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To The Editor:
The third review process of the River's quarry proposal will hopefully reach a conclusion this winter. A judge will render his decision after two boards have denied the permit application. I can understand the need for an impartial oversight to ensure that a legal, fair and thorough review has been completed. This I hope is the purpose of the Act 250 Environmental Court review now going on.
I followed the Moretown Development Review Board process and the Act 250 process. I also am familiar with the Moretown Town Plan and the zoning regulations. It is clear to me that the proposed quarry cannot be approved if these documents are adhered to.
When examining a proposal, if even one provision or standard is in non-compliance, the proposal must be denied. A critical provision is that a proposed development must have no undue negative or adverse impacts on the character of the adjacent area.
The proposed operation would include drilling, blasting, rock crushing, the loading of trucks and the ongoing noise of trucks climbing up to the quarry and returning back down with full loads, then onto Route 100B. This area is recognized in the Town Plan as a unique resource that must receive special protection and is officially designated as a scenic corridor.
Each of us had an opinion about this issue. Family and friends of Rivers and those who believe a person should be able to do what they want on their land probably are in favor of this project. Those who understand the need for zoning and have read the Moretown Town Plan and zoning regulations can quickly see that a rock crushing quarry does not comply in the proposed location.
I am not pleased that such considerable time and expense has been spent on this permit process. Moretown's elected officials pay taxes also and this is not where they would like to be allocating town monies. However, there is no point in having a Town Plan and zoning regulations if they are not followed and enforced.
Rivers and his financial backers appear to have an agenda of wearing down the town's resolve and causing financial stress. It is unfortunate that our review system can be controlled and dominated by money. The interests of the town as specified in its documents must be recognized, understood and supported.
These documents have been produced and are regularly updated by a continually changing volunteer planning commission, then are approved in a town vote.