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Fenton Board Will Not Declare A Moratorium on Limited Industrial Zone Projects

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The Fenton Town Board says they will not declare a moratorium on projects in limited industrial zones after a group of ten residents asked them to do so. Fenton Supervisor Dave Hamlin says the demand was too broad and could end up hurting other non-natural gas related projects in the area. This is the latest attempt by community members to slow down or stop the proposed Natural Gas Compressor station in the Town of Fenton.

The proposed location for the project, which falls on West Service Road is in a limited industrial zone. Whether or not a compressor station falls within the Town's zoning laws as a Trucking Terminal has been the main issue that could determine whether or not the project gets completed.

In addition to that announcement, the Town also broke out its new rules for public meetings, which were unanimously approved at a work session on November 29, according to Town Supervisor Dave Hamlin. Among the changes include limiting how long a resident can speak, putting a cap on resident time, and banning all signs.

"Generally the people will comply with respectfulness and politeness during these meetings but sometimes things just get out of hand," said Hamlin. He hopes these new rules will make all future meetings more organized.

One resident who regularly attends Fenton meetings says she agrees with the changes and hopes everyone continues to remain civil.

"I do kind of agree and I do take them at their word that they are going to give everybody a chance to speak and say their part," said Velida Ford, Port Dickinson Resident.

When asked about the future of the Town's Planning Board, Hamlin says the Board is in early talks about changing Fenton law to reduce the number of Planning Board members from seven to five. Currently, there are only five members of the seven-person board because two stepped down in September. This has caused voting issues in the past because the Planning Board needs five of the seven to approve any decisions it comes to.

Hamlin also says that Town Building Inspector Matthew Banks has discussed the possibility of stepping down from his position due to "stress surrounding the natural gas project." Hamlin says nothing is final yet but the Town is hoping they can find a way for him to stay.

The Board says three groups have officially filed appeals against his decision that a Natural Gas Compressor Station fits under the Town's Zoning Laws as a "trucking and freight terminal." The first is the Chenango Valley Central School District, the second is a group of seven Fenton residents, and it's unknown who the third individual or group is at this time. The deadline to file a ZBA appeal is on December 12.

The Town's Zoning Board of Appeals will have to hear the arguments and make a decision to allow the project to move forward or not. Hamlin says he hopes the ZBA will hold that meeting before the new year.

You can read the full meeting rules below:

You can read the residents' appeal below:

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