Milton’s Development Review Board approved Ted Beaudoin and S.D. Ireland’s major site work application for a clean fill operation, the decision released Friday shows.
The DRB granted a community facility permit for 262 Middle Rd. provided the site earns all applicable approvals, including an Act 250 permit. For now, Beaudoin and the concrete giant can continue using the land under the terms of the prior waste management permit secured under the farmer’s agricultural exemption, development review planner Michael Burris said.
Pending Act 250 approval, S.D. Ireland will operate the facility Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The concrete company’s truck traffic “shall not exceed 20, the maximum number of truckloads shall never exceed 10 per hour, 60 per day and 400 per month,” the decision says.
The work will be monitored and recorded in a logbook managed by the company, with a site attendant and a car-counter to record the truck visits each day. The town will have permission to check the logbooks and counting device without notice, at its discretion.
The decision’s conditions and zoning permit ensure the operation meets the town’s regulations, Burris said.
“It’s basically us trying to say, ‘Hey, if you want to continue operating at this capacity, then you have to come and get your zoning permit and abide by the rules of the town,’” he said.
Beaudoin has operated the facility since the 1990s, but recent increased truck traffic drew questions from neighbors. The town realized Beaudoin’s operations exceeded the typical “agricultural use” and required he submit plans for DRB review. These include Beaudoin’s eventual plan to use a portion of the land for a solar array.
Burris said this will be a welcome addition to the town and serve the public good.
“A lot of people agree that investing in renewable energy is a good thing, and I think that’s something the town would like to see more of,” he said.
But not all parties are pleased. Rodney Woodmansee, Beaudoin’s neighbor at 256 Middle Rd., said the DRB’s decision was not restrictive enough.
“We’ve put up with it for many years, and since Ireland’s somehow gotten in there, the truck traffic has just gotten out of control,” Woodmansee said. “As a Milton taxpayer I don’t understand why the town’s allowing it to destroy the roads.”
Beaudoin’s 2015 partnership with Ireland increased truck volume, and with it, dust, early-morning work, downed power lines and lacking transparency from the company, Woodmansee said.
He said Beaudoin is bitter because his neighbors are opposed to the project, and although he has “nothing personal against Ted Beaudoin,” Woodmansee is upset with the commercial element of the operation.
“What’s happening at Ted Beaudoin’s is only benefitting Ted Beaudoin and S.D. Ireland,” he said. “All we’re basically getting out of it is our roads destroyed.”
The “interested parties” who attended the hearing have 30 days from the date the decision was signed to appeal. Woodmansee wasn’t sure if he’d go that route, preferring to wait and see how his peers would like to proceed.
Patrick O’Brien, S.D. Ireland’s general manager of construction and development, said the company looks to obtain its zoning permit “very soon” and is not concerned about an appeal.
“It is part of the process,” O’Brien said.
With the zoning permit, the company will be able to deposit dirt, sand, clay, gravel, stone, waste concrete, bricks, mortar, stumps, tree limbs and brush at the facility. S.D. Ireland will be permitted to fill around 10.5 acres of the 59.37-acre property, O’Brien said.
The timeline of the project, according to O’Brien, is dependent on the “import rate,” or number of trucks allowed to visit the site per day.
“The lesser the import rate, the longer the project will remain open,” he said.
Beaudoin repeated his earlier sentiment that the project will likely take less than four years to complete.
“It’s going to look a lot better than it did before; it’s already looking a lot better,” he said of the site and the work S.D. Ireland has done to level and revegetate the area.
Beaudoin doesn’t think the weekday-only hours will greatly impact the business. He said Saturdays were short workdays, and the company had already refrained from working on Sundays and holidays.
“The neighbors might not be happy, but they shouldn’t be [upset] because now we won’t raise pigs,” Beaudoin said.
To mitigate the project’s impact on the town, the DRB included conditions in the permit, including a ban on engine brakes in the town core, which stretches from Route 7’s intersections with Racine Road and Main Street.
Drivers must take the most direct route to the property and must cover truck beds with tarps while driving through town. The weight of the company’s trucks must not exceed Milton’s gross weight limits ordinance, and S.D. Ireland must manage the dust created by its vehicles, as well as install a gate and signage at the site, the decision says.
For aesthetics, S.D. Ireland must provide a landscaping surety guaranteeing the three-year survival of hearty, salt-resistant evergreens to be planted along the road. Any banks of the fill site near the wetland area of the property must be allowed to revegetate after waste management is complete, and there can be no more than 100,000 square feet of uncovered fill.
“We want to make sure that [the work] being done in a responsible way,” Burris said. “There are a variety of different mechanisms that we put into this decision to make sure it’s being done in a safe, and responsible and courteous way.”