CODE AND ZONING ENFORCEMENT WORKSHOP
MARCH 29, 2023
Supervisor Clement called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm with the pledge of Allegiance. In attendance were Councilman Ronald Panek, Councilman Ed Schramm, Councilman James Duyssen, Councilman Robert Pacer and Town Clerk Barbara Radley.
Also in attendance were Linda Call, Terry Young, Bill VanAlst, Mike Lathan, Gerry Wood, Andrew Darling, Tom Radley, Steve Boldt, Mark Boylan, and Gene Sinclair.
Councilman Ron Panek started the meeting with an introduction of how we enforce Zoning Regulations and introduced the NYS Magistrates Conference manual from 2014. This is the most current information that is used for Zoning in New York State. A letter was written to our attorney and the Town Judges asking for their participation. The Judges had the opinion that this is too close to litigation and should not attend.
This pamphlet has two sections of information, the first is background information and laws, the second part has forms which could be used if necessary. This is an extremely helpful and informative pamphlet. The judges feel this is the right way to handle Zoning issues.
Judge Penepent has a Court Clerk booklet on procedures to be followed; this is a good reference but has some conflicting information with our Employee Handbook and needs to be investigated.
The staffing of our Zoning Officers was discussed, we have options. The options are that we hire our own employees as we have now, we could have Shared Services with neighboring towns, or possibly have a County wide Code and Zoning Department as Wyoming County does and it works well.
Our Attorney is a great resource but will not be needed in most cases. The procedure is that the Town receives a complaint, then will investigate, then a visit or phone call to ask for voluntary compliance and the party involved will be given 30 days and a reinspection will occur; if not compliant a second notice is given with 10-15 days to comply. If still not in compliance, the Officer will check with the court for a court date to rectify the situation; an accusatory sheet is sent to the Court and served personally. Councilman Schramm suggested that a Sheriff’s Department Officer should serve a summons to alleviate the Code/Zoning Officer any problems. It was also stated that there does not have to be a complaint filed to investigate; if an Officer sees a violation, he or she may act on it.
Councilman Panek asked if any procedures for this issue is written down and was told that the NYS Unified Code is the written procedure, and this is being followed.
Code/Zoning Officer Sinclair will report to the Town Board monthly on violations and actions that have been taken.
Councilman Panek and Councilman Schramm will meet and discuss these issues with Officer Sinclair and discuss hours for the Code/Zoning; there is a question of how many hours are needed to do the job effectively.
This matter will be reported back to the Board when it is completed.
The meeting closed at 8:10pm.