision.

“The Planning Board went out of its way to review it carefully and at some length,” Loveitt said.

Four residents, Theresa Dolan, Anne Hayes, Russell Sprague and Jennifer Everett, as well as Concerned Citizens of Gorham, are named as plaintiffs in the suit. None could be reached for comment Monday and Tuesday.

Defendants named are the town of Gorham, the Planning Board and Shaw Brothers Construction. The defendants have 20 days to file a response.

The town and the construction company were both served summonses Monday.

Dave Homa, president of the Concerned Citizens of Gorham, said Tuesday he supports the legal action.

“It illuminates issues we felt were still unaddressed,” Homa said. “This is the logical next step.”

Shaw Brothers Construction plans to use material from the quarry to construct the site and widen Mosher Road near the entrance to the project.

“We’re going to march on,” Danny Shaw, co-owner of Shaw Brothers Construction, said about work scheduled at the site.

Cloutier, who is a former Portland city councilor, said the Concerned Citizens hadn’t discussed whether to seek an injunction to halt work. Cloutier said the legal action does not prohibit work.

“But they do it at their own risk,” he said.

Cloutier said a judge at some point could order work to stop while the case is pending. He also said the same kinds of problems with the quarry approval also exist with the asphalt plant approval.

The plaintiffs have been involved in the issue, which also became an election issue, almost since the beginning. Sprague ran unsuccessfully for Town Council. Homa, also an unsuccessful council candidate, said Jennifer Everett, Sprague’s wife, is secretary of the citizens’ group.

Sprague and Everett live on Libby Avenue. Theresa Dolan, 309 Mosher Road, owns horses and lives close to the site of the quarry and asphalt plant. Homa said Anne Hayes, the other person named as a plaintiff, is Dolan’s partner.

Town Manager David Cole said the town has forwarded the court documents to its attorney, William Dale, but Cole declined further comment. Dale said Wednesday he would have no immediate comment because he had just received the documents.


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