Zoning board hears further arguments in Owera codes enforcement appeal, says decision will come in August
After listening to an hour of legal arguments and public comments concerning Owera Vineyards’ appeal of code enforcement decisions regarding winery operations, the town Zoning Board of Appeals Monday closed its public hearing on the issue and declared it would make a decision in the case by its August meeting.
Yes, it’s that time again: time for mosquito spraying and time to keep ourselves protected from mosquito bites. Our community is a great place to live, but we do need to be diligent about mosquito protection. We all know the basics, but as vice chair of the county legislature’s Health Committee, one of my accountabilities is to keep you fully apprised of county efforts to minimize our exposure to mosquitoes and of current preventatives against mosquito bites.
More than 5,000 people spent the day on the farm last Saturday, July 26, for the seventh annual Madison County Open Farm Day event. Farmers from all corners of the county, offering everything from beef to bison, from honey to mushrooms, from fruits to vegetables and everything in between, opened their farms for the day to allow the general public to come and see exactly where their food comes from and what it takes to make it available.
The Cazenovia Town Board last week moved forward on four proposed local laws and the proposed joint sewer district consolidation agreement by holding three public hearings, introducing one new law and setting five more public hearings to occur between now and Sept. 8.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a plan to clean up contaminated soil and sediment at the Lower Ley Creek area of the Onondaga Lake Superfund Site located in the town of Salina. Discharges from nearby industries and a landfill have contaminated the soil and sediment with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other hazardous substances. PCBs are potentially cancer-causing chemicals that can build up in the tissue of fish and other wildlife and pose a threat to people who eat them. The EPA proposal calls for a combination of excavation, capping and disposal of contaminated soil and sediment.
The Lucas name is well known in the Cazenovia area. That’s because the Lucas family has been selling farm equipment since approximately 1891. That certainly says a lot about a business if it’s been successful for more than a century. J.C. Lucas was not only a farm equipment dealer, but also a dairy farmer until the mid 1970s. J.C. Lucas and Sons started out as a McCormick-Deering dealership, eventually becoming International Harvester. In the mid 1950s, Ron and William Lucas took the reins of the business and it grew so much that in 1980 they moved into their current location on Route 20.
Cazenovia Equipment Co., Inc. was started in 1961 by the Larry Love family and originally served the farming community in the immediate area. In the early 1970s, Larry’s son-in-law, Bob Frazee, joined the company, and in 2003 Bob’s sons, Mike and Jim, became partners as well. The company’s first expansion took place in the late 1980s and opened the door to offering lawn and garden equipment to their customers. Since that time, the company has continued to grow and currently operates a total of nine stores throughout Central and Northern New York.
With the long-awaited summer now in full swing, Open Farm Day is a chance to enjoy the bounty of some of Madison County’s best farms. Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on July 26, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County invites the public to take a behind-the-scenes look at local farms at its seventh annual Open Farm Day as 35 farms and three farmers’ markets open their gates to the public.
Onondaga County Interim Commissioner of Health Michelle Mignano announced that the New York State Department of Health’s laboratory has reported finding evidence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a mosquito pool. The mosquito pool was collected on July 10 at our Taft Road trap site located at East Taft Road (near the Totman Road intersection). Due to this finding and the recent high mosquito count, aerial spraying of the Cicero Swamp and immediate surrounding areas will be done between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, weather permitting. Residents in the spray areas will be notified through the media and through the emergency notification system.
The Fenner Town Board has received a lot of community feedback and concern during the past month about its June resolution to oppose New York state’s Clean Water Act Resolution, with many residents asking board members why they oppose clean water, Town Supervisor Dave Jones said during the board’s July 10 regular monthly meeting.
With summer in full swing, many residents will be looking to public beaches to keep cool. But what happens when the beaches are closed? It’s a problem we’ve seen several times over the last couple of years at Oneida Shores in Brewerton, as well as other beaches along Oneida Lake. The park was closed to swimmers late last month by the Onondaga County Department of Health because E. coli bacteria had been found in unacceptable levels during routine sampling.
It will be another three weeks before the town Zoning Board of Appeals considers the appeal of Owera Vineyards over a decision by the town codes enforcement officer denying Owera’s plans for a June 10 event. The delay in the case — originally heard by the board on June 23 — was decided after the CEO’s attorney filed a motion for the ZBA to dismiss the appeal altogether as “untimely,” claiming that Owera had missed the 60-day appeal deadline as required by law.
Larger retail location opens with more local products and interactive space
The 2014 culinary forecast is in: according to more than 1,000 chefs surveyed by the National Restaurant Association, locally sourced meats are the most sought-after food item in the country. The farm-to-table movement has energized chefs and consumers alike to demand more local, quality foods. Indeed, the most recent census shows farms selling directly to consumers increased sales by more than 300 percent since 1992, and are growing twice as fast as the country’s total agricultural sales.
The Fenner Town Board last week unanimously passed a resolution that opposes New York state’s Clean Water Act Resolution as an unnecessary and burdensome interference of the state on the town.
After a quiet spring, the controversy between Owera Vineyards and the town of Cazenovia over the winery’s allowed operating procedures has reared up again — this time in the form of an appeal to the town zoning board of appeals over a recent decision by the town codes enforcement officer denying Owera’s plans for a June 10 event. The winery is repeating its previous claim that its three-season events tent is an indoor, not an outdoor, structure as the town claims, and is offering a new argument that its hours of operation as approved under its original site plan approval are not enforceable by the town.