Penn Yan, N.Y. – The December meeting of the Yates County Planning Board addressed four referrals:
• BARRINGTON: A local law is proposed by the Town of Barrington to amend and supplement a 1980 law to prohibit the storage, treatment, and disposal of gas/petroleum well waste.
Barrington council member Bruce Castner raised the question of whether the proposed law, as written, would unfairly punish the landowner for the actions of the drilling company, saying, “It will bankrupt farmers.” Barrington Planning Board Chair Sue Lang argued that the law protects the landowner and bans hazardous waste. YCPB Chair James Ritter said the law bans all waste, including condensation tanks from old style vertical gas wells. “The law needs to be reworked,” said Ritter. Barrington resident Steve Knapp suggested also rewording the law so any penalty falls upon the driller rather than the landowner. The YCPB voted unanimously to not approve, and attached the suggested changes mentioned.
• JERUSALEM: A Jerusalem local law establishing a wind farm zone and regulating them was approved with suggestions. Rubin suggested wider notification of public meetings was needed for residents within two or three miles, rather than merely those adjacent.
It was also thought that only requiring a final inspection of windmills was insufficient, and than several inspections should be staged through the construction process. A tax benefit to the town should also be considered. County
Planner Shawna Bonshak said many wind farm zones in other parts of the state require host community agreements that provide beneficial facilities or income for the towns.
YCPB member Marion Louden of Barrington opposed the approval based on the aesthetics of the wind turbines and the potential for disturbance.
• PENN YAN: Penn Yan hotelier Brian Zerges requested a use variance for his recently purchased property at 110 Brown St., next door to his Best Western Vineyard Inn.
Zerges plans to construct a 13-space parking lot in the back yard of the home to supplement parking at the inn. He will also be renovating the house to coordinate with the two he owns on the corner of Brown and Lake Streets, in order to frame the front of the inn.
YCPB member Alan “Herb” Snyder identified himself as the resident of a neighboring property, and asked questions regarding the extension and maintenance of the perimeter fence, the fate of nearby trees, and the lighting and drainage to be installed for the parking lot. Zerges answered to satisfaction, and the board approved his request with Snyder abstaining.
MILO: Milo residents Larry and Dale Ledgerwood requested five area variances, including width and height, to allow the construction of a new dwelling on the site of their summer cottage, the last on their road.
The property is now served by water and sewer lines, and all neighbors have endorsed the project.
The width was deemed necessary to accommodate handicapped accessibility on the ground floor. The board approved, with on Ron Rubin in opposition.
Rubin explained he opposed only because he believes the zoning rules involved need to be changed by Milo.