Monkton DRB rejects quarry proposal
MONKTON — Monkton’s Development Review Board has denied a contentious application for a 39.5-acre quarry proposed by Michael and Allan Brisson’s Brisson Stone LLC because the quarry would have extracted bedrock and crushed it for gravel, which the board said was prohibited. The quarry was to be managed by David Shlansky’s Burchfield Management Company.
Brisson Stone and Burchfield will likely appeal the Monkton DRB’s decision to the Vermont Environmental Court, Allan Brisson told the Independent in a telephone interview.
Commercial mining and extraction were banned in Monkton under zoning bylaws that went into effect last February. Since the Brisson Stone proposal was submitted in January 2012, it was not subject to the ban on commercial mining and extraction. Instead, it was subject to earlier bylaws that permitted the extraction of sand, soil and gravel if a number of provisions were met.
Opponents of the quarry argued that Brisson Stone was not mining for gravel, but rather extracting bedrock and then crushing it to create gravel. The argument, upon which the DRB based its decision, was significant because under the old bylaws extraction activity that is not expressly permitted (as sand, soil and gravel were) were prohibited.
Brisson said in a Wednesday interview that he was “quite disappointed” in the DRB’s decision and that he hoped the Environmental Court would overturn the board’s decision.
“I think too often townspeople don’t know what their boards are doing,” added the former Ferrisburgh selectman. “I think local Vermonters would be in favor of this project, people who have had to work and pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”
Brisson said the operation would benefit the Monkton community by providing a local source of gravel, instead of paying extra to have gravel transported from Ferrisburgh or Middlebury. The business would also generate tax revenue for the town. He noted that most of the opposition had come from homeowners worried about traffic, but said the operation would be half a mile from any property.
“It doesn’t add up,” Brisson said.
Pedro Zevallos, a permitting specialist working for Burchfield Management and Brisson Stone, said the companies were awaiting the written decision from the Monkton DRB.