China City Update
On 30 March 2016, the Basha Kill Area Association (BKAA) announced some much appreciated success in their efforts to prevent the China City of America (CCOA) from well-drilling activities on their “Thompson Education Center” site. BKAA announced that the Town of Thompson has denied critical Well-Drilling Permits to the CCOA. This prevents CCOA/TEC from drilling seven (7) test wells and bulldozing an extensive road network throughout its 568-acre property without DEC and Town permits. Unfortunately, the Town of Fallsburg had lifted its stop-work-order on TEC work on an access road. Thompson’s actions add a layer of protection.
Notably, a year ago, the BKAA and partners, including the YLPA, advised Thompson town officials against issuing drilling permits since the necessary DEC and Town approvals were still outstanding. Happily, those letters positively influenced the Building Department’s current decision.
BKAA reinforced our concerns on 3/25/2016 via consulting attorney, John Lyons, to Thompson’s Planning Board, commending the Building Department and reminding the board of their ongoing responsibilities as Lead Agency for TEC’s environmental review (see Lyons attachment).
While this is great news, TEC is still alive and lobbying hard for their project. Meanwhile, W.I.R. Associates, the owners of the property abutting the Yankee Lake “Whales Tail”, has sued the Town of Mamakating over the changes to zoning that were implemented last year. While the citizens of the Town, including numerous Yankee Lake residents, were a strong voice last summer, W.I.R. is not accepting the will of the people without a fight.
It is extremely important that Yankee Lake community remain vigilant and vocal moving forward. Town meetings are planned for Spring and Summer regarding the update to the Town’s Master Plan. We will look to our community for another strong showing as public comment is sought. Meanwhile, the YLPA will continue to work closely with the BKAA and the Rock Hill Community Coalition to fight these inappropriate developments.