Board ex­tends com­ment pe­riod for Red Wing min­ing re­quest

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­

The town Zon­ing Board of Ap­peals has held open the com­ment pe­riod and pub­lic hear­ing on a Red Wing Sand and Gravel re­quest to have its en­tire prop­erty con­sid­ered part of a zon­ing dis­trict in which min­ing is al­lowed.

Writ­ten com­ments will be ac­cepted through Oct. 5 while the pub­lic hear­ing has been con­tin­ued un­til the board’s Oct. 19 meet­ing.

“With the writ­ten ma­te­ri­als, we want ev­ery­thing in,” board Chair­man Scott Ber­gin said. “We don’t want any­thing com­ing in at the last mo­ment when they’ve had months and months.”

The ap­pli­ca­tion by Red Wing comes af­ter sev­eral years of dis­putes about whether the en­tire prop­erty be­longs in the Min­ing Over­lay Dis­trict, which had its map re­vised a year ago to con­form with lan­guage in the town’s Com­pre­hen­sive Plan.

Red Wing Sand and Gravel filed a state ap­pli­ca­tion in 2008 to de­velop a new 125-acre mine ac­com­pa­nied by an 84-acre lake ad­ja­cent to a de­pleted 36.5acre mine on its prop­erty. The town Plan­ning Board in 2014 turned down a re­quest by Red Wing to re­new the per­mit for op­er­a­tions on the 36.5 acres.

The Town Board be­gan work­ing on the zon­ing amend­ments in 2011 af­ter learn­ing that lan­guage in the 2009 Com­pre­hen­sive Plan called for lim­it­ing min­ing to cur­rent op­er­a­tions but that a map pro­duced by Dutchess County showed min­ing would be al­lowed on en­tire parcels. Ef­forts to sim­ply up­date the map drew ob­jec­tions from Red Wing of­fi­cials.

Town of­fi­cials re­sponded to threats of lit­i­ga­tion by ex­pand­ing lan­guage in the Com­pre­hen­sive Plan. In­cluded in the town ac­tions was use of Red Wing’s own lan­guage in the state ap­pli­ca­tion to jus­tify adopt­ing the re­vised map as a zon­ing amend­ment rather than sim­ply a cor­rec­tion.

“The Bland­ings tur­tle is a New York state threat­ened species with only a few iso­lated pop­u­la­tions found in this area of Dutchess County,” the lan­guage stated. “These tur­tles and their habi­tat are within the Min­ing Over­lay Dis­trict and on the lands upon which new min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties are pro­posed.”

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