By Matthew Reitz
The Town of Hannibal Planning Board voted to reject the site plan for a gravel mine on Harris Hill Road last week, drawing applause from residents attending the meeting.
Last month, the board closed a heavily attended public hearing that many residents used to express concerns about safety, wear and tear on town roads and the effects of mining on the town. A DEC permit was issued to CJ Ferlito Aggregates for the site, to which town planning officials could have added stipulations. However, after much discussion they delayed a vote at the June meeting and rejected the application for a special use permit last week.
Planning Board Chairman Robert Dilts said the board had 62 days to act from the closing of the public hearing. He said the August 6 meeting would have been beyond that period of time, and told the board “if we kick it down the road again it automatically takes place on August 4, and to my understanding we no longer have any control or input on the matter.”
After the board unanimously agreed to vote on the matter, board member Gregory Stupps Sr. made a motion to reject the site plan.
“I’d like to make a motion that the site plan gets rejected,” Stupps said.
Dilts asked Stupp to “clarify on what basis,” to which Stupp replied it was “an unsafe entrance on to Harris Hill Road” and “for the community, it doesn’t coincide with the zoning code of the Town of Hannibal.”
Ellen Killicut seconded Stupps’ motion, and board member Joshua Bomgren mentioned that the mine also was against the town’s comprehensive plan in “keeping the town a rural community.”
“It would have a detrimental effect on the neighborhood,” board member Dawn Combes said.
Killicut echoed Combes’ sentiment and said the mine would be “a detriment to the people that live on that road as they have come forward and said.”
“It’s a safety issue with large trucks on such a narrow road,” Susan De May said.
The board voted 5-2 to reject the site plan “because of the unsafe entrance and because the mine does not agree with the zoning code.” Dilts and Anthony Murabito were the two dissenting votes.
“The application for a special permit is rejected, and we deny the mine,” Dilts said.
The planning board also approved a “minor subdivision” for a property owned by Leonard Fowler on county Route 7, about 1 mile north of county Route 3. The property was split by county Route 7 and already contained a home on each side of the road. A very quiet public comment period preceded the board’s unanimous approval.
By Matthew Reitz