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Shelby town supervisor says overlay district proposal may be ‘too restrictive’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 October 2016 at 9:23 am
File photo by Tom Rivers: Shelby Town Supervisor Skip Draper leads a public hearing on Sept. 7 about a proposed overlay district near the wildlife refuge that would ban a quarry and many other uses viewed by town officials as incompatible with the wildlife refuge. Shelby Town Clerk Darlene Rich is at left and attorney Dan Spitzer is at right.

File photo by Tom Rivers: Shelby Town Supervisor Skip Draper leads a public hearing on Sept. 7 about a proposed overlay district near the wildlife refuge that would ban a quarry and many other uses viewed by town officials as incompatible with the wildlife refuge. Shelby Town Clerk Darlene Rich is at left and attorney Dan Spitzer is at right.

SHELBY – Town Supervisor Skip Draper said the Town Board “will take a deeper look” at a proposed overlay district that borders the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

The Town Board held a public hearing on the district on Sept. 7 and many residents objected to the district’s ban on uses the town viewed as incompatible with the refuge.

The proposed overlay district would establish a 3,000-foot buffer north of the refuge and ban quarries, junk yards, kennels, airports, motor vehicle repair shops, outdoor commercial recreation areas and telecommunication facilities.

The Town Board proposed the overlay district after Frontier Stone LLC cleared a hurdle with the state Department of Environmental Conservation for a quarry. Frontier wants to use 215 acres of land on Fletcher Chapel Road owned by the Zelazny family for a proposed quarry that would be established in four phases, over 75 years, with 11.6 acres mined in the first 11 years.

David Mahar, president of Frontier, and the Zelazny family say the overlay district is discriminatory, targeting the quarry and other businesses.

Many farmers and other landowners, representing more than two thirds of the property in a proposed Wildlife Refuge Protection District, filed a protest petition last month with the Town of Shelby, saying the proposed law would restrict their ability to use their property.

Residents had until Oct. 1 to submit written comments about the proposed district. Draper said on Tuesday evening that the Town Board will review those comments and decide the next steps.

“It may be too restrictive,” Draper said about the proposal that would affect 3,821 acres in town.

In other action during Tuesday’s board meeting:

• The board set a public hearing for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 at the Town Hall to override the tax cap. The tax cap in 2017 allows for no more than a 0.68 percent tax increase in Shelby. (The Town Board can override the tax cap.)

The Town Board and town department heads are working on the budget.

“It’s absolutely too early to say (if the town will need to override the cap),” Draper said.

But to have the option, the town needs to have a public hearing about the tax cap.

• The board usually meets the second Tuesday each month, but in November will meet the first Monday on Nov. 7 due to the election falling on the second Tuesday, Nov. 8.

• The board will have budget workshops at 6 p.m. on Oct. 17, Oct. 19, and Oct. 20 and it set 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 10 as the budget hearing.

• The board will have a special meeting at 6 p.m. on Oct. 18 to award the bid for Water District No. 12.

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