Supreme Court upholds denial

Swamp Road gravel removal plan nixed

SHARON — A nearly three-year legal struggle over a plan to remove gravel from a 95-acre site on Swamp Road could be coming to an end. Last week, the N.H. Supreme Court affirmed a Superior Court ruling that upheld a decision by the Sharon Zoning Board of Adjustment to deny a special exception for the project.

In January 2011, the C. Wilson Sullivan Revocable Trust, Dominic J. DiSalvo and Quinn Brothers Corporation applied to the ZBA for a special exception that would have allowed them to remove between 75,000 and 125,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel annually from the Swamp Road site for up to 20 years.

Following a series of hearings where residents raised concerns about traffic, noise and the environmental impact of the plan, the ZBA denied the request in April 2011. After the ZBA denied a rehearing request, the applicants sued the town in Superior Court. The ZBA ruling was upheld in Superior Court in July 2012, which led the applicants to file the Supreme Court suit.

After hearing briefs and oral arguments, the Supreme Court, without issuing a formal written opinion, affirmed the Superior Court ruling.

“From the town’s perspective, this is good news,” said Chet Bowles, administrative assistant to the Select Board, about the ruling. “The Superior Court overwhelmingly supported the decision of the ZBA, and the Supreme Court affirmed that decision. They said the ZBA is acting properly.”

Bowles said most of the residents who testified at the ZBA hearings had spoken strongly against the gravel extraction proposal.

“This is clearly a popular decision in town,” Bowles said of the Supreme Court affirmation.

The Ledger-Transcript called C. Wilson Sullivan at his law office in Wilton on Wednesday and was informed that he would have no comment on the decision.

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