Bicyclists coasting into Lumberland 

By SUSAN WADE
Posted 7/14/20

LUMBERLAND, NY — At its monthly meeting, the Lumberland Town Board received notification that the annual Bike4Chai will take place on Thursday, August 13 with some changes due to the …

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Bicyclists coasting into Lumberland 

Posted

LUMBERLAND, NY — At its monthly meeting, the Lumberland Town Board received notification that the annual Bike4Chai will take place on Thursday, August 13 with some changes due to the coronavirus. The riders usually congregate at Camp Simcha at the conclusion of the race, but this year the route will be a circuit beginning and ending in Vernon, NJ and Camp Simcha will just be a stop along the route. The riders will be released in waves so that they can maintain social distancing. Drivers still are advised to be mindful of increased bike traffic on that day. The route includes several roads in the town. 

Silverman Mechanicals was awarded the bid to replace the hot water heater at the town highway garage, being the lowest of three bidders that responded to the request for proposal. The bid was for $2,216.63.

Following the prior month’s meeting, in which it was noted that a special use permit was granted to allow the growing of commercial hemp, Peggy Pappalalardo, an adjoining neighbor of the property, contacted the River Reporter with several concerns. 

The first dealt with whether the town had the authority to grant a special-use permit to allow for farming in an area zoned as residential rather than agricultural. The Lumberland Planning Board cited Section 250-79 of the town code which requires a special-use permit for agricultural use in the Hillside District. In its deliberations, the planning board further found that the granting of the permit would not alter the general character of the surrounding area or impair the intent or purpose of the zoning law or the town’s comprehensive plan. It enumerated the nine points to be addressed in granting the permit and determined that, due to the small size of the project (12 acres of a total of 109 acres), the short growing season and the mitigating steps the landowner was taking, the permit was reasonable. An additional matter for consideration addressed whether the authorization of the permit would create fiscal burdens on the community at large. The planning board acknowledged the concerns about the impact on property values from the project; it averred that those concerns were speculative and may not affect the tax rate. 

Concern was raised about a possible foul odor from the fertilizers used as well as during the harvesting process. In response to these concerns, the applicant had agreed to use a strain of plant known to have a less pungent odor and to plant the seedlings with enough distance to eliminate the plants rubbing together, which causes an odor to be emitted. No offensive odor is currently being noted by the adjoining property owners. 

The third issue raised by Pappalalardo was whether the project complied with the New York State’s 2018 Farm Bill which allows, subject to regulation, the growing of industrial hemp. She wondered whether the legislation envisioned the growing of hemp in an area zoned as residential and whether the granting of use for agricultural purposes was a reach beyond the grasp of a special-use permit. 

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