Opinion: Cortlandville should scrap proposed gas station law

On May 17, the Cortlandville Town Board began to address the issue of the “gas station over the aquifer law “ which they have been trying to pass for more than a year.

At the April 5 public hearing on the gas station law, many residents told the Cortlandville Town Board that there is no public need for more gas stations and that building gas stations over the aquifer could endanger our sole source aquifer because a proliferation of gas stations over the aquifer and in flood plains would increase risks to the aquifer from equipment failures, leaks, accidents, floods, and human error.

Furthermore, residents pointed out that the proposed law is in conflict with existing planning documents, and that it is spot zoning, which is illegal.

The Cortland County Planning Board and the Cortlandville Planning Board both recommended against the proposed law.

Related: Cortlandville considers lifting ban on new gas stations in aquifer zoning district

Astoundingly, at the May 17 Cortlandville Town Board meeting, Town Supervisor Richard Tupper and Town Board member John Proud verbalized that it is not the responsibility of the Cortland County Planning Board or the Cortlandville Town Board or Cortlandville Planning Board to decide if there is a need for more gas stations or not. They suggested that developers who want to build gas stations should make that decision. Say what?

If Cortlandville had followed the State Environment Quality Review process, the evidence would be clear that the law needs to be scrapped.

Pam Jenkins

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