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Brant Local Law established

BRANT — The Brant Town Board has placed regulations on public utility companies establishing temporary residence in town with Local Law No. 1 for 2014.

The law, which seeks to ‘allow the town of Brant Code Enforcement Officer to issue special permits allowing public utilities to establish temporary storage or service yards in any district in the town of Brant,’ came to be after some concern was raised about the presence of National Fuel, who were in town repairing a number of decades old gas leaks.

“This really came about because National Fuel came in to repair some lines in this town that have been leaking for 30-40 years, and while we’re happy that they are here doing that, we don’t want them setting up their business on farmland and being here for long periods of time on private land,” Supervisor Leonard Pero said.

National Fuel set up a temporary staging/parking area on the property of Dale John for their transmission pipeline replacement project. Pero raised concerns on whether or not they would be placing down millings, etc. or anything that would alter the agricultural landscape. He was assured by National Fuel representatives that they would return the property to its original state.

“Utility companies come into the community and they have their right of ways and they can come in their pipes and all kinds of equipment, and if they aren’t regulated to a point, they could end up being in an area for years,” Pero said.

“And our intent is that we welcome them to come in and fix their lines but there are certain conditions, such as no longer than six months, so that they can come in and get their work done. We have a lot of farmland, we’re 80 percent agricultural, and we don’t need the disruption of our properties to be permanent fixtures such as parking areas.”

The new local law amends section 161-39.C of the Brant Zoning Code to add a new paragraph that reads ‘the town board delegates to the Code Enforcement Officer authority to issue temporary special permits for service or storage yards required by one or more public utilities for temporary work projects in the vicinity of the proposed service or storage yard site. For purposes of this section, a “temporary work project” shall mean a project which will not exceed six (6) months duration. The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to set reasonable conditions for such permits to mitigate possible impacts on neighboring properties and will follow the standards set forth above the required buffer strip when such requirements are determined by the CEO as not reasonable or necessary given the temporary character of the service of storage and the proximity of the yard to neighboring uses.’

Initially, National Fuel did not contact the town, instead contacting the homeowner directly.

“I think what happened was that things just got off on the wrong foot,” Councilman Jeffery Gier said. “The town wasn’t informed of what was going on, and I’m sure the board doesn’t have a problem with you getting the utilities back up and running. I can’t see holding things up. I think we are all looking for the property to be put back to the way it used to be when you’re done, that’s all.”

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