05-24-2011 Site walk and public hearing

Dayton Planning Board

Ahern Proposed Sand Pit Public Hearing

Dayton Town Hall

May 24, 2011


Present: Remi Caron (Chair), Dick Hall, Dan Plourde, Rand Clark, Valerie Cole (Alt.)


Public: Rick Ahern, Albert Frick, Malcolm and Anneliese Merrill


The public hearing started at 7:07.


Chair Remi Caron asked the abutters if they had any concerns regarding the proposed pit on Rick Ahern’s property near CC Road.


Mr. Merrill asked for clarification as to whether this is a gravel or a sand pit, citing concerns about blasting. Dick Hall explained that this is a sand pit and the Planning Board won’t allow any blasting with this permit. Any activities such as blasting would require Mr. Ahern to go through another permitting process with the Planning Board.


Mr. Merrill then asked about hours of operation, and Mr. Ahern explained that they would be intermittent. His pit would be leased to someone who usually starts work at 7:00 AM. The leasee may use several trucks to haul material for a particular job, then may not need to use the pit for several weeks. He noted that the pit is not near the Merrills’ house.


Remi Caron suggested that the hours of operation be 6:00AM-6:00 PM, Monday-Friday, and 8:00 AM-2:00 PM on Saturday, with no activity on Sunday. Mr. Ahern thought that the leasee might want to haul material on Sunday. Dick Hall noted that this is a common schedule for pits. Mr. Ahern said that the pit won't have real hours and will not be open every day. He felt that even if the pit were open 24 hours/7 days a week, it would not have an impact on anyone. The abutters expressed concern about the noise of trucks on the highway, noting that it is nice not having trucks on the road on Sunday.


Mr. Merrill asked if there a town noise ordinance, expressing again his concern about blasting. Remi Caron explained that the town has a general noise ordinance but nothing specific to this operation. He supplied Mr. Merrill with a copy of the town noise ordinance. (Section 6.8)


Mr. Merrill then asked for a definition of a conditional use permit, and Dick Hall explained that the Planning Board applies conditions of use and places limits on the permit. The conditional use permit is good for three years. If pit is not used for 12 continuous months, then the permit is void.


Mr. Merrill asked how much traffic will be generated, and when the zoning had changed. Mr. Ahern noted that this is a hard question to answer, as it depends on the amount of material hauled out. Dick Hall replied that the zoning had changed several years ago in response to state mandates.


Mr. Merrill stated that he has no complaints about the businesses in the area.


Mr. Ahern submitted a letter from the USDA Forest Service indicating that they concur with the proposed 50-foot setback from the property line and that they see no further issues with the project. (See attached letter.)


Mr. Merrill asked again if the extracted material will be sand or gravel, citing concerns about blasting. Dick Hall noted that there is no blasting with this permit. Mr. Frick explained that there is nothing to blast; it is fine, medium and coarse sand. Remi Caron noted that this project is extraction only, no processing. Dick Hall pointed out that the pit is away from the road and noise probably would not be noticeable.

Mr. Frick submitted a reclamation plan with the following points: (See attached letter)

  • The pit will be internally drained
  • The topsoil will be stockpiled, then spread back when the pit is closed
  • The level parts of the pit will be graded, dressed with a minimum of three inches of loam, and seeded with a conversation mix
  • Steeper slopes will be hydro-seeded with a conversation mix


Remi Caron proposed that the Planning Board proceed with the conditions and gravel pit standards check list using the Preston pit as a model.


·         There shall be no site lighting on the premises, other than what the equipment produces.

·         No crushing shall be permitted. No portable hot top plant shall be permitted on the premises at any time.

·         A surety bond in the amount recommended by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, but not less than One Thousand, Seven Hundred Dollars ($1700) per acre, shall be maintained and filed with the Town until reclamation is complete. Thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of said surety bond, notice of expiration shall be given to the Code Enforcement Officer by the permit holder. This issue shall be re-addressed as necessary.

·         Liability insurance shall be maintained and a certificate of liability insurance shall be submitted to the Town at each policy renewal date.

·         Blasting of any kind is prohibited on the premises.

·         This permit is subject to review by the Planning Board and/or the Code Enforcement Officer for compliance with applicable safety, health (including dust control), noise, and environmental standards of this ordinance every three (3) years. The Code Enforcement Officer shall take appropriate action to correct any ordinance violations identified. This condition shall supplement, not supplant, the Code Enforcement Officer’s ongoing enforcement authority.

·         The Permit Holder shall maintain all necessary Federal and State permits and licenses.

·         The permit shall terminate upon discontinuance of active mining operations. “Active mining operations” shall be the mining and removal of at least one hundred (100) truckloads of virgin borrow mined at the site each and every twelve-month period. The Code Enforcement Officer shall review the status of operations every three (3) years or such shorter time as the Code Enforcement Officer may deem desirable. The permit holder shall be given notice thirty (30) days prior to termination of this permit and shall promptly begin the reclamation process, which shall be completed within two (2) years.

·         Hours of operation shall be limited to Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM- 6:00 PM and Saturday, 8:00 AM- 2:00 PM, excluding use made necessary by a bona fide emergency. In no event shall “emergency” be considered to include work done pursuant to an ongoing contract.

  • Barriers are not necessary.
  • The site is not to be used for disposal or storage of matter from off-site other than clean gravel or aggregate.


Dick Hall explained to the members of the public that the Planning Board’s intent in going through the permitting process and setting conditions is to keep the town’s pits consistent.


Mr. Merrill asked for clarification that the CEO will check for compliance every three years: Remi Caron confirmed that, noting that it may be more often if necessary.


At this point the Merrills left, and the Planning Board members started to review the gravel pit standards checklist. (See attached Review Procedure for Gravel Pits) Two more conditions were added:

  • The size of the pit shall be limited to that proposed on the site plan.
  • The westerly boundary bordering USDA Forest Service shall be 50 feet, per agreement by the USDA Forest Service. (See attached letter)


The following items still need to be addressed before the Conditional Use Permit is issued:

Item 2: Mr. Frick will supply the Planning Board with a Mylar copy of the site plan for signing. (Pending)

Item 10: Fee not paid yet (Mr. Ahern paid the appropriate fees at the conclusion of the public hearing.)

Item 34: This will not become an active pit until all permits are obtained. (Pending)

Item 46a: Mr. Ahern indicated that he will bury or grind any stumps; Dick Hall noted that if buried, they should be covered with a minimum of two feet of soil.

Item 46d: Dick Hall pointed out that the closure plan calls for at least four inches of topsoil or loam to cover all disturbed areas; Mr. Ahern’s proposed plan calls for three inches. Mr. Ahern and Mr. Frick were requested to send a revised written plan to the Board.


Mr. Ahern will receive a copy of conditions and the Planning Board will sign the Conditional Use Permit after all the conditions are met.


Dick Hall moved to accept the plan as proposed. Dan Plourde seconded, all vote in favor. The public hearing ended at 7:55 PM.





Valerie J. Cole, Secretary



Remi Caron, Chair

COPIES TO: Jim Roberts, Code Enforcement Officer; Selectmen; and Tax Assessor