Monday night, in less than 10 minutes, the Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved new zoning regulations that prohibit stone processing facilities and require all excavation to be completed in under two years.
“It’s sending the message that there will be no more moonscapes,” Planning Director Tom Wagner said Tuesday.
Developers are still allowed to process stone they harvest themselves on-site through excavation during construction, according to the new zoning regulations. What they can’t do is bring in stone from off-site and process it, Wagner said.
The new amendments, which are now official, were passed just weeks after at 28 Industrial Drive to do exactly what the new amendments now ban: excavate for more than two years, and then bring in stone from off-site to process. However, because the application was submitted before the new amendments were passed, they will not have an effect on the application.
Strong Public Support
more than 100 residents attended, seemingly all but one in support of the regulations. The group, many of whom live near 28 Industrial Drive and oppose Kobyluck’s application, said stone processing facilities are bad for the environment, are loud and produce too much dust.
“The commission has to very carefully evaluate the benefit and the shortcoming,” resident George Kee said at the hearing. “With (stone processing facilities), I see lots of shortcomings, and little to no benefit.”
Meanwhile, Matt Kobyluck, owner of Kobyluck Brothers LLC was the one resident to speak against the new amendments. The Planning and Zoning Commission should regulate uses, not simply prohibit them, he said.
“If a manufacturing facility is designed and developed properly and meets the site plan and conservation requirements, then it should be allowed the constitutional right to due process instead of making a use prohibited,” Kobyluck said at the hearing. “All manufacturing uses can be designed and built to protect the environment, property values and public welfare.”
At the hearing, , voiced concern over the excavation limitation. Schacht is trying to turn Millers Pond into a public water supply, and to do so, the pond needs to be dug down in a process that would take more than two years.
Wagner said Tuesday that would fall into a different category, and not be affected by the new regulations.