The Dresden Planning Board has voted 5-0 to accept an application for a mining permit from Ludwig Road gravel pit owner Dick Condon as complete.
The vote took place during a meeting at Pownalborough Hall Tuesday, Nov. 17.
The permit application still faces further scrutiny. With a complete application in hand after three meetings, the board will conduct a site visit, hold a public hearing, and vote on whether to approve the application.
The board scheduled the site visit for 9 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 29. The public hearing will take place at Pownalborough Hall at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1.
The board placed a condition on its acceptance of the application – the submission of a survey showing all property lines within 150 feet of the Condon property. Dresden regulations require 150 feet as a buffer between gravel pits and their neighbors.
Before the vote, Condon paid a $625 after-the-fact permit fee for use of the gravel pit without a permit. The assessment of the fee had been a source of disagreement between Condon and the town.
Attorney Mary Denison represented Condon at the meeting. Denison is a partner at Denison said she disagrees with the board’s interpretation of the ordinance as requiring 150 feet between the pit and all neighbors.
The previous owner of the Condon property, Andrei “Andy” Krechkin, still owns a strip of land 5 feet wide around two sides of the property, according to Condon and Denison.
Krechkin has waived the requirement, agreeing to reduce the setback to 25 feet, and Condon and Denison think the setback should only apply to immediate abutters.
Dresden Planning Board Chairman Jeffrey Pierce, however, has described Krechkin’s retaining ownership of the narrow strip of land as a deliberate attempt to circumvent the ordinance.
The board has also obtained an opinion from town attorney Jessica Avery that the setback should apply to all properties within 150 feet of the Condon property.
The setback requirement could limit Condon’s ability to operate the pit.
Condon also faces opposition to the project from neighbors with concerns about the condition of Ludwig Road, the possible dangers of heavy truck traffic on the narrow road, and other issues.
A dozen members of the public were present for the meeting Nov. 17, as well as Condon, his attorney, and town officials.