The purpose of this district is to provide reasonable and substantial opportunities for the extraction of earth materials while maintaining a safe, healthy, and harmonious atmosphere for all in the Town of Wilton. To this end, a large area of the town which is known to contain large deposits of easily extractable gravel, and where many of the lots have been used for gravel excavation in the past, is designated to allow the removal of earth materials.
The designated area permits excavation without significant impact to the public welfare because it is in a rural, sparsely populated part of the town, with convenient access to a state highway. The topography of the area, substantial buffer requirements, and the limitation on maximum open excavation areas minimize the detrimental effect of excavations on the visual character of the scenic Souhegan River / Greenville Road valley.
The Gravel Excavation District encompasses the following areas within the Town of Wilton: (Amended March 2010)
The Gravel Excavation District is an overlay district. Uses permitted in this district are in addition to uses permitted in the underlying zoning districts.
Lots in the Gravel Excavation District may be used for the commercial taking of sod, loam, clay, sand, gravel, or such other naturally occurring unconsolidated materials that normally mask the bedrock, provided that the use meets the requirements of this ordinance and of the Excavation Site Plan Review Regulations established by the Wilton Planning Board. Washing, screening, and crushing of extracted materials utilizing small portable equipment is permitted, accessory to the extraction of those materials from the site.
Quarrying, excluding activities regulated under NH Revised Statutes Annotated (RSA), Chapter 12–E, Mining and Excavation, or crushing of bedrock, excavation of materials with explosives, or any other mining activity is prohibited. Stationary manufacturing plants are prohibited.
Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prohibit any excavation which is exempted from local permit requirements by N.H. RSA 155-E.
Existing excavations operating under a permit previously granted by the Wilton Planning Board may continue to operate under the terms of that permit.
The standards of this section are in addition to any standards established in the Excavation Site Plan Review Regulations established by the Wilton Planning Board. Section 12.4(i) of this Ordinance establishes additional standards for excavations in the Wellhead Protection Area. Where there is a conflict between the provisions of this section, Section 12.4(i), and the Excavation Site Plan Review Regulations, the stricter standard shall rule. (Amended March, 2007)
All areas used for the excavation of earth materials shall be set back and separated by an undisturbed natural wooded buffer at least three-hundred (300) feet from all public roads except Webb Road and from all lot lines, except that:
The transportation of earth materials removed from this district must be by a private access road to NH Route 31 (Greenville Road) or King Brook Road from NH Route 31 (Greenville Road) to Photon Way, subject to the Planning Board finding that such use does not compromise public safety, and not to any other public road. Where materials are proposed to be removed from a lot without frontage on NH Route 31 (Greenville Road) or King Brook Road, it is the responsibility of the excavator to obtain any necessary easements to construct an access road to NH Route 31 (Greenville Road).