WINDHAM — The Town Council passed amendments to its town land use ordinance regarding mineral extraction as a regular measure on Tuesday night.

The Council had previously passed the amendments as an emergency measure.

The amendments bring the town’s ordinance more in compliance with state standards, but they are more restrictive in some areas, according to Planning Director Amanda Lessard. Those areas include “the hours that blasting is permitted, dust control, stormwater management, annual inspections, reclamation plans (and) performance guarantees for replacement wells,” she said previously.

The amendments were developed by the Mineral Extraction Committee, but the committee could not come to a consensus regarding zoning, Lessard said. The amendments will apply to new or amended mineral extraction operations but not to existing ones.

During the public hearing April 23, both Dennis Brown and Kevin Clark spoke in support of the amendments.

“This is very well done. It should set the standard for other communities around the state,” Brown said.

However, both urged the council to address the issue of zoning as well as housing density on private roads. The performance standard section currently reads that “No new mineral extraction operations shall be permitted to access a private road or private way that provides access to a public street to more than 100 dwelling units.”

“I don’t feel that that is a reasonable method of determining whether mineral extraction should go into an area,” Brown said.

Interim Town Manager Don Gerrish assured them that the amendments could be amended further in the future.

Both men praised the council for its work thus far.

“We’ve made it 50 percent of the way,” Clark said. ” I do hope that the council approves this tonight.”

Jane Vaughan can be reached at 780-9103 or at [email protected]

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