WATERLOO — One issue that may dominate Town Board debate this year surfaced Monday night: the possible revival of the Meadow View Mine controversy.
Lee Henry, vice president of Concerned Citizens of Seneca County and a leader of an earlier, 10-year legal fight the stop the mining on Burgess and North Roads, voiced concern that proposed zoning amendments would prompt another battle.
MRB Group of Rochester, consultants to the town, have proposed the elimination of so-called “split’’ zoning where a single parcel is in two different zones, each with different allowable uses. One of the areas proposed for rezoning would be on Burgess Road.
The narrow area bordering the roadway is zoned as single-family residential and the larger interior of a vacant parcel owned by Seneca Meadows Landfill is zoned as agricultural. The R-1 zone prohibits the landfill from constructing access roads to truck the mined soil off the property to the nearby landfill in the town of Seneca Falls.
“A revision of the comprehensive plan was approved by this board in January 2017. The approved plan recommends the town amend its local law to ensure commercial mining is not legal in the town of Waterloo,’’ Henry said.
He also said the town has adopted a moratorium on accepting mining applications until MRB proposes a revision of the zoning code to agree with the comprehensive plan. “That local law expires in February and I request it be extended another six months,’’ he said.
“Concerned Citizens is opposed to zoning changes along the east and west sides of Burgess Road, being sought specifically and for the sole benefit of Seneca Meadows and not for the benefit of the people of the town,’’ Henry said.
He told the board that the proposed zone change on Burgess Road “will invite into our very midst the marauding industrial giant that is Seneca Meadows to continue to mine that land, 45-feet deep, and whatever lands thereafter by expansion and approvals from the DEC.’’
“Concerned Citizens has fought for over ten years to deny that invasion into Waterloo and is not now willing to concede. We will challenge on this issue,’’ Henry vowed. He urged the board to include very specific wording on the allowable uses in the zoning amendments to eliminate commercial mining in the town and be consistent with the comprehensive plan.
The board has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed zoning amendments, which would also affect properties on Routes 5&20 west of the village, for 7 p.m. Feb. 24.
North Road, property owner Dixie Lemmon, who’s property is virtually surrounded by Meadow View Mine, expressed dismay that the battle that she and Concerned Citizens won several years ago may have to be fought all over again.
Afterward, Seneca Meadows General Manager Kyle Black said he supports the proposed zoning amendments, saying they were recommended by the court that ruled against the mining. “We would like to not be landlocked and have access to the property for which we have a permit to mine,’’ Black said — noting the zoning changes affects other properties in the town.