Thursday December 6, 2012 | By:Felice E. Krycia-associate editor | News
The question on how to regulate the storage of boats, trailers, campers and mobile homes over 24 feet in length in the Village of Hamburg is back.
Since the spring of 2009, village officials have been working on updating the existing code, which they believe is outdated and has rarely, if ever, been enforced.
A well attended public hearing was held in August 2009, followed by several other meetings with in-depth discussions on the merits, or lack there of, for the proposal, which led to the idea being tabled for further work.
Since that time, Village Attorney Edward Murphy and other village officials have disseminated the comments made by the residents and have drafted another proposal for the code.
Another public hearing has been scheduled for 7:15 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7. Copies of the proposed revisions will be available at the clerk-treasurer’s office, beginning on Thursday, Dec. 20.
One of the main differences in the newest proposal is there is no limit to how long a boat, trailer, camper, motor home, mobile home or recreational vehicle can be stored on the property, as long as one gets a permit.
The permits will be granted for one year, which at the end of that time will be reviewed before it is renewed.
In the previous draft proposal, residents would only be allowed to store the vehicles on their property for six months, forcing them to pay for storage elsewhere for the rest of the year.
“A lot of people spoke to us about this proposal and we took our time considering what was said,” Mayor Thomas Moses said at the Dec. 3 board meeting.
Included in the draft proposal:
• No boat, trailer, camper, motor home, mobile home or recreational vehicle with an overall length greater than 24 feet shall be stored outside any place in the village on public or private land without obtaining a permit. No permit is needed if the aforementioned vehicles are on the property for less than 72 hours.
• Boats, trailers, campers, motor homes, mobile homes or recreational vehicles can not be parked on any public street.
If a permit is granted, the boat, trailer, camper, motor home, mobile home or recreational vehicle are subject to these regulations.
• The boat, trailer, camper, motor home, mobile home or recreational vehicle must belong to the owner or occupant of the premises where they want to park it.
• Only one boat, trailer, camper, motor home, mobile home or recreational vehicle can be parked or stored on any lot containing a dwelling unit.
• If storing any of the aforementioned vehicles for more than 90 days, it must be in the rear yard or side yard of a corner lot, of any property containing a building.
• The storage of these types of vehicles can not preempt the use of space needed for off-street parking of other vehicles (especially in the winter).
• None of the aforementioned vehicles shall be used for any residential purpose or temporary habitation.
• There are no restrictions on the boat, trailer, camper, motor home, mobile home or recreational vehicle if the entire vehicle is parked or stored within an enclosed garage, shed or barn.
The application for a permit would need to be made to the Village of Hamburg Planning Commission.
The application and a non-refundable application fee will need to be filed with the village clerk, who will then place the application on the agenda for the next available planning commission meeting.
In addition, the clerk will provide a minimum 10 day written notice, by certified mail, of the meeting to all resident home owners living within 200 feet of the outer boundaries of the applicant’s property.
The planning commission may grant or deny the permit application, after hearing from the applicant and all other interested parties at the meeting and reviewing all written submissions regarding the application.
Permits would be granted for a one year period. It would be subject to review and revocation at any time, should the board of trustees or the planning commission receive complaints regarding the storage of a boat, trailer, camper, motor home, mobile home or recreational vehicle at the site.
Permits would need to be renewed each year by submitting a renewal application and another nonrefundable application fee to the village clerk.
A renewal of an existing permit may be granted by the planning commission without a mailing or a hearing, should the commission determine that it is not necessary.
No fee amounts have been set at this time, Moses said.
“This is something we now need to move forward on,” Moses said.
In other matters, the board discussed the waterline breaks on Rosedale Avenue, which occurred in late November.
“The leak would be patched and then another section would blow,” Deputy Mayor Thomas Tallman said.
A discussion was held on the possibility of the Erie County Water Authority taking over the lines.
“We are looking into this, but it is not easy,” Murphy said. “How much would the village be responsible for and how much would it cost to bring the lines up to the ECWA standards? Possibly $7 to $8 million.”
“We have asked for cost proposals for the water tanks and lines,” Village Administrator Donald Witkowski said. “How much can we afford to spend?”
“We have to look at this as what is most advantages to the taxpayers,” Murphy said.
According to Moses they are making some headway, since the ECWA is now talking to them about it.
In other business, the board:
• Heard from Trustee Mark Colmerauer that the Village Traffic and Safety Committee has some concerns about the visibility of the no left turn sign on Legion Drive and Division Street.
“People who are making the left-hand turns often do not see the sign,” Colmerauer said.
It has been suggested that a sign be suspended from the wires supporting the traffic signal device, which is owned by the Town of Hamburg.
“We will gave to submit a request to the town about this,” Colmerauer said.
• Heard from Tallman that Zetti’s, on the corner of Highland Avenue and Lake Street, is still not in compliance with their sign (the lower section is covered with plastic).
“As of today, they have still not applied to come before the Architectural Review Committee to address this,” Tallman said.
The original Zetti’s sign was approved by the Village Board on the ARC recommendation, but not the Pizza and Pasta sign which was added below it.
There is also an additional issue with the dumpster they have installed near the neighboring residential property.
“This is something we need to work on,” Tallman said.
The board next meets on Monday, Dec. 17, with a work session at 5:30 p.m., followed by a regular meeting. Both meetings are open to the public.