DACC discusses brush code and effects of Project I-81 – eagle news online
CITY OF DEWITT – At its October 6 meeting, the DeWitt Advisory Conservation Commission (DACC) discussed the city’s brush code and relevant environmental concerns.
A legislative document provided by commissioner Angela Weiler reviewed proposed ordinances for the maintenance of vegetation on any type of rental or plot of land in DeWitt.
The document states that the accumulation of dead vegetation and the growth of sod and other non-native vegetation, except trees or shrubs, to a height greater than 12 inches is illegal.
A managed natural landscape composed primarily of plants native to the northeastern United States would be exempt from the directive.
The code dictates that natural landscapes of this type should be deliberately maintained as such. To this end, non-native and invasive plants should be regularly eradicated.
Whether the vegetation is native or not would be determined according to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation definitions.
Accumulation of dead vegetation for the purpose of providing compost would also be permitted to some extent under the amended brush code pending approval.
“We wanted to put in more specific language and allow people, if they wanted, to add a wilderness area without being named,” Weiler said. “It would allow people to have more parts of their property that contribute habitat.”
DACC member Brian Solomon said it would take “time” for code enforcement officers to identify whether the type of vegetation they see would be allowed under these rules, but he said members of the conservation commission would be willing to help identify which vegetation should be cut or removed.
DACC members in attendance at the Oct. 6 meeting discussed whether there was anything to change in the proposed brush code, which the group plans to present to DeWitt City Council in a public hearing by the next day. end of the year.
Days before the meeting, member and bat expert Jonathan Kresge informed panel chairman Dennis Payne that eight of the nine New York State bat species use areas of the Butternut Creek corridor on the along Interstate-481 where the Department of Transportation plans to build parts. of the new I-81.
“Bats are very sensitive to noise and light, so any increase in these would disturb bats as well as other wildlife,” Kresge said in his email. “In the summer many of these areas around the Butternut Creek corridor would most likely be used as maternity and paternity colonies, as well as areas where bats would hunt for food. Any disruption in bats’ ability to hunt effectively for food or care for their young would be hampered by higher noise levels.
Kresge also said the increased traffic resulting from the interstate project would potentially lead to more air pollution and runoff in roadside wetland habitats where amphibians and waders nest and breed.
At the end of the meeting, Member Sonia Kragh drew the attention of those gathered to the fact that there would be a proposal on the November ballot for an amendment to the New York State Constitution promising “to clean air, clean water and a healthy environment for all. “
The DeWitt Advisory Conservation Commission meetings open to the public are held at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month in Meeting Room B on the second floor of DeWitt Town Hall on Butternut Drive.