Van Buren proposed budget available, other board news

Asphalt zone change approved

A zone change from Industrial A to Industrial Planned Unit Development was granted for Herman and Walters roads for a planned SPANO asphalt plant.

"We're just changing it from industrial A to Industrial PUD, which basically gives the town more say in how the site is developed. This gives the town more input," Sykes said.

A public hearing regarding the issue was closed last Tuesday after remaining open for several months for the public to submit comments. Only one person commented at the most recent town board meeting about traffic along local roads. According to officials, truck operators should get off Route 690, go directly to the asphalt plant then directly back to 690. Operators of trucks shouldn't use local roads and will be issued tickets from codes' officers if they violate road use.

The town board reviewed the town planning board's comments, which determined the project applicant had alleviated concerns about traffic and environmental impact, noise and odor pollution, etc. The site was a former mining site.

"Knowing the town, this is the best site in the town for this application," Sykes said.

The project will now go to the planning board for site review.

Codes prevent business expansion

Richard Eberhard, who operates a woodworking shop on Kingdom Road, wants to expand his business to include a couple of offices and added storage space. However, a town code is preventing him from doing so.

The Van Buren resident said he approached Code's Officer Dave Pringle about obtaining a permit for the expansion and was told to get a special use permit and obtain his neighbor's signatures in support of the project.

"[Pringle] told us what to do," Eberhard explained to the Van Buren board.

After doing so, Eberhard said he was told his proposal was no longer a use permitted in the AR-80 district. Eberhard argued that he would be restoring and renovating a dilapidated old barn that is currently a neighborhood eyesore.

"We're not going to make it look like a commercial building. We're going to make it look like the building it used to be," he said about transforming the barn.

Councilor Howard Johnson said he'd rather see the barn built up and fixed up than falling down.

The board referred the matter back to the zoning board to see if there is anything else that can be worked out.

"It does sound like there has been an awful lot of misunderstanding," said Councilor Pat Dickman. "It's unfortunate."

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