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Military banners to stay out of Main Street in Hamburg

Military banners on Buffalo Street in the Village of Hamburg.
The Hamburg Village Board is very serious about honoring all its veterans.

When Hamburg resident Sue Jantzi approached them in 2011 with a proposal to hang pictorial flags of local veterans who have served since Sept. 11, 2001 along Buffalo Street, the board was very receptive.

At that time, the original agreement was to hang the flags from along Buffalo Street from Legion Drive to the Village Shopping Plaza.

Jantzi later asked that it be extended to Union Street, but agreed the banners would end there, since the flags are too big for the shorter poles along the village’s central business corridor along Main Street and Buffalo Street from the roundabout to Union Street.

Village officials also pointed out those particular poles are already in use for the American flags that are flown at specific times of the year, as well as the Christmas decorations that are hung for at least five to six weeks.

In addition, village funds had already been expended for special banners to be displayed on those poles for different seasons and events.

To help Jantzi keep the costs down, village officials authorised the Public Works Department to customise existing brackets to accommodate these new banners, which were originally set to be put up on April 1 and be removed by Nov. 1, so they would not deteriorate in the bad weather.

Jantzi also said families of those featured on the banners were to receive that banner, possibly in a special ceremony around Veterans Day.

But since the first banners were hung at the end of 2011 and later in 2012, they have continued to stay up all year long and now Jantzi is pushing for more banners to hang along the rest of Buffalo Street and down Main Street.

At the Jan. 22 board meeting, the board confirmed they expect Jantzi to adhere to the original agreement.

At the Feb. 4 meeting, Roger Hancock, owner of Town and Country Furniture, 37 Main St., said he wants to see the banners come down Main Street, especially since his son is going to be featured on one.

“I want to hang my son’s banner outside my store,” Hancock said. “Are you telling me that having this a business district is more important than honoring our children?”

“That is not the case,” Mayor Thomas Moses said, “But we have had some problems with this project because she chose to only honor those who have served since 9/11. There are many other veterans out there.”

Hancock asked if the village officials would grant him a variance so he could just hang his son’s banner outside his store. “We can’t spot check banners in different areas,” Trustee Mark Colmerauer said.

Village resident Ray Waterman, a Vietnam Era veteran, spoke in favor of having the banners come into the business district.

“What a great way to memorialize the people who are serving,” Waterman said.

The board again said they wish to adhere to the original agreement that was set with Jantzi.

In other action, several residents asked what the status is on the RV, boat, trailer, camper storage code changes.

According to Village Attorney Edward Murphy, he had set a deadline for last week (Feb. 1) for any input and is hoping to have a final draft of the code for the Feb. 19 meeting.

“This code change has been simmering for at least five years,” Murphy said. “The vision is not to have exorbitant permit fees or make it impossible to renew your permits.

“Many people are great out there with their trailers and RVs and then there are others that are not. That is why we are where we are today,” Murphy said.

In other business, the board:

• Heard a presentation by Andrew Reilly and Ellen Parker of Wendel Duchscherer Architects and Engineers about form-based code and hybrid codes. Form-based codes use physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the organizing principle for the code. They are regulations, not guidelines, that are adopted by the municipality and are very strict.

The codes also use pictures to outline exactly how a building will look in specific areas. “Form-based code will encourage development/business because it specifically outlines what is acceptable,” Reilly said. “There is no guess work and can be used to promote development.”

Reilly told the board that they are now in the scoping phase of the process, finding out exactly what they need.

“Form-based codes are very detailed for each section, down to the very width of the roads, sidewalks, etc.,” Parker said.

Another advantage of form-based code, is that builders can go directly to the Building Department for permits, without having to go through the Planning and Architectural Review committees, Reilly said.

Following a discussion, the general consensus of the board appeared to be that a hybrid-style form code would be useful, since they already have a design standard in place and an updated comprehensive plan.

They will continue to have conversations with Special Projects Coordinator Paul Becker and Reilly over their direction for the codes.

• Held a public hearing on proposed changes to screening and location requirements for dumpsters and refuse containers.No one spoke for or against the changes. No action was taken.

• Passed a resolution opposing the provision in Governor Andrew Como’s Executive Budget which restricts the ability of local economic development agencies to use the exemption of state sales tax as part of economic development incentive packages to spur job creation projects.

“We are a good working relationship with our local IDA (Hamburg),” Trustee Hackathorn said. “We support our HIDA and we stand behind them.”

“New York State keeps putting more and more controls on the local communities,” Moses said. “This will have a huge impact in our area. We can’t afford to keep letting this happen.”

• Heard from Recreation Supervisor Josh Haeick they are accepting early bird membership to the Hamburg Swim Center until April 30.

New this year are pool party rentals. For more information call the Recreation Office at 649-6170.

The board next meets publically on Tuesday, Feb. 19 with a work session at 5:30 p.m. followed by a regular meeting at 7 p.m.


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