Over the past thirty years, the people of Stony Creek have stood together to stop the passage of local laws that certain well-to-do people felt they needed to protect them from having to look at us and our sometimes modest houses, along with the things that we do on our property that do not appeal to them. Unlike the rest of us, these people have the money to buy anything they want without having to keep things around like we do to fix them up and keep them running. These people definitely do not live in mobile homes or houses they built by themselves over several years.
By standing together, we've beaten a "local" mobile home ordinance composed by outside professionals, an overzealous planning board, a so-called "junk law," and other harsh laws. We even played a big part in stopping the extreme APA laws in 1990 that were proposed by then-Gov. Cuomo's Twenty-first Century Commission. All of these laws had two things in common. They were instigated by people who are financially well off, and would have made it hard for us to go about our way of life. While defeating these laws, we have kept Stony Creek as a place where families are welcome, and our town is flourishing.
Each time laws like these were proposed, the town board was made of mainly working people or people who had retired from a lifetime of work. They turned down new laws that would have benefited a few people at the expense of the rest of us. Now, things are different. We have a new resident who bought 557 acres, tore down the old homestead, built a new house in the middle of the property, moved into town, got elected to the town board, and wants to institute zoning in Stony Creek (as though the APA zoning is not enough!). It is obvious by private remarks of this town board member that the zoning idea is being done piecemeal, starting with a junk law being voted on by the town board on May 25. This town board member asked that the minutes of a recent town board meeting be corrected because it quoted her mentioning zoning, but a future review of the tape revealed that she did say the words that she wanted deleted.
Town board members have said that some of the details of the junk law are too harsh, but they are still going ahead with it for the hearing. Many people with a few unlicensed cars or trucks on their property will find themselves owning "junk yards" by the definition of junk yard in this law. There are a lot of other details about how many unlicensed vehicles and pieces of old equipment a person can own and where. Read this detailed "masterpiece," which the town attorney publicly thanked this same councilwoman for getting the help of the APA to compose. You would not be able to have a single unlicensed vehicle within 500 ft. from any public building, church (even a house church), or place of public gathering. These and other confusing, complicated rules would pretty much close down the ownership of an unlicensed car, pickup truck, logging vehicle, or old equipment in significant parts of Stony Creek.
I cannot believe that a majority of our town board really supports this law. For instance, some town board members were told the false information that if this law is passed, it means that the APA and the State Uniform Building Code do not apply to old vehicles. They incorrectly understood that the new law would make it easier on the people by taking jurisdiction away from the County Building Inspector and the APA!
Please come to the Town Hall on Tuesday May 25 at 7:00 p.m. to tell the town board that you do not want more rules from people with deep pockets about how you can live on your private property.