Compromise Verdict on Quarry

Front Page / Mar. 28, 2013 10:57am EDT

DRB OKs Some Increases in Trucks
By Sandy Vondrasek

Citing the increasing incidence of severe weather events and their impacts on town highway departments, the Randolph Development Review Board this week granted approval for a modest and highly conditioned increase of operations for Ridge Road Quarry in Randolph Center.

The revised permit represents a compromise between the request made by quarry operator Ron Tucker and the concerns voiced by neighbors during hearings before the DRB in January and February.

In his application for a revised permit, Tucker asked that the quarry season be expanded from six months (April 15-October 15) to 10 months (March 1-December 1) and that the daily truck limit of 32 trucks be lifted and replaced by a condition that quarry truck traffic be limited to “a monthly average of 32 trucks a day.”

Tucker’s attorney Chris Nordle told the DRB during the February hearing that supplying crushed gravel for big projects might require running 65-75 trucks to and from the quarry on a single day.

In their testimony, several neighbors indicated that they might be agreeable to modest increase in truck traffic, as long as some daily limit remained in place. That limit, they said, should be much closer to 32 trucks than to 75.

The DRB’s middle-path solution was laid out in the form of eight new conditions, which are to be added to the 28 conditions in the original permit issued to the quarry in 2010. The new conditions allow the quarry, in specified circumstances, to exceed the daily truck traffic limit of 32 trucks “for five events in one calendar year.” During those extraordinary events, the quarry may load up to 45 trucks daily, and only for a maximum of five consecutive days.

Those exceptional events, the DRB ruled, may occur any time of the year; if they occur between October 16 and April 14, the quarry may sell stockpiled material, but not do any blasting or crushing.

Other new conditions require Tucker to give to the town zoning administrator 48-hour notice any time he wants to shift into the conditions allowed for the five events.

Tucker is also required to hand in logs of truck traffic after each event, and to provide by February 1 of each year the amount of material trucked out of the quarry during the preceding calendar year. The annual extraction rate for the quarry remains at 65,000 cubic yards.

The permit was signed by six of the seven DRB members who sat in on the hearings: Chair Joel Tillberg, Trini Brassard, Chris Recchia, John Becker, David Miles, and Tom Malanchuk (alternate DRB member sitting in for Sam Lincoln). Gregg McCurdy did not sign.

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