Tuesday night at 7:40 the Village Board of Oxford voted 4-1 to prohibit

gas drilling — an irreversible super-majority that because of the

principle of Home Rule cannot be overruled

by the State or the County. 

     Our mile-square village in New York’s Southern Tier has become

the first municipality in Chenango County to be free from hydraulic


How Oxford Achieved This Victory 

The successful climax to a seven-month saga was preceded by two

months of nail-biting twists and turns that surprised even those closely attuned

to the action and even confused many local residents and interested observers who

were familiar with the events leading up to the momentous Village Board decision.


Recent events: The Village Board had almost approved a one-year moratorium

in December but tabled it after a handful of local landowners and business people

threatened a lawsuit.

Mayor Terry Stark made a smart tactical turn based on the pro-gas lobby’s

assertion that a moratorium was unnecessary because the present village zoning laws

already tacitly prohibited gas drilling.  Mayor Stark asked supportive attorneys

to draw up a unique clarifying amendment to the village zoning laws that

affirmed a prohibition of fracking.

In early January the Village Planning Board voted unanimously to refer the

proposal to the full Village board, which approved the amendment 4-1.

At the last minute—just before the final hearing–the pro-gas Chenango County

Planning Board denied its approval for the clarifying amendment after

approving weeks earlier the village’s moratorium.

Unexpected Consent to Amendment by Landowners Group

Then at last week’s (end of January) high stakes final hearing–to everyone’s

surprise–a spokesman for local gas drilling supporters consented to the

Village’s amendment.

        The February 5, 2013 historic victory by a 4-1 super-majority

overrides the County Planning Board’s denial.

How We Won

Our success was possible because of broad community support, an industrious and

consensus-building mayor and three enlightened and civic-minded village trustees.

Thank you all!

Oxford Visionaries


For the full story, visit the Oxford Visionaries special website page:

For more information email us at




Oxford Visionaries


For the full story, visit the Oxford Visionaries special website page: more information email us at