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Red-StaterWisdoms explores the differences between the Red and Blue states on social, personal and political issues.

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Lindley Town Planning Board Meeting-May

Mary asked the visitors if there was any Public Comment. Jack Smith’s concern was the mining permit application approved by the DEC. Jake Gross asked how long must a notice of a public meeting be posted in the newspaper prior to the meeting? Mary stated that the public must be notified five days prior to the hearing. Jake stated that the ZBA, Zoning Board Application, meeting regarding the storage shed for Steve Ritter on River Road is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17 and does not meet the five day public notice requirement and is therefore illegal. Mary stated the storage shed request never came before the Planning Board.

The CEO Permit Summary for April included the following: James Potter a deck, Manley Davis storage, Corey Plumley a three-car garage, Lanny Plumley a two-car garage, Deborah Smith moving a 1981 single wide and Ira Stiles replacing a dry well.

Mary stated the Town of Lindley has received a letter from the NYSDEC regarding: Notice of Complete Application stating they have completed their initial review of a Mined Land Reclamation permit application submitted by Fred J. Robbins for the development and operation of a new 22.8 acre sand and gravel mine. The mine site is on the east side of County Route 120, approximately 500-feet north of the Lindley-Lawrenceville Road intersection. A Public Hearing is scheduled for June 20, 2005.

As this application was never presented to the Planning Board prior to DEC’s approval, the Board has many unanswered questions and must study the impact of this operation on the neighborhood, roads, etc.

Jack Smith noted that in 2002 Harry Pierce and Fred Robbins applied for a permit but never appeared before the Planning Board.

Other questions and concerns include: Who owns the property? Where are the property boundaries? Where is the small cemetery that is known to be on the property? What about water run-off, traffic control as the property entrance is near a blind curve. Can the Lawrenceville Road handle heavy truck traffic and can large trucks make the necessary turns onto River Road without blocking the entire roadway? Where is 24-feet road right of way? Maximum permit grade is 12%, the road site is very steep. Is the Town obligated in case of an accident with a gravel hauler?

Mary will invite the Steuben County Highway Superintendent to the Public Hearing scheduled for June 20.

Mary also invited Glen Hobacker who owns Indian Hills gravel and recently purchased Joe Young’s property near Manley Hill Road to attend a Planning Board meeting.

The Lawrenceville Town Board has asked that Brownie’s Mini Mart be checked for possible violations with the paving of the back lot. Since the paving was done some residences now get water in their basements after a heavy rain.

Respectfully submitted,
Janice Oberlander
Recording Clerk


Anonymous Marc said...

Mary the cemetary i think you are refering to is on the Knoll behind the gray Watson house .It was surrounded by wrought iron fence.If you go to the back of house near the tie retaining wall and look up in the thorn apples you should be able to see the fence.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assume the planning board members treat everyone with an open mind. Were these same questions asked of the company that bought the Young's gravel pit? I don't recall seeing anything about that permit.
Which member of the Gross family is on the planning board

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The town has not received an application from Houbacker's, nor has it received any notice of an application from DEC concerning this company. Until an application is sought the planning board cannot act unless there is mining started. Then it is up to the CEO to put a stop work order on the activity. Since Houbacker is a national mining company they are well aware of New Tork State requirements and they will be asked the same questions when they apply for a conditional use permit. If the naysayers attended meetings they would know that every effort is made to treat every applicant the same. Because someone brings up a point of legality doesn't mean they are against the requested action, only that in fairness to all the law be followed as to public posting of a hearing. Because some chairs are new to the process there are bound to mishaps and once pointed out they are corrected. As I have said many times, it is so easy to sit back and gripe instead of getting the facts.


9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Town of Lindley people unite and vote against all the town board that is up for reelection. Vote for people who are for the people of lindley not for themselves. Even if they run unapossed do not vote for any of the current members.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Why do you say that all the board members currently up for re-election are in it "just for themselves and not for the people of Lindley?"

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They as the town board have allowed some people to be put on the board and have allowed them to as you know sally ride around town and take notes on the lindley people so they must condone the actions taken by their members as i have not seen any board members state that they do not approve of the actions of their members have you? so just maybe it is time to find somrone to replace them. anybody care to try and change my mind?

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess its who asks the questions whether or not it is acceptable.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

look at what the town board has done to the people of lawrenceville by allowing bob brown to make a truck stop here. the town has been a dust bowl-truck traffic in and out of his store making road conditions unsafe- the noise level of the trucks staying over night and now possible flooding of peoples cellars.all this with a welcome center to be built just up the road where wishing well use to be! i hope all the trucks use the welcome center when it is built and the people can have lawrenceville back some wounds will be long to heal between lawrenceville and lindley for some people.

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

The heart of this debate is whether or not it's appropriate for Town Officials to ride around town looking for code violations and then reporting them to the board. It is an "issue" worth discussing because it keeps coming up on the blog. Maybe what the town board and planning board need to do is "develop a policy" on this matter by listening to the citizens of Lindley who: 1.)Think it's totally appropriate for Town Officials to cruise Lindley looking for violations and: 2.) Those in town who think it is a violation of personal rights and are offended when officials "spy" on them.

People in town should decide which side of the fence they're on and debate the issue accordingly to persuade Town Officials one way or another in order to develop a policy that would be accepted by the "majority". I don't think this is unreasonable, and it may very well settle the matter once and for all.

Rather than "name call" debate the issue that's totally legitimate and has at least two different points of view.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Marc said...

Sally -I would like to say i think its never appropriate to spy on your neighbors to cause trouble but on the other hand we all are curious and notice changes new decks ,garages home improvements,new live stock etc and all these things are ok with me to each his own. What ever makes each tax paying family happy .We all do the best we can .And i think we are a diverse community with a large difference in income that effects how we live and what improvements we may be able to afford.We all pay taxes so all contribute to the town even if some are hillbillys like me!I also would like to say a new board member has been activley on his own time measuring and surveying and trying to calculate the towns new salt shed and pole building i have even seen him on Sundays down at the highway garage measuring .So our board is trying to make improvements for the town.Lets not overlook the positive the board does.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Well said, Marc. Your comment was rich with insight into our town. We are a diverse lot, always have been. And we have a curiousity about each other that is usually healthy because we really do care about our neighbors and the town in general. I for one have a strong "ownership" mentality about the well being of the town. I think that's because my family roots run deep, and I know others in town who feel the same way. I've said this before, but my front yard extends outward to the entire community of Lindley and stops at the four boundries. So if something is out of order at the north end of town, it is out of order for me. So when someone adds a deck, like you said, I notice because I feel my "house/yard" has been improved. Likewise, when someone trashes their property in town, I feel my property has been trashed. Right or wrong, that feeling is brought on by the "ownership syndrome" I spoke about.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's one thing to be interested and another to be a tattle =tail.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sally i do not believe as you do that my front yard is the whole town i believe what someone does to their property is none of my buisness.Just as i believe it is none of the spies in town buisness. Is it not the code enforcement officer's job to enforce the town codes? Maybe it would be better for the spies to report to the code officer in stead of making them at town board meetings is it not his job? or are they reporting these violators in public to boast on how perfict they are or to show us they are doing their job to seek out votes for reelection? May be a town order for these people to report to only the code officer is in order what say you other town people?

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Years ago I would've agreed with you that whatever anyone did or didn't do on their property was their business, and certainly none of my business. But it was easy to do back then because almost everyone in town took care of their places. Even the poorest amongest us still took pride in their places. However, standards have changed over the years. Many people don't care what their places look like. Social standards like pride, respect for your neighbor, "cleanliness is next to godliness" and personal responsibility are slowly being removed from our consciousness. Instead of reinforcing these standards, our culture has developed an aversion to holding people accountable for their actions.It's always justified by a "civil liberties/personal rights" counter position--- "It's my property and I'll do what I want with it." But that's really not true anymore because every town has zoning laws now. We essentially lost our property rights years ago when zoning was approved. This may come as a surprise, but I'm not a big fan of zoning laws. I find them intrusive, generally anti-business and very dangerous in the wrong hands. The most powerful board in town is not the town board, it is the planning board because it has so much power over an individual's rights. But I've come to accept zoning laws as necessary especially since our own Comprehensive Plan was re-written by a group of people who clearly understood that Lindley should be kept rural. They artfully crafted the document to uphold the majority opinion that was revealed in the Resident Survey. However, if I remember right, a little more than half of the respondents to the Survey wanted the town to enforce stricter standards on citizens who violated the junk laws. Our Code Enforcement Officer has been attempting to ticket offenders ever since the results of the Survey were posted. And I, like you, believe it is the CEO's job to determine who is in violation and to take action against violators. The point is, the CEO must "spy" on us to do his job. I do think it is a good idea for the the Town Board/Planning Board to develop a "policy" on just who should "report code violations". I think a well thought out policy would relieve the tension this issue always generates. In fact, I'm going to create a "poll" that ask 1.)Should the CEO be the only one that reports code violations or 2.) Should ordinary citizens be allowed to report code violations? That might give us some answers.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said-couldn't have done better myself.I admit that the way some people care for their property goes against my grain,but we all know there are good house keepers and that there are "Packrats". We might as well admit there are some folks who don't know the difference of neatness and trash and that they probably never will change.

We talk out of both sides of our mouth when we make a big issue of talking about teaching children "TOLERANCE". Do we practice this ourselves??????

There are 3 solutions the way I see it. (1)Offer assistance,(2)look the other way,OR(3)move to one of the restricted communities where everyone paints their house the same color. If you look around you-most unrestricted communities have some kind of blight area. There are just those type of people.

As the old teaching goes " There but for the grace of God go you". If it makes you happy to gripe and complain-be my guest. I will try to practice tolerance.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a resident of your town, but am interested in the above comments. Not being familiar with your system of disposing of residence unwanted items or trash or junk-it seems your town is having a problem along this line. Has your town board ever considered holding a community wide clean-up day where trash is put out on the curb. I have seen this done in other places. It is unbelieveable how much people dispose of and how many people help themselves to what others put out. It does seem to get rid of a lot of stuff one way or the other. Just a thought from an outsider.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a lot of this issue boils down to each persons matter of opinion.what i may say as not acceptable housekeeping you may say as alright. for example since we are a farm community lets look at a farm some may say a farm is a beautiful place and a part of our heritage. others may say a farm is a junk riddled place with equiptment - rodent infested breeding ground with their buildings and food sources and a stinking place with the cow dung that is spread on fields for all of us to smell. you see it all is a matter of opinion. we need a code officer than is fair to everyone and not several little narcs running oround town narcing on people because the do not live up to only their opinion of how the people of lindley should be allowed to live

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:02 AM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Yes, perception is everything. And every man to his own opinion. But there's something going on here I think we need to address, and that's the "break down of social standards". I know that sounds like a loft opinion and doesn't seem to have much to do with how a person takes care of his place....but it does.

A civilized society functions to everyone's benefit if there are standards and laws in place. Without laws we would have anarchy where everyone does exactly as they please. There are laws on the books that were created to address issues such as junk places to keep properties and the landscape somewhat orderly, or to put it another way---ward off blight.

Like I said earlier, years ago people operated more from social mores/ethics instilled in them by religious principles than by civil laws. There was no need to pass civil laws to "make people keep their properties neat and orderly". A strong Puritan/religious belief system was all that was needed for members of a community to keep up their properties.

At some point this social standard broke down and the need for civil laws came into practice, hence the birth of zoning and junk laws across the country. As the decades past, personal value systems and standards relaxed and in some cases, were totally rejected. The social stigmas were gone. And these stigmas that worked so well in the past to keep people "in line" or conforming to society are being replaced with moral relativism. Which means exactly what some of you have been saying, "that one man may see a farm as a beautiful operation, while another man sees a farm as nothing more than a cluttered, stinky mess." How a person sees the farm is "relative to his point of view." Moral relativism allows each point of view as legitimate and no one's opinion is wrong.

Now the type of society you get when there are no social standards or a well defined moral code for people to adhere to is a society without a good sense of what is right and what is wrong. Moral relativism in its purest form ask that we "judge no one." So the man that destroys his property with junk and garbage and neglect is as right as the man who maintains and improves his property.

We are evolving into a society where there is no right or wrong. We are losing the ability to uphold traditional standards. We are engaged in a "culture war". We have already experienced the break down of many social standards. You may think that how a person keeps his place has nothing to do with the "culture war", but it does. Years ago social stigmas worked, now they don't. Now we must rely on laws to take the place of social stigmas.But laws only work if they are enforced, and if you have a populace that doesn't want them enforced because of a moral relativism mentality, then we have a problem. I'm saying, we have a problem.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sally, you are right we have a problem. Perhaps your blog is the start of it. People have found a way to throw stones and not have to be accountable for what they say or have FACTS to back what they say. In every small town you have those who get involved and try to help make the community better. Then you have those who are too lazy or too jealous of the workers so they have to make up stories to try and damage the workers reputations all in the name of anonymous. Well I too shall remain anonymous because I don't want the gripers to throw stones at my home. Congratulations to all the members of the boards who are doing the best they know how and get little thanks in return for their efforts.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Sage said...

Perhaps those who complain about their neighbor's rubbish could dig deep into their pockets and make a Transfer Station ticket donation to the ones they are complaining about.

As to the last comment,there are those who are community minded and their are those who do it to toot their own horn and try to control others.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being poor doesn't have anything to do with being neat.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Sage, unless you personally know the person and have conversed with them you are making assumptions or relying on gossip to form your opinions. I also have felt the way you do until I got to know the person and I had to admit I was wrong in my assumptions. That is what appears to be happening in your town. Residents should stop being complacent and get involved if they really want to make a difference. How many of the naysayers in your town have attended meetings, unless there was a problem in their backyard? How many residents know and understand the laws of the town? How many residents know how many of those laws are mandated by the state? What is SEQR? If you aren't knowledgeable about government and how it works you are not capable of making an informed decision. If more people would get informed it might just make a bad situation better but it takes a whole community working together, not name calling, to make that happen.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Sage said...

Actions speak louder than words. And I have seen these people in action.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be sure to read the leader Editorial in Leader 6/2/05. Whether or not you agree with being anonymous is the proper way, there are times when subjects need to be addressed. As I read it,the way to report conditions in town have been abused and there are those who resent the ways it which it has been done. So some of these people have resorted to the blogger to express their feelings. If someone had nipped the actions in the beginning, the resentments would not have festered so long and complaints on the blogger would not have been necessary.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

I’m sorry that some of you are offended by those who choose to comment behind the cloak of anonymity, but that is the nature of a blog. I can at any point “shut the comment option off”, but I don’t want to at this juncture in the road. I know blogging is new to most everyone in town, and I, like you, am learning how best to manage the comments. It ain’t been easy for me as I’m sure it hasn’t been for some of you. I sweat bullets every day when I open up the comments, but overall I’ve been very pleased with how you have been using the blog to voice your opinions. This is an experiment to be sure, and I’m counting on people’s good manners and sense of propriety to keep the blog free from malicious comments. We will get better at this. Because a person can comment anonymously political ideas, issues and opinions are brought out into the light of day that otherwise would remain behind closed doors, or more likely, travel along on the gossip train unattended collecting misinformation, misrepresentation and distortion. The point is: No opinion or action in local government remains “anonymous” for long in a small town. The blog provides a format to challenge and discuss issues that occur in town. I’d like to think of that as a good thing.

We have been discussing very distinct positions concerning the “reporting of code violators and the issue of junk” in the Town of Lindley.

Some comments are coming from those who are defending the rights of a landowner to do whatever they please with their property and basically for everyone else, town officials and neighbors to mind their own business. This is a legitimate political point of view.

Others, myself included, are taking the position that “extremely junky property owners”, and I emphasize the word “extreme” must clean up their places for the overall good of the town. Again, this is a legitimate political point of view.

Since there are laws on the books to enforce junk property owners to comply, those of us who want to encourage junk violators to clean-up by whatever means, i.e. a community day clean up or instituting some of the other ideas that have been suggested by commenters, and only as a last resort violators should be prosecuted.

However, the most contentious debate is occurring over “who should report code violators” which is a legitimate question. I maintain that this issue should be addressed and resolved by either the Town Board or the Planning Board or jointly. I also think it would be beneficial for Town Officials to define what constitutes a “junk property”. There are numerous opinions on this subject. We should probably start by reading the Junk Law itself to better understand what it says to establish the criteria for junk properties. I’m going down to the Town Hall today, and I’ll pick up a copy of the Junk Law and reprint it on the blog. But like so many laws, they are open for interpretation, that’s why I think we need to better define what a junk property is in the Town of Lindley using the Junk Law as a guide. And the fact that we do not have a full time Code Enforcement Officer should be considered in the discussion.

Many times in Lindley’s history, small groups of citizens have come together to resolve local problems. There’s a lot of good commonsense brain power in this town and we should take advantage of it, especially concerning the “junk” issue. It seems to be in the forefront of many citizens minds.

So let’s not poke each other in the eye and start working on resolutions- if that’s what citizens and Town Officials want. If anyone else “out there” has other ideas on how best to resolve the problem, I’d like to hear them. I will contact our officials and pass your ideas along to them.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Why dosen't someone contact the towns of Tuscarora,Campbell,Pulteney,Corning, other local towns to see what methods they are using? Their methods sound feasible to me.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Note new additions to a former pasture in Presho.

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

On the front page of The Leader today 6/3 there is a story about Corning cracking down on junk cars and properties. The headline read, "Junk cars, high grass targeted". I'd post the link but The Leader didn't post the story on their web page.

The article stated: Common reasons for citations include
-Weeds and grass higher than 10 inches
-Property with excess garbage, dying trees or brush that could pose a fire hazard.
-Deteriorating fences, garages or other structures.
-Open basement or window entrances that would allow rodents or water to enter.

Violators will have the option of correcting the problem or paying for the city to fix it.

I don't know. Sounds a bit picky to me, mostly because I'm in violation of all of them right now, except for the junk car violation.

12:38 PM  

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