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Skaneateles mining policy said to be unlawful

Prior to the Oct. 2 town of Skaneateles public hearing on a mining floating zone, Local Law 2008 J, the board had received several pieces of communication to be read into the record.

"We've received a report from the Onondaga County Planning Board that they have no objection (to the law)," said Supervisor Phil Tierney.

Documents filed with the town from residents generally were in opposition to the local law and included information regarding a lack of compliance with the comprehensive plan.

The board also received information from the planning board that shared a number of concerns with the law as written.

"It would have been nice of them to give it to us before today," said councilwoman Ellen Kulik.

Once the board began taking testimony, Charles Sullivan, vice president of the Shepard Settlement Neighborhood Association, said he would support the law.

"I think it's a positive step," he said.

However, there are portions of the law that are not clear or leave much to the discretion of the board if and when approached by companies seeking permits for mining.

"It's not beneficial to homeowners or applicants because it is so vague," Sullivan said.

Following Sullivan's testimony, most other residents speaking in favor of the law also spoke in support of Sullivan.

"I do commend the town board for really struggling with this," said Susan Van Camp. "I urge you to keep struggling until you find resolution."

Complementary to Van Camp's remarks, Jack Burns congratulated the board for being patient with residents and commended them by saying "I think you're doing the best you can."

Though many residents came out in support of the law and the board's work, they also agreed with Sullivan that revisions be made to the legislation.

While residents spoke in favor, attorneys, businesses and fellow residents spoke against the law saying it is illegal and that, prior to the amendment, the board was urging miners to focus on property in Shepard Settlement.

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