TOWN of WASHINGTON, MAINE MINING ORDINANCE
ARTICLE V - MINERAL EXTRACTION APPLICATION REVIEW
- Preapplication Meeting
The Washington Planning Board shall hold a pre-application meeting with the applicant. At that meeting, the size, scale, number of copies, and other administrative details shall be specified.
Prior to the establishment, continuation or expansion of a mineral extraction activity, an applicant shall apply for an approved mineral extraction Town permit. The application shall contain the following information, where applicable, and any other information that may be required by Article VI of this Ordinance:
- Name, address and telephone number of the applicant, and the name, address and telephone number of the owner of the property, if different from the applicant.
- Verification of the right title or interest that the applicant has in the property by means of a certification of such title to the Town of Washington by an attorney at law authorized to practice in the State of Maine. This title certification shall be made in accordance with the Standards of Title promulgated by the Maine Bar Association. The certification shall include copies of the applicant's deed, easement or lease, and any covenants, deed restrictions, easements, rights of way, liens, mortgages and other encumbrances affecting the property.
- Site Plan, prepared by and bearing the seal of a land surveyor or engineer licensed to practice in the State of Maine, showing the following:
- The date the plan was prepared with the name, address and telephone number of the person or company that prepared such.
- Scale of the drawings submitted and north arrow; all dimensions to be marked in feet or decimals of a foot.
- Contour lines showing elevations in relation to mean sea level at appropriate intervals to show the effect on the land of existing and proposed grades for areas proposed to be excavated or filled. Contour intervals shall be a minimum of 5 feet, however, the Washington Planning Board may require other intervals.
- Boundaries of the tract of land showing lot lines, abutting lots, districts within 1,000 feet as defined by the Land Use Ordinance and illustrated on the Town of Washington Tax Assessor's Maps, with total acreage of the whole parcel(s) indicated, and the Town of Washington Tax Assessor's map and lot number(s); the names of all the property owners within 1,000 feet of any line, as determined by the Washington Tax Records, shall be shown. The Planning Board shall require a survey of the extraction area by a licensed surveyor unless the area is less than 5 acres. The Planning Board may require a survey of the property by a licensed surveyor if the boundaries are in question.
- Location of existing and proposed mineral extraction activities and structures on the property.
- Approximate location of residences on properties within 1,000 feet of the proposed activity.
- Location and identification of existing public and private streets, roadways and rights-of-way on or abutting the property.
- Location of proposed access road to the mineral extraction activity from public roadways.
- Location of all setbacks, buffers, and conservation areas, and protected natural resources.
- Location and arrangement of proposed parking and loading areas and their appurtenant drives and maneuvering areas.
- Location of existing and proposed utilities and easements, such as sanitary sewage, water supply, and electricity on the property.
- Location, intensity, type, size and direction of all outdoor lighting.
- Location and size of signs and all permanent outdoor fixtures such as fences, gates, utility poles.
- Location and type of existing and proposed berms, fences, hedges, and tree lines.
- Location of existing natural drainage ways and proposed storm drainage facilities, including dimensions of culverts, pipes, etc. If any portion of the mineral extraction activity is in a flood-prone area, the boundaries of any flood hazard areas and the 100-year flood elevation shall be delineated on the plan.
- Location of existing wells:
- all wells on the parcel itself; and
- within 1,000 feet of the proposed activity, if 5 acres or more; or
- within 500 feet of the proposed activity if less than 5 acres.
- Location of proposed hazardous material storage areas including but not limited to fuel storage and handling, and washdown areas.
- The name, address and telephone number of each applicant, and if the applicant is not a natural person, list of the names, titles, addresses and telephone numbers of the natural persons that will be responsible for the management of the operation. The Planning Board shall consider the performance record of the applicant and those responsible for the management of the operation. The performance record shall include any prior violation, suspension, or revocation of a permit issued under this ordinance, or similar permit issued by any other agency of government, and any other environmental enforcement history.
- An estimate of the average daily traffic during periods of operation projected to be generated by the activity. A traffic impact narrative, if required, as stated in Article VI of this ordinance.
- A narrative description of the surface and ground water impacts, including protection plans and the identification of any significant mapped aquifers.
- Information and a map showing Soils Conditions on the site of the proposed mineral extraction activity. For subsurface sewage disposal proposed, the information shall include evidence of soil suitability according to the standards established in Article VI of this Ordinance. The Site Plan shall show the location of soil test areas.
- A soil erosion and sedimentation control plan, prepared in accordance with the standards contained in the latest revision Best Management Practices (BMP's) as established by the State.
- A "Preservation of Natural and Historic Features" map as required by Article VI of this Ordinance.
- A reclamation plan showing the final grades and re-vegetation plan, and any phasing of the plan.
- A narrative description of the impact on the wildlife habitat, and the location of any deer yard or other significant wildlife habitat designated by Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, including any proposed mitigation plan.
- A narrative description of the present use of the parcel and property within 500 feet of the activity.
- Estimated longevity of the operation, including phasing.
- Proposed hours and days of operation.
- Types and amounts of equipment to be used in the operation.
- Proof of financial capacity, and/or capacity to obtain a Performance Guarantee as specified in Article VII, payable to the Town of Washington, in an amount determined by the Planning Board as sufficient to cover the cost of any proposed reclamation, erosion control or other activities required by the Planning Board.
- A Spill Prevention, Control & Containment (SPCC) Plan. (See Article VI §2-C).
- Blasting Plan, if required.
- Plan for screening the excavation activity from abutters and any public roads.
- All submissions made to any federal or state agency concerning the property.
- Proof of technical ability to complete the project as reasonably related to size and intensity of project.
- Type of mining planned.
- Other information the Planning Board may require to meet standards in Article VI.
Activities that already have a valid DEP permit or a complete pending DEP application may submit the DEP application to the Planning Board subject to the Planning Board request for additional information on submissions above, not covered by the DEP application.
Exemptions from submissions
Small mineral extraction activities shall be exempt from athe requirements of Article V, §2-C items 3, 8, 10, and 11.
Appeals and Variances
- Submission of Application for newly proposed, and for expansions of existing mineral extraction activities.
- Applications for mineral extraction activity permits shall be submitted to the Town Clerk or Chairman of the Planning Board who shall issue to the applicant a dated receipt.
- Within 45 days from the date of receipt, the Planning Board shall notify the applicant in writing either that the application is complete or, if the application is incomplete, the specific additional material needed to make a complete application. Determination by the Planning Board that the application is complete in no way commits or binds the Planning Board as to the adequacy of the application to meet the criteria of this Ordinance. The Planning Board shall make a determination as to the completeness of the application. The applicant assumes all responsibility as to its completeness.
- The Planning Board shall provide application forms and all applications shall conform to Planning Board requirements.
- The application shall be accompanied by a fee of
[NOTE: See Article III, § 5 for explanation of the size symbols.]
- Fifty dollars ($50.00) for mineral extraction activity of 5,000 sq. ft. to 1 acre ;
- Two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for mineral extraction activity 1 to 5 acres;
- Five hundred dollars ($500.00) for mineral extraction activity larger than 5 acres to 30 acres; or
- One thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for mineral extraction activity larger than 30 acres.
- All checks, shall be made payable to the Town of Washington, Maine. If a public hearing is deemed necessary by the Planning Board, an additional fee shall be required to cover the costs of advertising, postal notification and dissemination of information. Additional fees may be required by the Washington Planning Board to cover the cost of reviewing the application as specified in Article V §5-G and Article V §2-C(4)
- Public Hearing
- All mineral extraction activity larger than 1 acre shall require a hearing.
- A public hearing on the proposed mineral extraction activity shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures in Title 30-A, M.R.S.A., Section 2691(3)A-F or as amended.
- Notice of the public hearing shall be advertised by the Planning Board at least 10 days in advance in a local newspaper and posted in other places used for public notices, at the expense of the applicant. The notice shall contain a clear and concise statement of the matter to be addressed. At least 10 days before the public hearing, the Planning Board shall notify by mail the owners of properties within 1,000 feet of any boundary of the property for which application is being made. Upon request, the applicant at their expense must supply a copy of the permit application to any of the owners of properties so mentioned. The owners of properties shall be considered to be persons listed on Town tax maps and lists.
- Planning Board Decision on the Mineral Extraction Activity Application
- The Planning Board shall, within thirty days of the completion of the public hearing process, or within sixty days of having received a complete application, if no hearing is held, or within such other time limit as may be mutually agreed to by said Planning Board and applicant, issue a decision denying or granting approval of the proposed mineral extraction activity or granting approval on such terms or conditions as it may deem advisable to satisfy the criteria contained in this Ordinance. In all instances, the burden of proof shall be upon the applicant. The Planning Board shall make a written finding regarding the applicant's Financial and Technical ability to satisfy the criteria contained in this ordinance and conditions of any permit.
- Upon approval of the mineral extraction activity a majority of the Board shall sign all copies of the final site plan. The original shall be recorded by the applicant with the Knox County Registry of Deeds. One copy shall be retained by the applicant, one copy shall be retained by the Planning Board, one copy shall be filed with the Tax Assessor, and one copy shall be filed with the Code Enforcement Officer. The Planning Board shall maintain a permanent record of their action on the mineral extraction activity. Any plan not recorded within 90 days after approval, with the Knox County Registry of Deeds shall be null and void.
- Approval by the Planning Board of a mineral extraction activity plan shall not be deemed to constitute or be evidence of any legal acceptance by the Town of Washington, Maine of any road, easement, or other open space shown on such plan.
- Operation Conditions and Limitations
Before any mineral extraction activity begins, and as a condition of the permit, the applicant shall apply for and receive all applicable permits as may be required by Town, state or federal regulations, laws or ordinances regulating such developments, including a Conditional Use Permit required by the Land Use Ordinance. Any violation of other permits necessary for operation and noted in the permit shall be considered a violation of this ordinance.
- Expiration of Approval
Mineral Extraction Activity permits shall expire three years from the date of issuance unless the mineral extraction activity is started.
- Plan Revisions after Approval
Plan revisions after approval shall be made as further provided for in Article VIII §4 of this Ordinance.
- Expert Witnesses and Opinions
In the event that the Planning Board requires expert opinions, advice or testimony during the course of reviewing the application, it will use due diligence to obtain and utilize free services from governmental or non-profit sources. Should the Planning Board be unable to obtain and utilize such services, it shall require the applicant to pay for such services, after giving notice to the applicant of the name of the expert, the area of qualification of the expert, and the purpose for which the expert is required, and the approximate cost of the expert. The applicant shall be provided with an opportunity to meet with the Planning Board to arrange a schedule for payment of the costs.
The applicant shall have the right to request a public hearing before the Appeals Board to determine if the experts, as noticed by the Planning Board, are necessary to a determination of any issue properly before the Planning Board, and if the approximate costs of the expert are reasonable. It will be the applicant's burden to prove that the requested expert is unnecessary, or that the cost is excessive. The applicant shall request the hearing within 10 days of the meeting, or such time as is agreed to by the Planning Board and the applicant.
- Transfer of Mineral Extraction Activity Permit.
Within thirty (30) days of the date of the transfer, by sale or otherwise, of land upon which a mineral extraction operation is situated, the new owner or owners shall file with the Town notice of the transfer and a statement of agreement and capacity to comply with the Town Mineral Extraction Permit.
- Failure to comply with this requirement shall be a violation of this Ordinance and may subject the violator to any penalty, or combination of penalties, that may be imposed under the Ordinance.
- The transferee shall provide the Planning Board the information as required in Article V §2-A, B, and D of this Ordinance.
- Proposed changes to the terms of the permit, including financial responsibility requirements, shall be considered a request for permit modification and processed accordingly.
- The Planning Board shall hold a public hearing and provide an opportunity for public comment on any changes in the terms of the permit. Notice of that hearing shall be as specified in Article V §5-B.
- Administrative Appeals
- Any person aggrieved by an action of the Planning Board or Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to this Ordinance may file a request for appeal in writing within 30 days of the granting or denial of approval from the Planning Board or Code Enforcement Officer. The request of appeal shall state with specificity the exact portions of the decision that are being appealed, and the legal grounds for appeal. The appellant shall file this request for appeal with the Chairman of the Board of Appeals, who shall issue a dated receipt and who shall, within 7 days of the date of receipt, notify the applicant in writing that either the request for appeal is complete or, if the request for appeal is incomplete, the specific additional material needed to make a complete request for appeal.
- The fee to accompany request for appeal shall be twenty five dollars ($25.00) cash, checks, money orders or bank drafts which shall be made payable to the Town of Washington, Maine. The applicant shall be required to cover the costs of advertising, postal notification and dissemination of information for the appeals hearing.
- The Board of Appeals shall, upon determination that the Request for Appeal by an aggrieved party is complete and after public notice, hear appeals from determinations of the Planning Board in the administration of this Ordinance within 30 days of such request. The Appeals Board shall cause notice of the date, time and place of said hearing, the location of the proposed mineral extraction activity and the issues raised in the appeal, to be given in writing to the appellant, permit holder and/or applicant and published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Washington, Maine at least two times. The date of the first such publication shall be at least 10 days prior to the hearing. The Board of Appeals shall also cause written notice by mail or hand delivery of the hearing be given to the appellant, permit holder and/or applicant, the Selectmen, the Planning Board, the Code Enforcement Officer, and all property owners within 1,000 feet of the boundaries of the proposed mineral extraction activity at least 14 days prior to the date of the hearing. Notice shall be posted in such public places as a notice of a Town Meeting. Upon request, the applicant at their expense must supply a copy of the request for appeal to any of the owners of properties so mentioned.
- If such appeal is not made within the stated time, the decision of the Planning Board shall be final.
- Following such hearing, the Board of Appeals shall have the power to interpret this ordinance and may affirm, modify, vacate or remand the decision of the Planning Board.
- The Board of Appeals shall review the Planning Board's conclusions of law, including findings of fact, for support by competent evidence in the record, and other legal issues relevant to the appeal.
- The appeal shall not be a de novo hearing, except in the case of an appeal from a Stop Work Order or other action by the Code Enforcement Officer.
- The Board of Appeals shall render a decision in writing to the appellant and/or applicant, Planning Board Chairman, Code Enforcement Officer, and the Selectmen within 30 days of the appeal hearing.
- The Appeals Board decision shall be registered at the Knox County Registry of Deeds at the applicants expense within 30 days of the date the decision becomes final.
- The Board of Appeals may, upon written application and hearing as outlined in Article V §5-B of this Ordinance grant a variance from the strict application of the dimensional requirements of this Ordinance, including lot sizes, setbacks, site distances, lot coverage by structures, sign requirements, and parking requirements only if the requirement of this Ordinance would result in undue hardship to the applicant, as defined in Article V §6-B(2), below, of this Ordinance.
- In order to find an undue hardship the Board of Appeals must find all of the following to grant a variance:
- That the land in question cannot yield a reasonable return unless a variance is granted; and
- That the need for a variance is due to the unique circumstances of the property and not to the general conditions in the neighborhood; and
- That the granting of the variance will not alter the essential character of the locality; and
- That the hardship is not the result of action taken by the applicant or a prior owner.
- Following the public hearing, as outlined in Article V§5-B(2)and(3) of this ordinance, the Board of Appeals shall render a decision to grant or deny a variance in writing to the applicant, the Planning Board, and selectmen, within 30 days of the appeal hearing.
- Appeal to Superior Court
Any aggrieved party having proper standing may appeal any decision of the Appeals Board under this Ordinance to the Superior Court of Knox County, within 45 days of a written decision in accordance with Maine State Law.
Mining Ordinance Index