(For more on this post, please see Brenda Seldin’s description of her conversation with Cochecton Supervisor Gary Maas and Jennifer Canfield’s list of banks pulling back from providing mortgages on leased properties.)
Breathing Is Political received this notice in this morning’s email:
“The Town of Cochecton is proposing to change their zoning code to allow for the “Exploration and recovery of natural gas shall also be considered an extraction operation.” This will be allowed throughout most of the town (approximately 90%) in the RU and AC zones. This will include almost the entire Delaware River Valley. To my knowledge it has not had the required SEQR review, comments by the County Planning Department, etc. I received a copy to review as a member of the planning board.
I urge all of you who might be concerned to start getting involved and informed now. It is easier to make an impact at the beginning before momentum is gained in support. Please pass the information along to all others you know who may be concerned.
Under the current zoning only surface mining is permitted.”
Although Breathing has not found a website for the Town of Cochecton, here is the contact information:
TOWN OF COCHECTON
Town Board Meetings:
2nd Wednesday, 7:00 P.M.
Town Hall: (845) 932-8360
FAX: (845) 932-7938
Interested parties may contact the Town Hall to receive zoning maps. Breathing is headed to the County Planning Office as soon as it drinks its coffee.
All residents should be concerned about this information received from a local realtor:
“I had a customer inform me two days ago that the home equity loan they were obtaining in order to purchase a small investment piece near them was turned down by GMAC because their home property was under a gas lease. I dug a little further and found through mortgage brokers that that they are encountering the same reluctance on the part of some local and some bigger banks to lend on leased properties. I hope those who have signed leases have figured this into the equation. A similar example would be as in the case of Flood Zone properties for whom the Flood Insurance program was withdrawn, banks would also not lend on those. In the real estate world, things like this are a huge consideration in factoring property values. Just thought some people might not be aware of this trend by lenders.”
And, as has been reported by Breathing previously, the Federal Housing Administration issued this warning:
Operating and abandoned oil and gas wells pose potential hazards to housing, including potential fire, explosion, spray and other pollution. Therefore, no dwelling may be located closer than 300 feet from an active or planned drilling site or 75 feet from an operating well; this applies to the site boundary, not to the actual well location.