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Zoning Board Puts Conditions on Quarrying

The entrance to the Milford Stone Company's quarrying operations on East Main St. (Route 16)

The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) set nine conditions on the Milford Stone Company's quarrying operations at 420 East Main St. (Route 16), following a June 13 hearing at which several residents of the nearby Zain Ridge condo development complained about blasting at the site damaging their homes.

Following complaints by the residents to Town Administrator Richard Villani, Building Commissioner John Erickson inspected the site and issued a cease and desist order on May 2 after determining that a special permit granted by the ZBA years in 2002 had never been recorded with the Registry of Deeds or renewed when it expired after 24 months. Town Counsel Gerald Moody provided the ZBA with a memo outlining its options, including extending the previous special permit, modifying it, or denying it.

Representing the company, attorney Joseph Antonellis said the original special permit covered only the residentially zoned portion of the site, not the industrially zoned portion where quarrying was allowed. With the land now rezoned for business parks, the quarrying is a legal, pre-existing operation, he said. Owner Joseph Shay thought the special permit was in force, not realizing that his partners back in 2002 apparently failed to record the special permit or renew it, he said.

Shay's intent is to remove enough stone so that he can develop the site into an industrial park, Antonellis said. The business is regulated by a mining permit issued by the United States government and all blasting is witnessed by the supervision of the Milford Fire Department, Antonellis explained. Shay explained that he had made a 50-foot cut in a five-acre part of the overall site and Antonellis said the land is now about 19 feet above the level of East Main St.

Antonellis and Shay estimated it would take another five to eight years before the site was ready for development. The blasting is now being done at a point closest to the Zain Ridge development, but that section will be completed within eight months to a year, Shay explained.

"We have roughly 50 homes," said Alexander Howard of Zain Circle. "The blasting is a continual problem. The intensity and frequency of the blasting has tended to escalate over the last year," he said, citing damage to homes in the development. He also complained about water runoff and stone debris coming into the traffic lanes on East Main St. Scott Brickley of East Main St. complained about "fly rock" landing on his lawn. Some rules need to be in place," he said.

Antonellis said that the blasting company's insurance carrier was liable for any damage caused by the blasting and should put monitoring devices that would allow it to measure the force of the blasts and adjust them if needed. "We're here with an applicant who recognizes his obligations," the attorney said. ZBA Chairman David Consigli noted that "the neighbors would need to feel comfortable."

In setting the nine conditions, Consigli noted that "We've got to correct the situation with the residential area down there." The conditions are:

• The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays;

• All applicable earth removal condition are in force;

• There will be no operations on Saturdays or Sundays, with the exception of vehicle repairs allowed between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays;

• Blasting will take place only between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays;

• Pre-blast surveys need to happen at all homes in Zain Ridge and within a reasonable radius on Route 16;

• The blasting company needs to place a minimum of three seismometers within a reasonable distance to determine the size of the blasts and adjust them accordingly;

• The blasting company and its insurance carrier needs to meet with the Zain Ridge condominium association to discuss future work at the quarrying site as well as damage to the residents' homes;

• A water truck should be placed on site to control dust; and,

• An engineer needs to be retained to develop a plan to control water runoff onto East Main St.

In other business, the ZBA granted Keith Mondley a special permit to relocate his used car business from Mendon to the Sprint Lube property at the corner of Prospect St. (Route 140) and Water St., with the following stipulations: no auto repairs on his part of the site, a maximum of 15 cars for sale, providing the Planning Board with a proper site plan and the special permit runs with Mondley, not the site.

The ZBA also granted Peter Antinarelli of Milford a variance to rebuild a single-family house that was destroyed by fire at 279 Main St. (Route 16). Attorney Ernest Pettinari told the board that the lot in question meets all requirements, except that it has only 48.9 feet of frontage, less than the 80 feet required.GOV ZBA Quarry


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