Skaneateles farmer Dirk Young, middle, told the Skaneateles Town Board during a public hearing on April 19 ofhis opposition to the board's proposed local law that would essentially prohibit hydrofracking in the town. He was preceded by a dozen residents who spoke in favor of the law.
Photo by Jason Emerson.
Skaneateles At the conclusion of a standing-room-only public hearing concerning the town’s proposed law to amend the zoning law to regulate hydrofracking, the board — with two members absent — voted to table the law until the next meeting, to the disappointment of the crowd.
“I know you all came out this evening [for the vote],” said Town Supervisor Terri Roney to the approximately 50 assembled residents in the town hall meeting room, but “I recommend we table the vote until the May 3 meeting so everyone can participate. This is the biggest issue our board has faced since we’ve all been here and I think everyone should be here to participate.”
The reference was to absent council members Rick Keyes, who was out of the country on business, and Nancy Murray, who was absent due to family issue.
Council members Jim Greenfield and Steve McGlynn agreed with Roney that all five board members should be present for the vote.
At issue was Introductory Local Law 2012-A, “A local law to amend and supplement the zoning law of the Town of Skaneateles relative to certain uses and variance requirements of 2012.” The proposed law, succinctly, would prohibit any new natural gas and/or petroleum extraction, exploration or production wastes within the town limits; it also would allow these practices to go forward on any such pre-existing activities, however, those activities must conform to a stringent list of regulations also laid out in the proposed law.
Any allowable natural gas or petroleum wells that become depleted and remain so for more than 12 months will be terminated and all further activities prohibited, under the proposed law.
The town code enforcement officer, planning board and zoning board of appeals, as well as the Onondaga County Planning Board, Skaneateles village officials and surrounding towns all have reviewed the proposed law and found no “adverse impacts” to the community in the language, Roney said.