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Lisbon Planning Board approves Amish saw mill

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LISBON - The town Planning Board on Monday gave the go-ahead to Jonas Miller to continue building and selling sheds on his Route 68 property.

Mr. Miller, a member of the north country’s Amish community and woodworker, has been selling his outbuildings in the township since the beginning of the summer.

Mr. Miller had been speaking with the town about getting the appropriate approval since the summer but continued operating under the assumption his site plan review application would be accepted.

The planning board is responsible for reviewing and approving business building plans in Lisbon to ensure they comply with town regulations.

The planning board’s action Monday came after months of delay due to missing information on Mr. Miller’s site plan review application and meetings without enough board members for a quorum to vote on it.

Each of the sheds are built by hand on Mr. Miller’s property, located near the intersection with Brown Road, using a portable saw mill that’s outside on his lawn.

Code Enforcement Officer Christopher J. Sherwin said he was satisfied, “for now,” with the set-up of Mr. Miller’s operation because it is roughly 50 feet away from Route 68 and thanks to the portable saw’s location outdoors.

Planning Board Chair Stephen Wallace said the town requires buildings operated by businesses be set back approximately 50 feet from Route 68.

Mr. Wallace said they wanted to make sure Mr. Miller wasn’t going to have piles of logs stacked so close to the road that they interfere with traffic or snow removal.

Mr. Sherwin said Mr. Miller would need to go through the process of another site plan review if he were to build a structure to house his saw.

Any further reviews, however, would likely be referred to the St. Lawrence County Planning Board, Mr. Sherwin said, given Mr. Miller’s location near Route 68 and the estimated scale of his operation.

While Mr. Miller said last month that he isn’t sure how many sheds he is selling, Mr. Sherwin said every time he drives past the saw-mill the inventory has changed.

“I stopped the other day and there were no sheds there, I drive by two days later and there are four or five there,” Mr. Sherwin said.

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