May 13, 2010
"Whether the Town of
Sullivan Zoning Law of 1979, as amended and
in effect at the time of the application of
Petitioners for such interpretation,
PROHIBITS mining and/or quarrying on
the property of the Petitioners' located
EAST of Quarry Road in the Town of Sullivan,
County of Madison, New York in an
Agricultural Zone with or without a Special
Results of polled
Cecelia Berean: YES
Ken Katzenstein: YES
PROHIBITED in an Agricultural Zone with or
without a Special Use Permit!!!!
It was a very long night
for all. Mr. Longstreet, petitioners'
atty., proceeded to use the Hearing as a
Trial, and brought forth SIX
Chairman of Zoning Advisory Board (1979).
Former ZBA member
Former Planning Board member
and 20 yr. Town of Sullivan Supervisor
Planning Board member 30 yrs.
James Johnson Jr.:
of Subdivisions, Inc.
With all the witnesses,
Mr. Longstreet's questioning pertained to
the "Intent" of those who drafted the law.
Mr. Longstreet tried to establish that the
people who drafted the 1979 law must have
"inadvertently" left out a section which
contains "Mineral Resource Use". At
one point, witness Bruce McClean, stated
that "Mineral Resource Uses" were in the
law, but Madison County typed it wrong and
apparently, none of the Board members at
that time noticed it missing upon review?"
Mr. Longstreet also
questioned witnesses about the fact
that "no where is there a document that
states mining/quarrying is PROHIBITED".
Of course there is not any such document.
The Zoning Law would be three feet thick if
they had to include every single PROHIBITED
use, and then they'd still miss something.
So, what the law does, is list PERMITTED
USES, and anything NOT listed is considered
a PROHIBITED USE.
This went on for 3 1/2
hrs! The residents of the Town of
Sullivan finally were allowed to speak at
10:30pm. However, the Zoning Board had
informed the residents at the beginning of
the meeting that we would only have THREE
minutes each to speak and we had to keep our
comments to the question asked of the
board.....see "Motion." Apparently the
hearing had a completely different set of
rules for Mr. Longstreet. None of his
questioning had to do with the "actual law"
only intent and hearsay about how the 1979
law was drafted AND he took 3 1/2 hrs!
The Zoning Board conversed
about the decision openly. Mr. Keville
spoke about which kind of
decision is the most defensible?
Conservative approach is to follow the
letter of the law. In Courts "intent"
is only used if the law seems "unclear or
ambiguous". Mr. Keville did not
believe the law was at all "unclear or
ambiguous", Mr. Katzenstein agreed with Mr.
Keville. Mr. Durfee and
Mr. Reals did not agree.
Mr. Reals also stated that
he believed the Planning Board should deal
with it via Special Use Permit because they
can hear from all the people and he thinks
"Mineral Resource Use" was left out based on
the witness testimony. Mr. Durfee agrees.
Mr. Keville and Mr. Katzenstein were quick
to point out that the Planning Board doesn't
have the authority and that according to the
actual verbiage in the law, the Zoning Board
could not send it to the Planning Board.
It was up to the ZBA.
So it stands.
Now we wait for Oot to appeal, as we know he
Let's not forget...there
are still lawsuits by Oot pending. WE
MUST STAY VIGILANT!
Please attend our Town,
Planning and Zoning Board meetings
regularly. As residents of the Town of
Sullivan we need to stay involved. We have
the power to shape our quality of life.
Government for the people and of the people
only happens when we are participants!
Members of the Sullivan
Citizens' Alliance are pleased with the
Town of Sullivan's diligent effort to
uphold the law.