The Town of Marshall Board Meeting of Sept. 14 opened with two public hearings.
They focused on enacting 6-month moratoriums on new solar installations and new commercial excavation within an agricultural district in the Town. This allows the Comprehensive Review Committee, which was given the task of aligning the Comprehensive Plan with the Zoning Laws, time to research and study the Comprehensive Plan in order to enact a law on both those matters.
The extension to create a solar law passed without much controversy. Even though state law would likely supersede any local law, the committee felt it was important to have an ordinance in place. The committee is seeing how other towns and municipalities are handling this issue.
The hearing on excavation, on the other hand, excited much debate among those in attendance.
To start with, resident Ed Gallagher asked for a definition of “commercial excavation.” Jamie McNair, who is heading up the Comprehensive Review Committee, responded that this was a “gray area” and would need further investigation and perspective.
The suggestion that this new law would negatively impact Eric Schachtler’s recently reopened mine was dismissed, because he already has the permits he needs and this is not about his operation. This concerns future excavation in the Town.
The Committee wants to clear up the language in the zoning codes and have definite interpretation of what the Town can supervise and what they cannot in case of new excavation so there are no ambiguities. In doing so the Committee tries to be proactive in order to meet the needs of the residents in the Town of Marshall as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan.
The Town would like to avoid a protracted situation if this should happen. The Board approved the six-month extension. …