Prospect residents have voted unanimously in favor of imposing a moratorium on industrial development in its shoreland zone following a recent proposal for a granite quarry.
The moratorium was passed by a show of hands at Prospect’s annual town meeting on Saturday, according to Town Clerk Jill Riley, with no one voting in opposition. About 50 registered voters attended the meeting. The moratorium comes in the wake of a controversial $12 million proposal for a granite quarrying, crushing and barging operation on Bowden Point.
The six-month moratorium will allow the Prospect planning board to review the town’s ordinances that pertain to industrial uses to see if they should be amended or strengthened. It excludes marijuana cultivation or manufacturing and other agricultural uses.
It’s unclear what the moratorium means for the Bowden Point quarry project, but it seems likely that the planning board would not look at any applications, plans or permits for elements located in or near the shoreland zone for six months.
Virginia-based Salmons Inc. has purchased most of Haegan Mountain ― located on Bowden Point ― with the intention to quarry granite there. The granite would then be crushed and shipped by barge to Virginia from a proposed 710-foot pier in the Penobscot River.
A Maine subsidiary of Salmons Inc., Bowden Point Properties, is working to move forward with the project after its first two attempts to submit environmental permit applications were rejected by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection due to incomplete documents.
The applications have been resubmitted and the DEP has until Monday to accept them or send them back to the company. Only once they are accepted will the department begin a substantive review of the permit applications.