Board awaits Crooker Construction zoning request

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TOPSHAM — A potential rezoning of property owned by Crooker Construction won’t be happening anytime soon.

That was the message delivered when selectmen and Planning Board members met Thursday. Though it has yet to submit an official proposal, the company has made public its hope to have property between River Road and Route 196 rezoned — from residential to light industrial — so it can move its batch plant to that location.

“It has to come before us as an actual proposal that we would vote on whether proceeding with to the next step, which would go to a public hearing,” said Planning Board member Scott Libby. “Or, it’s not something that we would move forward with, we haven’t got to that step yet.”

Planning Board member Peter Richard said a rezoning decision would be based on town codes and regulations.

“There’s aspects of this that even if we wanted to, we couldn’t consider because we don’t have the mechanism within the code to consider that when doing our assessment for a proposal,” he said.

Selectmen would have more authority to tackle broader issues and concerns, including those voiced by residents wary of additional noise and traffic.

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“If it makes it, as it proceeds once it comes to us, we are weighing the legislative side to it,” Selectboard Chairman David Douglass said. “How does it effect individuals, how do you weigh that? How does it affect neighborhoods? We know we will have conversations with the applicant and probably in this case we would have conversations with both sides, should it ever come to that.”

“It seems to me whatever it’s going to be it’s going to be quite a long process,” Selectman Ruth Lyons said. “If you get a proposal it’s not going to happen in the next couple of months, it’s not going to happen in three months, there has to be a lot of communication and a lot of working.”

Another workshop is on the Planning Board’s agenda for Aug. 7.

A map of the potential move and rezoning for Crooker Construction so its batch plant is closer to the quarry off River Road. (Crooker Construction map)

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