Dayton Planning Board

October 4, 2011

Site Walk – Girard Pit


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

Town Employees: Jim Roberts (CEO)

Applicants: Shaun Girard, Chris Boisvert

Public: (See list from site walk)


The site walk started at approximately 6:05 PM. Board members, applicants, and members of the public started on Bedard Lane and then walked down into the pit.


Pit owner Shaun Girard explained that the property had been previously used as a gravel pit but was now inactive. He plans to use it to store material that is hauled in from construction sites, and then haul the material out. He is unsure where the property lines are at this time.


Residents expressed the following concerns, which were addressed by Shaun Girard and Chris Boisvert:

·         Will there be grinding? Probably some crushing, maybe a couple days a year, depending on the amount of accumulated material. Currently there are probably 12,000-13,000 yards in the pit. A crusher can go through 9500 tons in a couple days.

·         Would the amount of crushing increase over time? Probably not, as this is a small company with only a couple employees. Materials coming into the pit would be hot top and rough loam for screening.

·         Will there be a lot of noise from vehicles, such as beeping, or lots of payload coming in? Not every day, as there won’t be much material. This will be mostly for storage and recycling of material.

·         Will there be a lot of dust? Not much, as this property was bought mostly for storing material. Mr. Boisvert, who will be closely involved with the activities, has one truck and one employee. Traffic may range from several times a day to several times a week.

·         What will be the hours? From 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday-Friday. No weekends

·         Is there the possibility of leakage from material? There is material there now, left over from the previous owner, that doesn’t appear to be leaking. There is established vegetation. There are dirt trails from four-wheelers, but most of the pit is grown over with vegetation.

·         Will the pit be expanding? No plans to expand.

·         Is there asbestos present? Is there a chance of particles being disbursed into the air? Not sure what may be left there from the previous owner. If asbestos is present, the applicants would take steps to have it removed properly.

·         Will there be any building materials or junk cars brought in? No. The property will be used for storage of excavation materials as it was when Biddeford owned it, and there will be no mining or expansion. Activities will consist of storage, mostly in the flat area.

·         What about the road (Bedard Lane)? It is the applicant’s understanding that he owns the road, and the residents have a right of way. Residents noted that they have been maintaining and plowing the road.


At this point, the group left Bedard Lane and moved down into the pit. Chair Remi Caron noted that abutters expressed several concerns: noise, dust, protecting water, and crushing.


·         There is a silt fence near the brook, in damaged condition. Will there be another one installed? Yes, as there is concern about four-wheelers running over the fence.

·         What about the wet area with the cat tails? There aren’t any plans to do work in that area of the pit, most of the work will be at the top of the pit. There will be no mining.

·         What does the term mining mean? Mining is the digging out of dirt. There are no plans to dig out the banks or take out any material. Material that is brought in will be taken out at a later point.

·         Will there be blasting? No.

·         Is the applicant willing to put items in writing, such as hours of operation? Yes. (At this point, Remi Caron explained that the Conditional Use Permit would address these issues and would be subject to review every three years. In addition it could be reviewed at any time by the CEO.)


At this point, Chris Boisvert noted that the pit had previously reached its maximum boundary, and had apparently been shut down for mining by the Town of Dayton because the pit had intersected the water table.


·         Does grinding produce an odor? Some, there will be the smell of a diesel engine.

·         Has a boundary survey been done, or will one be done to address boundary issues? The applicant has no plans to do so.

·         Why does the existing pile have to be destroyed, and what happens then? The pile consists of material left behind by the City of Biddeford and will take several years to remove, so this won’t happen immediately. Plans call for recycling the material.

·         How far back are the brook and the property line? Applicant was unsure of the distance. Guesses ranged from 500-800 feet.

·         Is the applicant willing to make a road agreement in writing? Previously the truck traffic caused damage, which Bedard Lane residents repaired. Apparently the applicant owns the road, but is willing to write up an agreement and perform maintenance and some repairs.


The site walk ended at approximately 6:45. The public hearing followed at Dayton Town Hall.





Dayton Planning Board

October 4, 2011

Public Hearing for Girard Pit


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

Town Employees: Jim Roberts (CEO)

Applicants: Shaun Girard, Chris Boisvert

Public: (See list from site walk) Additional resident: Pat Sweeney


The public hearing started at 7:00 PM following the site walk at Girard Pit, Bedard Lane.


Residents asked if a plan would be made up for the agreement of those present. Dick Hall explained that the purpose of the public hearing is for the Board to set conditions for the permit.


Mr. Judice expressed concerns about living next to the pit and the nature of the materials hauled into the pit. The ground is glacial till and rubble, allowing easy flow to ground water with little to filter it.  Mr. Boisvert said that in commercial sites the ground is tested before digging and if there is an issue it is addressed and removed if necessary. Mr. Girard explained that most material goes to commercial paving, which is tested by DEP and put into asphalt. Chair Remi Caron noted that since this is an established pit, it isn’t known what level of further involvement DEP would need to have. If there was any suspicion then DEP would probably already be involved.


Mr. Beaupre expressed concern about wells and wondered if there should be a baseline water test established in case of future contamination.


Mrs. Judice noted that rules and regulations regarding acceptable limits of contaminants, such as arsenic, may have changed since the pit was originally permitted. She wondered if would be possible for this permit to be redone if necessary. Remi Caron explained that this pit would deal with material processing, not mining, but the Planning Board can look into this further if needed.


Ms. Smith expressed concern that the ground slopes downward to the brook from the pit and that it could leak into the creek and wells too. She noticed chunks of tar in the pit and didn't think it was a good idea to add more tar and other material to the pit. Dick Hall pointed out that many pits have water nearby and agreed that it should be considered. He felt the greatest threat seems to be four-wheelers.


CEO Jim Roberts presented a property map and Remi Caron offered the attendees a chance to view it. He noted that the discussion was around the boundaries and the control of drainage. Now that the soil has settled and vegetation has been established because of inactivity, disturbance could loosen up the soil and that may impact stream. A silt fence can help establish some control, but this is outside the area of expertise for the Board members, as they are not engineers.


Concerns from the site walk included a road maintenance agreement for the primary entrance and hours of operation. Remi Caron called for any other key points for the Planning Board to consider, and a resident asked about an agreement on the set backs from neighboring properties.


Dick Hall asked the applicants if they agreed not to blast, not to store junk cars or salvage, nor to remove virgin soil.  When they confirmed that none of the above would happen, he explained to the residents that the boundaries are set as they exist now.


A resident asked what type of material would be brought in. Mr. Boisvert replied that the material would consist of gravel, hot top, concrete, material from driveways, material from cut lots, and grubbage (rough loam) to make screened loam. There would be no stumps or household materials or wood. He doesn’t expect to have any other types of material and agreed that limiting the CUP to those materials would be acceptable.


Mr. Sweeney asked why Mr. Girard was applying for a permit, adding that he did not go on the site walk. As an abutter, he has concerns about the possible pollution of the environment and the water quality with bituminous materials and petroleum products. Remi Caron explained that Mr. Girard would be responsible for maintaining all state and other permits for that pit, including either seeking DEP approval or getting a waiver saying that no permitting is required. Mr. Sweeney thought that the Board should not give approval until that happens, and Remi Caron explained that the approval would be a condition for obtaining the permit. If the conditions set forth by the Board are not met and maintained, the CUP would be violated.


Mr. Sweeney asked if the local organization that stocks salmon had been notified. Remi Caron felt that was beyond the Board’s responsibility. Dick Hall pointed out that the applicant is proposing to limit operations within probably 500 feet of the brook, and that the greatest threat seems to be from the four-wheeler traffic.  


Mr. Sweeney stated that he didn’t agree with that, he thought pollution is the bigger threat. He related a story of another individual with land on the west side who was dropping off construction material near a feeder brook. He noted that activity had stopped, but that does not mean that material does not get down to the brook from beyond 500 feet. He then wondered why the applicant needs a special permit. Dick Hall explained that the CUP is not a special permit; it means that the Board can apply conditions to the permit. Every commercial pit in town has to have conditions for operating.


Rand Clark asked what materials could cause pollution, noting that the existing vegetation and silt fencing would help in filtering.  Mr. Judice noted that there could be leachate from the grinding of asphalt. Probably most of it is already gone by the time it would arrive at the pit, but additional grinding might release more. There are also small particulates present, which could wash down to the stream. He explained that he has a degree in genetic toxicology and has concerns about the well water that his children drink. Generally the low levels released are regarded as safe, but it is a numbers game that may not be an acceptable risk to some.


Remi Caron recalled that the Board had a similar occurrence with a microwave dish on a cell tower. It was noted by that applicant that a local planning board is not in any way empowered to reject the use of a property or enforce an ordinance based on matters in which the board is not expert. If the federal government says that the applicant is operating within established tolerance, then that is what the Board adheres to. The Board holds the public hearings to get feedback and identify questions and concerns. There are rules that govern earth removal and storing, but in issues such as the long term effects of the materials leaching into the water, the Board defers to DEP.


A resident said he would be comfortable if the applicant leaves the vegetation in place and doesn't go near the pond, and establishes a berm over the four-wheeler track to inhibit materials leaching into the brook.


Remi Caron stated again that he had concerns that this would create a collection area that may impact the flow of water to the brook. Again, that would be a DEP issue. Mr. Sweeney asked about precedents set with other pits in town, and Remi explained that DEP governs that.


Another resident asked if the pit is in a residential area, it was determined that it is.


Mr. Sweeney asked if the applicant has called the state about needing a permit; Mr. Girard said that he was told by the Planning Board that he needs to go through this process first. Remi Caron explained that the applicant could not run an operation without a formal permit, otherwise he would risk being shut down.

Ms. Smith thought that the public can't be comfortable with the permits that the federal and state allow, as terrible things happen. She felt that residents have to be vigilant and not rest on the idea that the state will protect us. Dick Hall explained that the Board doesn't have the power to tell the state what to do, nor does the Board have the power to determine the issues itself. Instead, the Board’s job is to put conditions on the permit to keep the town as safe as it can. Rand Clark further explained that it is a matter of balance; the Board wants to protect both sides, but doesn't have the ability to say anything beyond its power.


Residents questioned how long the present pile has been there, and whether or not there is dangerous material in it. Mr. Girard assured them that as a salvage yard owner, he had to obey strict rules and regulations. If he sees something that is potentially dangerous, he calls DEP. He explained that he has a good working relationship with DEP and is in the process of receiving further training because he is planning a transfer station at another location. He emphasized that the penalties are serious for businesses that do not alert DEP to potential situations. DEP has zero tolerance but is willing to work with businesses who report problems.


Mrs. Dede asked about the amount of traffic, citing concerns about the speed of cars on South Street and the blind hill in front of her house. She asked if a sign would be posted for the entrance. Mr. Girard explained that the decision about a sign is made by the Town or by DOT.


Remi Caron indicated that the Board would close the discussion and go forward with the conditions. Dick Hall read the following conditions for the Girard Pit:


  1. The head of the road from South Street to the Y shall be maintained by the permit holder. There will be a written agreement stating this.
  2. Hours of operation shall be 7:00 AM-5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, with no weekend activity. 
  3. No virgin soil shall be extracted, and there shall be no new digging. Removal is limited to the material left behind by the previous owner, the City of Biddeford.
  4. No blasting will be allowed.
  5. Materials allowed for storage will be limited to gravel, hot top, rough loam, concrete, and construction material.
  6. The permit holder shall obtain and hold current any and all necessary state and federal permits. Copies shall be placed on file at Dayton Town Hall.
  7. The permit holder shall hold liability insurance. Copies shall be placed on file at Dayton Town Hall.
  8. No night lighting will be permitted.
  9. The permit holder shall make reasonable efforts for silt control.


Mr. Girard presented a map of the boundaries, done by Biddeford’s engineering department in 1994. It appears, from the map, that the City of Biddeford allowed Bedard Lane to go through the property. Dick Hall reiterated that one of the conditions for the permit is that Mr. Girard provides a written agreement that he will maintain the road. This does not mean that he has to plow the road.


Discussion then moved to the restricting the access of four-wheelers and controlling silt. Dick Hall suggested a 30 foot berm to slow riders yet still let water through. Mr. Girard noted that the riding usually ceases when activity starts in a pit and a gate is installed. A resident noted that there was a silt fence to restrict access when Biddeford still owned the pit. It was suggested that large rocks could be placed against the fence, but that sometimes causes four-wheelers to create two paths. Mr. Boisvert then suggested that instead of a berm, he could build a couple check dams with riprap to catch sediment without restricting water flow. Then a silt fence could be installed closer to the brook, just before the woods. Mr. Girard asked where the trail goes, and residents informed him that it comes out behind the fire station.


Remi Caron and Dick Hall called for a vote on the conditions. Dan Plourde motioned to accept the conditions and Rand Clark seconded. All voted in favor.


Remi Caron announced that the Planning Board would now start the diligence session and would go through the gravel pit standards checklist. He invited the public to stay, noting that the paperwork may take about an hour. Most of the attendees elected to leave at that point.


(The following is a brief summary of the Gravel Pit CUP Review, see attached copy for detail.)


1. Plan waived, not a new operation, no mining.

2. N/A

3. N/A

4. Village district

5. Waived- existing area

6. N/A

7. Determined by DOT

8. N/A, no building

9. N/A

10. Fees have been paid

11. Compatible, probably grandfathered for use. Meets setbacks

12. Pre-existing

13. Minimal

14. Conditions as per DEP requirements

15. On file

16. Leach dam and silt fence as per conditions of permit

17. On file

18. All satisfactory

19. All satisfactory

20. Satisfactory

21. Satisfactory

22. Satisfactory

23. N/A


Conditions: N/A for all except for Period of Operation (as per permit), Operational Controls (satisfactory w/ conditions), Sureties (proof of liability insurance), and Restrictive Covenants (per permit).


(Dick Hall noted that the Board could put in an item about leach dam and silt, as it is left it up to the applicant for reasonable measures)


24. Satisfactory

25. Satisfactory with conditions of permit

26. N/A to all except Sediment in run off (satisfactory)

27. Setbacks: satisfactory, existing

28. N/A no explosive materials, no storage of fuel, (confirmed with Mr. Girard)

29. N/A

30. N/A

31. N/A

32. N/A

33. N/A for both





34.       a. Pending

            b. On file, satisfactory

            c. See map

            d. Satisfactory

            e. N/A

35. N/A, minimal

36. N/A

37. N/A, satisfactory

38. through 45. Restrictions, see attached review

46.       a. N/A

            b. N/A

            c. Satisfactory

            d. N/A

            e. N/A

            f. Satisfactory


Administrative: The September 6, 2011 minutes were approved. Dan Plourde motioned, Dick Hall seconded. (Four voted in favor, one abstention.) The meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM. The next meeting will be Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at Dayton Town Hall.







Valerie J. Cole, Secretary



Remi Caron, Chair

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