Oxford proposes changes to zoning ordinance

OXFORD – The Oxford Town Board convened for its final regular board meeting Wednesday – the last regularly scheduled board meeting before Oxford residents head to the polls during the general elections in November.

With the New York State moratorium on high volume hydraulic fracturing still in effect, the decision of whether or not the process will ever be permitted or banned in the township remains at the forefront for many Oxford area residents. Fueling that concern were several proposed changes to the town’s zoning ordinance that were brought to the table during Wednesday’s meeting.

The Town of Oxford zoning ordinance has not been updated since 2007 and has been a point of contention since local municipalities enacted home rule to decide the fate of gas drilling in the area.

Among the proposed changes, a motion to omit the phrase “drilling for gas and oil” from the town’s R-1 (residential district), RR-2 (residential-recreational district) and RM-3 (mobile home district) zoning ordinance laws. In addition, the board also favored a proposal to take “special exception” decisions for property use away from the authority of the Oxford Board of Appeals and instead, put it in the hands of the town board.

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