Last year, when Randy Copp was removing the forest of trees from his 47-acre lot of land, he told his neighbors he was doing this to build his home, have pastures for animals and a nice view. He told us that he had bought seed that he was going to lay down for grass. Little did we know that his intentions all along were for a commercial gravel extraction business. Had we known, we would have raised issue with the town early in 2010 when we discovered the beavers were gone and their six-acre pond had been illegally drained in the dark of night.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines residential as “providing living accommodations for students; restricted to or occupied by residences.” Nowhere does it reference industrial. Mining and extraction of earth materials for commercial purposes is not a residential activity.
Fifty years ago we didn’t recycle. We didn’t have the awareness of our environment like we do today. This is not about a few residents that don’t want a gravel pit in their back yard. This is about our town, which stands out as one of the top three places to raise your children in all of Maine. It’s about maintaining the integrity, beauty and sustainability of where we live. It’s recognition that there is outdated ordinance language that no longer fits our community. Awareness that the decisions we make today will create tomorrow’s environment.