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Parishville Town Supervisor will talk to town attorney about sand gravel pit

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PARISHVILLE - A Parishville resident seeking a special use permit for a sand and gravel pit on the Russell Turnpike Road is turning to the town board after his proposal was rejected by the town’s Planning Board.

“I came to the planning board for a special use permit for my sand pit, and I was denied. I understand that the town board can overrule the planning board,” Tim Randall noted during an appearance at this week’s town board meeting.

Town Supervisor Jerry G. Moore informed Mr. Randall that the town board does have the final say on any sort of decision, but he said he would like the two boards to hold a joint meeting to discuss the matter. The town board could over rule the planning board with a majority plus one vote, meaning it would need the support of at least four of the five members of the town council.

“It’s a hard thing to overrule the planning board. I have to talk to them and we have to know exactly what’s going on and if there’s more information they need. To override them I would have to talk to them,” he said.

Planning board member Fred Wilhelm was in attendance for this week’s town board meeting and said that this is not the first time that someone has requested permission for a gravel pit in the Russell Turnpike area.

“In the past history there’s been some other requests for gravel pits in that area, and there’s been a lot of opposition for use on the Russell Turnpike Road. A guy on the Benson Road was given a variance for a gravel pit and the (Zoning Board of Appeals) put a stipulation on there that he couldn’t haul gravel on the Russell Turnpike Road,” Mr. Wilhelm said.

“Which they are. That’s not being enforced,” Mr. Randall claimed.

“Here’s the situation,” Mr. Wilhelm said. “We checked with the county planning office and they told us, ‘You can’t restrict one person and then allow another person to use that road. You’re being prejudicial.’ So because the board restricted one gravel pit operator, we can’t allow another operator to use it if we restricted one already. Upon checking on this, we found it was only the (Zoning Board of Appeals) that can revise their previous decision and they’d have to have a public hearing. So that’s why we did what we did. We didn’t want to get the town in trouble.”

Mr. Moore noted that in the previous example vehicles had two ways to exit the property, while in Mr. Randall’s case there is only one. That being said, he explained that it would be best if he met with town attorney Roger A. Linden to review the issue.

Town Councilman Conrad Cook was outspoken in support of Mr. Randall’s cause.

“Tim and his family have tried since last December I believe (with this). ... I think we’re too restrictive. His family is trying to make a living, and I think we should try and accommodate him,” Mr. Cook said. “We had a town board meeting, I believe it was in March, and we all voted to make it so he could have a gravel business.

“They’ve paid their taxes for years and years, worked for the school for 30 years and retired. He’d like to do something on his own for his family and we are shutting him down and that ain’t right,” he added.

While in agreement with Mr. Cook, Mr. Moore said that it was a legal issue. Councilman Rodney G. Votra reached out to offer assistance in contacting Mr. Linden.

“If you want Jerry, I’ll work with you on that. We can check with Roger, see if we are ok to go back to the board,” Mr. Votra said.

“I’ll make a couple of phone calls and see if going to the planning board is the best way to approach this,” Mr. Moore said. “If Rodney and I get answers, we may call a special meeting. So I’ll wait to talk to the board and get something done before a month or two goes by.”

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