Early bird ‘rock pile’ nets Guilford police fine

By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff 08/11/2008
Aug. 11, 2008

GUILFORD — The construction under way at the “rock pile” site on Boston Post Road has raised some neighbors’ ire and led to a ticket for the construction company’s foreman.

Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Hutchinson said the police department has received several complaints in the past few weeks about loud dumping and other work starting at the site early in the morning. By town ordinance, the work can not start before 7 a.m., he said.

Construction at the site started about a month ago, after the controversial Guilford Commons shopping center development received its final regulatory approval from the town in January.

Many residents of the neighborhood — the site sits just off the Exit 57 interchange of Interstate 95 — opposed the development, which the Inland Wetlands Commission initially rejected over some concerns it would harm a nearby stream and wetlands.

Hutchinson said police spoke to the foreman of the project, who admitted that work had been starting before 7 a.m., and issued him a $75 ticket.

“We had received several complaints about the trucks over there starting to dump material prior to 7 a.m.,” Hutchinson said. “We’ve had a lot of conversations with the foreman over there. They’ve assured us that they’re going to keep the place locked up until 7 o’clock (in the morning).”

Hutchinson said that if violations of the ordinance continue, police could work with the Planning and Zoning Department to seek an injunction halting the construction.

“But I don’t think it’s going to happen — I’m sure there’s going to be cooperation,” Hutchinson said.

A representative for the developers could not be reached for comment.

Zoning Enforcement Officer Regina Reed said she has visited the site several times since construction started and has not seen any violations of zoning regulations or the conditions of approval the town placed on the development.

Reed said she received a call from one neighbor concerned about the lack of a chain-link fence along nearby Spinning Mill Brook, which she said is not due to be installed until the end of construction.

Until then, she said, a black mesh plastic fence has been set up to prevent rocks and dirt from flowing into the brook.

“They have all their erosion controls up … They have permanently marked the wetland boundary and permanently marked the conservation easement,” Reed said.

“We’re been up there looking at it and I don’t see any zoning or wetland issues.”

She said the large piles of sand visible from Boston Post Road will be used in the sand filters for the septic system.

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