OXFORD – Oxford’s Village Board of Trustees have decided to take another week before voting on a proposed zoning amendment that would limit, if not prohibit, the development of natural gas within the village.
While everyone who spoke at Tuesday night’s public hearing were in favor of the clarifying language proposed for the zoning ordinance, five out of the nearly 50 people in attendance spoke out in favor of the controversial practice of high water hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, while four were against it. The Chenango County Planning Board last week voted against Oxford’s proposed amendment. Village Mayor Terry Stark has described the suggested change as ‘clarifying or confirmatory’ language to existing code. Village Attorney Roger Monaco remained silent for the duration of the hearing.
First to address the board was businessman Bryant LaTourette Sr., who is also a member of the Central New York Landowner’s Coalition. LaTourette suggested the village wait for New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation to release new permitting regulations for fracking, and for the conclusion of two legal cases on the issue currently in the courts in the towns of Dryden and Middlefield.