Tuesday, March 25, 2008

IMPORTANT Zoning Board Meeting Thursday 7 pm

IMPORTANT TO READ THIS - We were just informed of this meeting slated for Thursday.
This is a summary of what has been happening in the town of Italy since October 2007.


Ecogen Wind LLC and Ecogen Transmission Corp. filed a detailed application for zoning approval to build a new proposed project on 3,775 acres in the southern portion of the town. This application was withdrawn several weeks later.

Nixon Peabody, representing Ecogen, filed a Reply Memorandum of Law with the State Supreme Court requesting pre-trial discovery that would lead to a number of causes of action against the town for their resistance to the wind project.

12-3-07 (estimated date)
A private meeting was held of Town Board members, town attorney, and representatives of Ecogen. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss what "amenities" might be given to the town by the developer in exchange for permission to build the project.

At the Town Board meeting Margaret Dunn read a brief prepared statement which said that the private meeting had been held, that amenities were discussed, but no other details were provided.

At the February Town Board meeting Ms. Dunn instructed Dave Ferry, Chair of the PB/ZBA, to consider a special industrial zone for the Ecogen project. The PB later scheduled a Special Meeting on 2-29-08 to discuss this matter. At the next Town Board meeting on 3-11 Dave made the recommendation to the Board that they consider changing the town comprehensive plan and zoning laws to create the "amenity zone" for the project. This recommendation, although consistent with Ms. Dunn's request, surprised other Board members who could not understand how such a sweeping change could be proposed with so little review.

There is now a Special Meeting of the PB/ZBA scheduled for 3-27 at 7pm to "unschedule" the PBA Public Hearing that had originally been set for 3-29. That Public Hearing may not take place until May.

In summary, it looks as if several Town Board members (possibly a majority) now feel that we would be better off giving Ecogen the four thousand acres they want in order to avoid additional costly lawsuits. They also seem to believe that if Ecogen puts enough money on the table that the people of the town will support the project.

Margaret Dunn has stated several times that she thinks that a "silent majority" of town people have always supported the development and that the hundreds who spoke against them are a vocal minority.

This Thursday at 7pm is a Special Meeting of the ZBA to discuss a number of related issues. We need to get a minimum of a hundred people to attend and to speak out against the lunacy which has recently taken hold of formerly sane and honest people.

If this proposed project goes through every resident of this town will be financially hurt. Those near the project will lose a significant portion of their property value and those further away will see their taxes skyrocket to make up the shortfall.

We expect the meeting to be at the Town Hall, although it could be moved to the Town barn if a large turnout is anticipated. Since only a handful of people attended the last special meeting it is most likely to remain at the town hall.

The proposed industrial zone includes everything south of Italy Turnpike and Italy Valley Road.

Please call friends and neighbors and urge them to attend this important meeting.

Voice Your Choice Say NO to Overhead Power Lines

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