East Haven quarry owner fighting cease and desist orders

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A public hearing was held in East Haven on Thursday night to discuss a shoreline rock quarry’s battle with the town. Farm River Rock is actually suing the town, saying it illegally shut the business down.

The quarry’s owner is fighting the cease and desist orders issued by the town’s planning & zoning enforcement officer, who stands behind them.

Peter Alter, an attorney representing Farm River Rock, spoke at the hearing. He presented the zoning board of appeals and the public with information defending the quarry.

“Property owners have rights and those rights need to be protected when a town acts in error, which we believe they have in this case,” said Alter.

The quarry has been around for 70 years. It has been issued cease and desist orders and two of them are active now. Some of the concern is environmental. Though the quarry is fighting the orders, John Conway, the attorney representing the town’s planning & zoning department enforcement officer, says he was right to issue them.

“We believe what he did was perfectly appropriate, within the regulations,” said Conway. “We’ve asked the board to affirm the cease and desist orders.”

The public attended the meeting. Many neighbors have been following the battle between the quarry and the town.

“A lot of residents are concerned about it but they feel that the town’s in the right and we should go along with the lawsuit,” said William Richardson, a councilman representing district 3 of East Haven.

The public didn’t just hear from the quarry’s attorney at the hearing. The owner, John Patton, spoke out. He says the quarry tried to be cooperative. Patton acknowledged that the town has the right to regulate his business, but calls the cease and desist orders “politically motivated.”

“We applied for another blasting permit and were told that no blasting permits would be issued until after the November local election,” Patton said.

It’s now up to the zoning board of appeals to evaluate all the information for and against the cease and desist orders and make a decision.

This could eventually end up in court.

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