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Perrys Corners logging tests new zoning

AMENIA — Members of the town’s Conservation Advisory Council (CAC), the town supervisor and the Planning Board discussed the harvesting activities last month on Perrys Corners Road at the board’s April 29 Planning Board meeting.

The town had previously halted work after discovering that Mid Hudson Forest Products was harvesting without site plan review by the Planning Board, a fairly new (2007) change to the town’s zoning laws.

The Kildonan School owns the property that was harvested, and most of the land is located in North East, where there are no zoning law restrictions on logging. Amenia realized the work on its side of the town line was being done illegally after harvesting had already been completed. The harvesting company, in a previous Millerton News article, acknowledged that it was simply a matter of not knowing that the zoning laws were in place, as many surrounding municipalities have yet to adopt similar zoning laws.

Planning Board Chair Bill Flood said Mid Hudson has given the town a $2,500 escrow check and has filed the proper paperwork for a permit, despite being after the fact.

Town Supervisor Wayne Euvrard pointed out that there was quite a bit of run-off that he felt was created by the project and had entered Cascade Brook. He wondered if there was any additional damage and whether the town could pursue the cost of damages in court.

Attorney to the Town Michael Hayes said it was important to contact the town’s forester, Doug Raney, first, and make sure erosion control was taken care of. Amenia could decide in the future if it is worthwhile to pursue court action, Hayes said, but the town reacted fairly quickly and there was a good chance the monetary amount from fines would be low.

Dave Reagon, CAC chairman, said that the harvesting site, compounded by rainy weather immediately after the harvesting, “was a mess, but it’s a messy business.”

“We set this up in the zoning process not to be negative [against harvesting], just so that it’s done properly,” CAC member Mark Doyle added. This incident was an indication of how well the zoning laws work, so the town can “see where the problems are and try to iron them out.”

Flood said that Brian Arico from Mid Hudson Forest Products has been good about working with the town to rectify the situation.

“Doug said he would have never allowed them to log when they did, but other than that they just got off on the wrong foot,” he reiterated, adding that he felt the company had no bad intentions.

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