OSSIPEE — The Ossipee Planning Board on Tuesday voted to hire an engineer to study whether Duncan Lake Road can handle a proposed second gravel pit. They hope to have results by January.
William Angelini Jr. of Groveland, Mass., is seeking approvals from Effingham to excavate the so-called Angelini Borrow Pit located at the Effingham end of Duncan Lake Road, which runs to Route 16 in Ossipee slightly south of the Route 28 intersection.
State law says when sole access to a property under consideration is located in another municipality, that other municipality has the right to review it.
Sixty-eight acres of the 87.7 acre property is “available for extraction,” Jim Rines of White Mountain Survey & Engineering of Ossipee, who represented Angelini,told the Effingham Planning Board in August.
A neighboring gravel pit at 125 Duncan Lake Road was recently purchased by Pine River Sand and Gravel from Green Oak Realty Development, said meeting atttendees.
The project is of concern to nearby residents, who say the road is already in poor condition and that houses are shaking from all the trucks from the Ossipee pit. Adding up to 60 one-way trips per day will only make matters worse on an already dusty road, they said.
The number Truck trips at the existing pit can vary a lot, said Ossipee pit owner Lindsay Donovan, who owns the pit with Gary Alcock. She told the Sun lately the number of trips per day has ranged from 0 to 37 trucks per day (that would equal 74 trips counting trucks coming and leaving).
Residents complimented Alcock and Donovan and said they are responsive to their concerns about trucks.
At Tuesday’s meeting, which ran about two hours, 29 residents were represented by Attorney Jason Reimers of BCM Environmental & Land Law, with offices in Concord and Keene, and Portland, Maine.
He asked the planning board to deny Angelini’s proposal.
“Just because the (former) Green Oaks trucks drive on the road does not mean that the road is currently adequate for that use or would be adequate to accommodate another 60 truck trips a day,” said Reimers.
“If Duncan Lake Road were adequately constructed to handle the existing traffic, the houses wouldn’t shake every time a truck goes by. Eight of my clients reported shaking, even in houses that are 110 to 250 feet from the road. Windows rattle. A windowpane rattled until it cracked. Things have fallen off the shelves,” he said.
Rines, who has been representing Angelini at Ossipee and Effingham meetings, responded to Reimers’ various points. He alluded to Angelini agreeing to pay extra maintenance costs for Duncan Lake that his proposed pit would generate. The town’s public works department estimated those costs to total about $10,000 per year for additional grading and calcium treatments to reduce dust.
“We heard the attorney Reimer say that the road is inadequate now that there’s no benefit (to Ossipee from the project),” said Rines. “So the road is inadequate now, but you’re getting an opportunity to make improvements to it.”
Several residents said they doubted that $9,000 or $10,000 would be enough.
Angelini said he was open to hearing any suggestions people have for how he could improve the road.
“I want to help the town,” said Angelini. “I want to see what I can do to make it better.”
Town Attorney Peter Malia briefly summarized the legal issue before the board, one that has few precedents.
“You are to determine the adequacy of such street access and the impact of the proposal upon it,” said Malia. “And as attorney Reimer correctly noted, there’s only one Supreme Court case which even references this statute. And it’s not even necessarily in relation to a road issue.”
There was a side discussion about whether trucks from Angelini’s pit would have to travel over an access road controlled by Pine River. Malia said that’s an issue for Carroll County Superior Court, not the Ossipee Planning Board.
Malia said the board could request the help of an expert to help determine if the road is adequate and the cost could be charged to the applicant. The board took that advice and unanimously voted to hire an engineer look at the road and have Angelini pay for it.
Members voting were Chair Sharon “Sharie” Cohen, Vice Chair Ash Fischbein, Condict Billings, Roy Barron, Bruce D. Stuart and Krystal Eldridge. Present but not voting was alternate Tim Otterbach. Selectmen’s representative Jonathan Smith was absent.
They next meet to discuss the pit on Jan. 5 but said they hope to have the report from the engineer sooner.