Lumberland debates new zoning; drilling and development key issues
Carol Roig, a resident of the neighboring Town of Highland, thanked the board for the privilege of addressing the matter. “I’m emboldened to speak on the issue of Article 10 because no town can contain the damage that will be done if this industry is welcomed into any of our towns,” she said. “We’re all affected by each other’s decisions.”
Roig noted that although maps may show that Marcellus Shale is not under the town of Lumberland, the Utica Shale stretches to the Hudson River and is being touted to investors. “I think you’ve been very diligent; you’ve allowed plenty of time for input and you’re doing everything in your power to protect the health, welfare and safety of your citizens. You’ve secured expert legal advice and you’re not allowing yourself to be intimidated by the threat of lawsuits.”
Some commentors asked for delaying a final vote on the proposed law for more discussion, while others pleaded for swift approval. Resident and attorney David Wallace urged the town to stay ahead of the potential impacts. “Whether or not people are being truthful about whether fracking is coming to this area is probably an open question, because just about everything that this industry has had to say to local people has had a nasty twist with a fatal barb at the end of it,” he said. “This issue of home rule is going to come up repeatedly, whether it’s agriculture, water rights or fracking.”
“All comments will be carefully considered for inclusion in or alteration of the code,” concluded Supervisor Nadia Rasjz.
Even those with objections made a point of thanking the committee for its long and diligent work. Efforts will continue when the committee meets on December 16 to review and address the comments with written responses that will eventually be posted to the town website. If substantial changes are determined to be necessary, the town will hold an additional public hearing. A final vote may be possible at the town’s year-end meeting on December 29. Visit www.townoflumberland.org for more information, or call 845/856-4777, extension 227.