When Continental Paving appealed, saying it would change its plans to address concerns about fuel spills contaminating the water, the zoning board denied the company’s request, saying even if the possible threat to the aquifer were addressed, the area was still not zoned for manufacturing. Continental Paving argued its new plant would be for storage, not manufacturing.
Continental Paving sued the town in Merrimack County Superior Court this past winter, and on May 31, Judge Richard McNamara dealt the company a third blow by affirming the zoning board’s decision to deny Continental Paving a second hearing. In his decision, McNamara called the board’s denial “reasonable and legal.”
In his six-page decision, McNamara discussed a range of procedural legal issues. But part of the decision stemmed from the definition of the words “manufacturing” and “processing” because the area in which the company wants to locate the plant permits the former but not the latter.
Attorneys for Pembroke cited a 1994 edition of Webster’s dictionary to differentiate between the two words, and McNamara depended on those definitions to rule.
“The function of the asphalt plant will be to take the raw materials . . . and join it with the liquid asphalt and heat it to create a new material: paving asphalt,” he wrote. “Under the circumstances . . . it appears CPI (Continental Paving Inc.) would be engaged in ’manufacturing’ if it operated an asphalt plant.”
The city of Concord intervened in the case because of its concerns about the plant’s proximity to the aquifer.
“The city of Concord was very concerned that their aquifer would be poisoned by an asphalt plant,” Bonney said.
The firm has 30 days to file an appeal with the N.H. Supreme Court.
Mitchell's asphalt plant is being built in the agricultural zone, which is deemed NOT appropriate for business and right in the aquifer protected zone. We can't even vote these people off this board; they are appointed by the dimwits we call our selectboard. Hopefully citizens who vote in Winchester will someday smell the coffee, wake up and elect people who have the town's best interests at heart and not their own.