Oxford board weighs options in moratorium review

OXFORD – The Oxford Village Board of Trustees is now considering three separate options in dealing with the issue of shale gas drilling within the boundaries of the village; a tabled nine-month moratorium, an amendment to zoning ordinances, or a proposal being drafted by Norse Energy.

“The moratorium is still under review and is not dead,” said Mayor Terry Stark. Last week, the village board decided to table the moratorium, allowing time to consider the possible ramifications of a lawsuit, after representatives from the Central New York Landowner’s Coalition (CNYLC) threatened to take legal action against the municipality and trustees, should they pass the measure. The coalition claims a moratorium is unnecessary as the existing village zoning ordinances already prohibit gas drilling.

Mayor Stark said he conferred with village attorney Roger Monaco and pro-bono consulting attorney David Slottje in regards to the possibility of a lawsuit should the town enact a moratorium.

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