Quarry plan up for discussion

DORSET - Solving the issue of allowing emergency vehicles to reach residents on Black Rock Lane via Kelly Road during the summer months when the Dorset Quarry is heavily used will be the topic of discussion during an upcoming hearing at the Dorset Town offices in East Dorset.

The discussion will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 18, starting at 7 p.m.

Up for discussion will be the changes being made to Kelly Road and Black Rock Lane, two roads adjacent to the quarry, a popular swimming area during summer months. The hearing will allow members of the public to comment with any concerns or to be more thoroughly informed of the change. The proposed change comes on the heels of residents of Black Rock Lane worrying that there is not sufficient access to their road to both emergency vehicles and the residents themselves.

"There are a lot of issues surrounding the quarry," said Richard Pistell, a resident of Black Rock Lane. "There have been heart attacks this year and we were concerned that emergency vehicles would have trouble reaching us."

Dick McDonough, the owner of the property that includes the Dorset Quarry, said that although this is something he does not want to do, he wants to satisfy the residents of Black Rock Lane.

"The neighbors have been complaining for several years on the issue, so I decided to try and accommodate them," he said. "I have been working with the town for some time to get this done."

"This creates a traffic issue for anyone trying to get in and out," added Rob Gaiotti, Dorset town manager. "It has created situation issues with users of the quarry and residents of Black Rock [Lane]."

The proposed changes include extending Black Rock Lane to meet Vermont Route 30; altering Kelly Road north to become Black Rock lane extension; discontinuing Kelly Road south of Black Rock Lane; placing landscaping along the southerly edge of Black Rock Lane extension; placing landscaping in the area of old Kelly Road north, and extending a Route 30 "No Parking" zone at assure safe travel.

"Right now, the plan we have in place to be put to a public hearing, is that the southern half of Kelly Road south of Black Rock Lane will be discontinued and that will be given to the land owner of the quarry," said Gaiotti. "The town is then going to alter Kelly Road so the northern piece will be reseeded and turned back into, essentially, woods. So Kelly Road will actually become about a 200 foot extension of Black Rock Lane."

The other major change, along with the alteration of Kelly Road, is the extension of the "no parking" zone along Vermont Route 30 both to the north and the south. The current speed limit of Route 30 is 40 mph, mix that with the heavy traffic throughout the day, and parking along the road becomes a safety concern, said Gaiotti.

The south end of Kelly Road, south of Black Rock Lane, will be used for parking and, according to Gaiotti, will be able to hold around 80-90 cars which is sufficient enough for those busy summer days.

"That's what's on the table, obviously it has to be put to a public hearing," said Gaiotti. "There has been support from the folks on Black Rock Lane and the McDonoughs have been really helpful. They are the ones that own and maintain the quarry and have opened it up for use of the public."

McDonough said that he would like to look into how to better control quarry behavior and would look for help from volunteers, such as local school for community service opportunities, to better maintain the area and keep it clean.


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