Mining law will be discussed

MAYFIELD- Officials from the Town Board will discuss a new law to allow mining in the town during their July board meeting.

Richard Argotsinger, the town supervisor, said the board would go forward with a public hearing on a proposed town law to allow excavation for soil mining and special use permits.

The hearing, scheduled for July 17 at 6:45 p.m., will allow members of the public to discuss the plan.

During February’s meeting, town Code Enforcer Michael Stewart told the board Bradley Reed, who owns vacant land on Route 30, wants to dig gravel and sand out of a 30-acre property. Since the town does not have any rules for mining, a special-use permit would be needed to allow Reed to dig the gravel.

Under the town’s current zoning law, Reed is prohibited from mining because the property is in an agricultural zone.

Waiting for the Zoning Commission to alter the town’s zoning to allow Reed’s mining project could take up to a year.

Argotsinger said there are three companies doing soil excavation in the town, but they were around before the zoning law was put into effect.

The zoning law, which altered a 2005 law governing zoning, adds regulations for soil mining and a process to get a special use permit.

According to the law, soil mining will be allowed only by special use permit and would be subject to state and federal regulations. A site map and excavation plan would be needed. Cement and asphalt plants, along with chemical processing, would be prohibited.

A special-use permit would be issued by the town Planning Board after state Department of Environmental Conservation approval.

Stewart said the permit law could be used for other applications, such as for a cell tower, rather than just mining.

Argotsinger said there could be changes to the law after the public hearing, but did not expect any major objections. He said the change should be useful.

“I think it is just something the town of Mayfield should have as a law [allowing soil mining and special use permits],” Argotsinger said.