[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Canandaigua 2-10-2014 by L.L. No. 1-2014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the health, safety, welfare, and property of the residents of the Town of Canandaigua as well as the Town's public resources by prohibiting land uses related to the exploration for, extraction of and storage of natural gas, petroleum and similar hydrocarbon-based resources, which are inconsistent with the character of the Town and its adopted plans, and the effects of which would constitute a significant detriment to public health and safety if not prohibited.
The Town Board of the Town of Canandaigua is vested by the State of New York to regulate and control land use within the Town and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its residents. The Board hereby finds the following:
Land uses related to the extraction and storage of natural gas, petroleum and similar hydrocarbon-based resources as defined in this chapter would be incompatible with existing land uses and the Town's adopted plans:
Incompatibility with Comprehensive Plan and supplement.
The Town of Canandaigua is a rapidly growing but still predominantly rural community, which takes great pride in its small-town character, agrarian culture, and history. The Town's 2005 Comprehensive Plan and 2011 Comprehensive Plan Supplement express the Town's priority to protect its rural character and beauty by safeguarding its natural, scenic, historic and cultural resources and promoting growth that is complementary to existing land use patterns. Specifically, the plans include the following goals:
2005 Plan: Ensure the protection of the Town's important natural resources and, in particular, the water quality and scenic quality of Canandaigua Lake.
Furthermore, a goal statement under the category of "Economic Development" in the 2011 Supplement demonstrates that decisions regarding future growth must be tempered by the need to protect the Town's existing resources: "2. Maximize opportunities for large and small-scale commercial development within the Town without compromising the Town's natural, scenic, cultural and historic resources."
Land uses related to the extraction and storage of natural gas, petroleum and similar hydrocarbon-based resources are heavy industrial uses and characterized by the following: the production of dust, noxious fumes, and other air emissions; visible landscape impairment and fragmentation; glaring nighttime illumination during various phases of production; persistent heavy truck traffic that can damage and impair the function of local roads; and loud and unpleasant noises created by establishment of extraction and storage facilities and related truck traffic.
Through adopted plans, local law updates and other initiatives, the Town of Canandaigua has long maintained very high standards for protection of water quality and the natural environment that forms the foundation of our much coveted small-town community character. Existing and proposed New York State regulations will not mitigate the impacts of oil-and-gas-extraction-related land uses, particularly those related to noise, dust, light, heavy truck traffic and the increased demand for a wide range of public services, in a way that meets these standards.
As such, land uses related to the extraction and storage of natural gas, petroleum and similar hydrocarbon-based resources threaten the predominantly rural, agricultural, and residential character of the Town and are plainly inconsistent with the Town's adopted plans for land use and development.
Land uses related to the extraction and storage of natural gas, petroleum and similar hydrocarbon-based resources as defined in this law would constitute a nuisance and a threat to the Town's natural resources as well as the health, safety, comfort and general welfare of its residents:
The community character effects resulting from land uses related to the extraction and storage of natural gas, petroleum and similar hydrocarbon-based resources described in Subsection A of this section would interfere with the use and enjoyment of private lands within the Town.
In addition, the effects resulting from this category of land uses present a significant risk of irreparable damage to the Town, the property of its residents, and its invaluable public resources, such as clean air and clean water. Any spills of chemicals and wastewater, blowouts, leaking wells, and other environmental accidents would be likely to result in the destruction of public and private property and the contamination of local water resources. The long-term consequences and risks of these land uses, such as the possibility of underground migration of contaminants and well integrity failures, are as yet unknown and may also present a significant threat to local property and resources, including Canandaigua Lake, which is the primary source of drinking water for more than 60,000 people around the region.
Accordingly, the Town Board determines that oil-and-gas-extraction-related land uses would constitute a nuisance within the Town's rural context and an unacceptable threat to public health, safety, and welfare.