Thursday February 28, 2013 | By:Felice E. Krycia-associate editor | News
Village of Hamburg officials continue to work on updating the permit process for storing vehicles on private property, but an end is in sight.
According to Village Attorney Edward Murphy, the law that currently exists is very restrictive and the board felt it should be updated.
“This new code/law is much more lenient than the one that is already on the books,” Murphy said.
Murphy said he has made some additional changes to the code and asked the board for one last look through it before voting on it in the near future.
One change is extending the grace period of how long something could be stored on personal property before a permit is needed from 72 hours to 120 hours.
“We heard from several residents that there are times when the trailer/RV/boat is brought in for simple routine maintenance, but that 72 hours is not long enough,” Murphy said.
Another change is that a RV, trailer, boat or camper can not be stored in the driveway or front yard for more than 180 days. After six months it will need to be stored in either a side yard or backyard. The current code only allows for the items to be stored in the backyard.
Village officials hope to be able to approve the new code soon.
In other business, the board heard a presentation by Erin Carmina, a student at Hilbert College, who had the results of the online survey, held in December, asking residents about their opinion of improvements in the village.
The improvements are the result of the village obtaining $800,000 worth of “Main Street” grants for four consecutive years, which were for facade improvements along Main and Buffalo streets.
Those improvements, as well as the streetscaping and four roundabouts within the village’s business corridor, have helped create a more pedestrian friendly or “walkable” community, with a wide selection of businesses, officials have said.
Carmina said 1,250 information pieces were distributed announcing the survey, with many of the flyers being handed out by Hamburg’s Junior Firefighters.
Of that, 169 surveys were submitted, a 13 percent response rate, with 20 of those being completed by business owners, Carmina said.
“There were 13 questions in the survey and overall, the response was extremely positive,” Carmina said.
The overall results revealed the majority of the residents are pleased with the changes in the village.
Most of those responding also said they really felt a personal sense of belonging to a village community and there was a high level of pride within the community.
“As far as negative comments about the village, the one we heard the most was about the lighting,” she said. “The general consensus is there is not enough lighting on the roads and sidewalks.”
Another negative comment heard several times was about a business on Main Street which has a mural on the front of the building.
In other action, the board:
• Appointed Matthew H. Cullen to the permanent position of detective to the Village of Hamburg Police Department. He had successfully completed his 18 month probation.
• Approved the request by JP’s Foundation, Inc. to hold the 3rd annual Run the ‘Burg for Autism 5K Race/Walk in the village at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 1.
• Adopted a resolution requesting the state repeal the Gun Control Bill (S.2230), known as the NY SAFE ACT, that was passed on Jan. 14.
Village officials, as well as the Association of Erie County Governments (representing 25 towns, 16 villages and three cities) believe the bill was rushed through the senate and assembly without any public hearings and no input from the law enforcement agencies in the state.
The resolution asks that following the repeal of this law, the state look at all the aspects of gun control, using the proper legal procedure and to use a more logical manner, focusing on the real issues related to gun control.
“To create a law that will strengthen the effect on public safety and not infringe upon our constitutional rights.”
• Approved an agreement between the village and GovOffice Web Solutions for an upgrade of the village website, at a cost not to exceed $5,200.
The board will next meet in a public work session on Monday, March 4 at 5:30 p.m., followed by a regular board meeting at 7 p.m.