ORONO, Maine — Thornton Construction has withdrawn its application to expand an existing quarry on Kelley Hill.
Daniel Thornton submitted a two-sentence letter to the town of Orono on Wednesday announcing the withdrawal. He did not offer a reason.
“We have decided to withdraw our application for site plan review for the Kelley Hill Quarry. Thank you for your time and efforts throughout the process,” Thornton said in the letter.
Thornton Construction did not immediately return a Thursday phone call seeking more details.
The proposal to expand a rock quarry has pitted its owner against neighbors and those who enjoy the peaceful setting of the nearby Orono Bog Boardwalk.
The quarry, located on Kelley Hill at the end of Kelley Road, is approximately three-quarters of a mile from the Orono Bog Boardwalk. Since the expansion was proposed to the Orono planning board at the end of June, it has come under fire from critics.
Dan LaPointe, 60, who owns approximately 275 acres including the water-filled quarry, said he wants to expand the quarry’s footprint to generate revenue.
Milford-based Thornton Construction submitted the application to the planning board that calls for a 1.4-acre area from which to extract rock. The proposed business activities will include crushing, screening and transporting the rock. The company signed a memorandum of agreement with LaPointe to lease 18 acres for a 30-year period. The project would expand the existing quarry by approximately 30,000 square feet. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The potential for noise and dust from the operation has drawn the concern of those who frequent the bog boardwalk, as well as neighbors. The boardwalk is approximately 4,200 feet long and stretches from the Bangor City Forest into the Orono Bog.
The town of Orono has received between 50 and 75 letters opposing the quarry expansion, Orono Town Planner Evan Richert said Thursday. Those letters have included concerns about noise, dust and environmental impacts.
LaPointe declined to comment early Thursday afternoon, but said he would have a response later in the day.