Don't weaken the Town's protections with the proposed amendments to Town Law no. 1 of 2015.
This petition made change with 197 supporters!
Dear Supervisor Sumner, Deputy Supervisor Leifer, and Board Members Lavine, Sloan, and Solomon,
The Board has scheduled a hearing on multiple amendments to its zoning law now known as Town Law no. 1 of 2015. The amendments pose several problems. For the reasons below, we ask each of you to vote “No” on each of these proposed amendments.
1. Repealing current Section 900 defining “Public Utilities” as a permitted use and substituting a new subsection E of Section 900 including sub-section (E) (2).
2. Repealing the definition of “Public Utility” in Article III and amending the current Town law to add two new definitions: “Public Utility Delivery Facilities” and “Public Utility Delivery Structures.”
3. Deleting the headings within the current chart in Section 501 specifying groups of land uses within the Town which are subject to Site Plan Review under sub section 501 B.
- First, there has been almost no public discussion of the substance of any of the amendments, no public explanation of why these amendments are necessary, what will be accomplished by them, who might benefit or be harmed, why their passage is required, or whether any of these changes are subject to SEQR review.
- As confirmed by a number of seasoned lawyers, proposed (E) (2) of proposed Section 900 can be read to exempt NYSEG/Iberdrola's proposed West Dryden Pipeline from Town Law including the Town's Special Use Permit procedure which includes the State's Environmental Quality Review and the Town's Site Plan Review.
- This would completely reverse the hard won victory for home rule achieved by the Town in State Courts and either remove the Town's authority in in this crucial arena or give it to the distant and generally unresponsive bureaucracies, the Public Service Commission or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
- This drastic abdication of the Town's hard-earned rights and responsibility under the current law would enable the New York State Energy and Gas corporation (NYSEG) and its multi-national parents, Iberdrola USA and Spain'sIberdrola S.A., to install their proposed 7+-mile methane gas pipeline in a 15-foot swath of uncertain depth across over 90 private properties under an unconventionally harsh perpetual easement without any Town oversight despite four of the Dryden Town Board members having publicly denounced the easement as extraordinarily unfair and overreaching.
- Once the proposed pipeline is installed under the NYSEG/Iberdrola easement, they can add pipes, change the gas pressure, increase the amount of gas going through the pipe, all without either the Town or the Road residents having any say.
- The proposed 10-inch methane pipeline will have the capacity to carry 700,000 cubic feet of gas per hour at its 124 psi rating—enough to power more homes than currently exist in Tompkins County. If run at capacity to supply new commercial and residential customers, this would increase CO2 emissions by 28% over the total County emissions in 2008. This is in direct contradiction of the recently reconfirmed Tompkins County greenhouse gas emission reduction goals of 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Regardless of how much pipeline capacity is utilized, it will result in increased CO2 emissions and make our climate goals that much harder to reach.
- The gas sent through the pipe will come in whole or in the most part from fracking.
- These amendments create unnecessary and counterproductive ambiguity and confusion about the Town's zoning law and the 1951 NYSEG/Dryden Franchise Agreement both of which give clear authority to the Town over crucial aspects of the NYSEG/Iberdrola pipeline proposal.
- There has been no known request from the public for any amendments to this recently passed (2012) and court-tested zoning law.
- Finally, the amendments are a surprise to the general public, a seeming breach of the trust placed in the Board by those who campaigned and voted them into office under their motto of “Protecting Dryden,” and an abdication of the general duty to communicate, give reasonable notice, to be forthcoming and transparent.
Today: Concerned Citizens of Dryden and Tompkins County is counting on you
Concerned Citizens of Dryden and Tompkins County needs your help with “Dryden Town Board: Don't weaken the Town's protections with the proposed amendments to Town Law no. 1 of 2015.”. Join Concerned Citizens of Dryden and Tompkins County and 196 supporters today.