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Shelby overlay district would devalue land, limit economic development

Posted 21 September 2016 at 10:20 pm

Editor:

We have a few landowners in Orleans County that are trying to block what other landowners can do with their property. These landowners have friends on the Shelby Town Board who have aligned with them.

New York State didn’t think that these landowners’ views out their back doors, or the possible devaluation of their land, were grounds for refusing to issue a permit for a quarry.

The next thing these landowners and The Shelby Town Board tried to say was that the quarry would hurt the wildlife on the Iroquois Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is in Genesee and Orleans counties.

Some of the evidence the Town Board presented to the DEC was from a local wildlife rehabilitator. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and an Administrative Law Judge appointed by the DEC ruled “no issues exist for adjudication.

This decision was made after a very prestigious firm of environmentalists and scientists presented a study that refuted what our local rehabilitator presented.

After the DEC ruled against the Shelby Town Board, they are now trying, with the LL2 law, to stop the quarry. To this goal they are trying to limit what the landowners who own thousands of acres of land that borders the “refuge can do with their land. They are trying, with this “overlay district”, to make it seem that they are trying to help the “refuge” protect the wildlife.

If the State or Federal Government felt they needed an “overlay district” they would have bought or used their eminent domain law to establish an “overlay district”.  This LL2 law is just another way the Shelby Town Board is trying to dictate what taxpayers can do with their land.

The Board doesn’t care if this law is detrimental to landowners and will stop future businesses and jobs from coming into the Town of Shelby.

They don’t care if future businesses and jobs would lessen the high tax burden that we are currently paying. They don’t care about the cost of lawsuits that I’m sure will follow.

I’d like to know just how many thousands of our tax dollars the Town of Shelby has already spent to stop this quarry and set up this “overlay district”.

Isn’t it funny that the taxpayers that own land in the “overlay district” are paying the costs of limiting what they can do with their land?

I hope the voters in the next election for the Shelby Town Board members reflects what the voters think about what the current board members are trying to do.

David Schrader

Shelby