After listening to numerous comments during a public hearing, the Marshall Town Board voted to halt all mining activities, aside from commercial excavations in use, for a month.
At the request of town residents upset with the proposed mining on Shanley Road by Eric Schachtler on his property, the board had a public hearing. The two-hour discussion at the Town Hall drew in almost 70 people, some of whom had to stand in the hallway.
Opponents to Schachtler’s plan had asked for a six month moratorium. The board changed that to 30 days as of that night, with plans to make it an official resolution at their meeting this week. The moratorium has no impact on Hanson quarry on Route 12B.
Because the Department of Environmental Conservation was expected to approve Schachtler’s plans within 48 hours of the hearing, the board had to take action that night. Otherwise, Schachtler’s proposal might have fallen under existing commercial mining and been allowed.
The 30 days allows Marshall board members to make two determinations: does Schachtler’s plan to use his land for a business harm the quality of life for the neighbors enough to refuse his request, and in 2013 did he actually get approval for the plans.
On the first issue, neighbors of the Shanley Road property outlined numerous examples of how they think the blasting noise in particular will disrupt their lives and how the overall project will lower their property values. “I want to sell my wonderful big house and move into something more manageable,’’ Betty Ford said. “But I’m afraid I’ll lose buyers because of the quarry next door.’’
Michele Adams of Shanley Road, Clinton, opened the presentation by neighbors by saying about 50 homes are within a mile of the proposed quarry as well as a horse farm that gives riding lessons. She told the board she had two petitions in support of the moratorium, an online one with 200-plus names and a paper one with 70 names.
Because mining is not specifically...