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Hudson Valley

Schoharie wants to keep heavy industry activities out

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Albany/HV: Schoharie wants to keep heavy industry activities out
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People in the Town of Schoharie had the opportunity to talk about new land use laws that could prevent hydrofracking and other heavy industry activities from moving in. YNN's Maria Valvanis has more.

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. -- "I think it's terrific. It's a very, very, thorough elaboration of what the town wants that can't be misinterpreted either deliberately or unintentionally."

Glenn Sanders is happy to hear of the planning board’s proposed land use law amendment. Something the town asked them to create after realizing the current law isn't very clear.

"There is a series for each district of allowable uses. If it is not an allowable use, then it shouldn't occur, however, the language for an allowable use is somewhat ambiguous," said Planning Board Chairman Jeremy Rosenthal.

Meaning even though the current law is meant to stop heavy industry activity, like fracking, it really can't.

Town Supervisor Gene Milone said, "Were looking to salvage the rural atmosphere that we live in here. That's why when we reference heavy industries, those are things the comprehensive plan is opposed too."

Officials say the changes aren't an actual ban but instead tighten the current definition, to make sure no one can find any loop holes.

Rosenthal said, "What we’re trying to accomplish through this land use law amendment is that the definition of allowable use is tightened up so that someone who had a project that they were proposing couldn't sneak through the back door with a land use that would not be acceptable."

The county board will review the changes early next month, before it goes to the town board for a final vote, something residents say will come as a sigh of relief.

"I'm sure many people in the town and county are very happy to see strict restrictions," said Sanders.

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