Many Saugerties residents, particularly those in the more rural parts of the town, burn firewood for winter heating or just for exercise,” Supervisor Fred Costello said at the Saugerties Town Board meeting of December 14. The existing law has some areas that are vague, and could possibly land a homeowner in trouble or cause him or her to not burn firewood because of this vagueness. The Town Board is planning to make the law more specific, to ensure that people can burn firewood and it will frame it in a way that will not have a negative impact.”
During the initial public comment period, Brandon Schiller said the board had already held several public hearings on the issue, and wanted to know why another was needed. Costello explained that during the discussion of the law a number of issues were raised, and the law was amended to reflect comments that were made by the Ulster County Planning Board and the town’s planning consultant.
Schiller said he was concerned that a specific decibel level for wood processing had been dropped from the original law. The law as originally proposed specified 60 decibels; Schiller said he is concerned that the specification was removed from the final law.
Councilman Mike Ivino said there was a restriction on decibel levels and a restriction on burning, and the board wanted it to allow the burning of by-products. “It also set a limit on burning of 100 cords, but it did not give a time line. And that was it.” Ivino said he does not believe these issues were sufficient to require another public hearing; the decibel change was the issue that required one, and that has been dropped. Councilwoman Leeanne Thornton said “there was a comment from the planner that setting decibel levels would ensure that due diligence is given in siting and permitting and the use of loud equipment.”
Costello said it makes sense to set the public hearings. Should it turn out they are not necessary, the board could go ahead and adopt the law, but if they must be held it would be good to have them on the schedule.
The town’s attorneys advised the board that the amendments were sufficient to require new public hearings, Costello said. The board voted to hold hearings at 6:30 p.m. at the January 18, 2023 and February 8, 2023 on the “special use permit requirement for lumber and wood processing facilities.”
The public hearing in January 18 will be preceded by a public hearing at 6 p.m. on the franchise agreement with Charter Communications