Farmer opposes Town Board’s effort to establish ‘Great Wall of Shelby’

Posted 9 September 2016 at 11:28 am


As a land owner and long-time farmer in Shelby, I am opposed to new Local Law #2 of 2016. This law was proposed by Shelby’s Town Board only days after a judge ruled in favor of Frontier Stone’s quarry project – which is to be located on my private property on Fletcher Chapel Road.

Local Law #2’s restrictions on property in my district would destroy all our property values and render properties nearly worthless.

The DEC recently granted a permit for the quarry project and a judge ruled against the town and three opponents of the project, denying them party status, because they failed to identify “any significant or substantive issues” that the project would harm the refuge. The ALJ found all their claims to be “without merit.”

Over the years, my family has been called greedy and we have been accused of trying to divide the community. Shelby’s Town Board has done more to divide this community in not making themselves available to collaborate on the project and by proposing LL2.

The town has deliberately targeted other private property owners near our land as a way to block the project; that is discriminating. Town officials have been moving the goalpost on this project for over 10 years and spending thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars to do it.

Most recently, over $52, 000 was spent in four months by the town and they did not produce one expert witness or submit any studies to contradict any of Frontier Stone’s expert witnesses or verifiable scientific data. There is zero evidence to support the quarry will pose a threat to the refuge or the environment.

The town even inserted a stipulation to Local Law #2 that if a court renders it unconstitutional, the town would over-ride the court’s ruling. Really? Even Obamacare can be repealed. And this law can’t? That’s pretty big over-reach on the part of the town.

Town council members who reside or own property in the proposed district should also abstain from voting on the law. Does the town expect us to pay to have thousands of acres of land resurveyed to create the boundaries for LL2, when land owners in Shelby who own 68% of the acreage in the proposed district filed a protest petition against it?

Will the town install a chain-link fence to show the boundaries of the overlay district? How about razor wire on top of that? We can call it The Great Wall of Shelby.

Is the property in LL2’s “Wildlife Refuge Overlay Protection District” going to be subject to the same criteria as the refuge? In that case, all the property in the overlay district should be tax exempt – no county tax, no town tax, no school tax.

Edward Zelazny