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Bus company responds to violation notice

May 30th, 2012

“I’m concerned about the fact that this map is not showing a buffer and our code says there should be a buffer,” said Crawford Planning Board Chairperson Linda Zwart.

The Planning Board addressed several issues arising with the First Student Bus Company, located on Depot Street, at their meeting last week. The bus company had received a violation notice and engineer John Tarolli appeared on their behalf before the board.

It was Tarolli’s position that the business did not have to provide a buffer because it predated the town’s zoning code, making the lack of a buffer a “pre-existing non-conforming condition.”

“I don’t like the fact that buses are so close to the property line,” said Planning Board member Barbara Edmunds, noting that the neighboring property is residential and the parking area comes right up to the property line.

Another area of concern about the operation was that the company had apparently filled in a section of the property. Tarolli told the board that it had been used for fill for “many, many years” and presented some aerial photos to the board dating back to the eighties.

A copy of a letter from the DEC stating that their operation could continue was also presented to the board (both federal and state wetlands adjoin the business).

Tarolli also advised the board that as of the meeting, there were 54 large buses and 46 short, but that they could never say exactly how many of each would be on the property as the number fluctuates day to day.

Ben Gailey, the Planning Board’s attorney, stated that the question of whether the lack of a buffer was a pre-existing condition may be a decision for the ZBA.

The board decided to take a look at the code and have both the planner and engineer for the Planning Board take a look at the plans and information and report back to the board.

The issue is to return before the board at their June 27 meeting.

By Rachel Coleman

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