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Eden Board weighs in on animal kennel law, local speed limits

EDEN — The Eden town code regarding animal kennels is being changed, to broaden the definition and include all commercial kennels, with the exclusion of stables.

The proposed action amended existing land use regulations.

The Eden Town Board discussed the revision to the town code, during a public hearing that took place on Aug. 14.

The board announced that section 224-32 of the town’s code entitled “supplemental use regulations” was amended, and will now be changed from reading “commercial dog or veterinary kennels (not including stables)” to “commercial animal kennels (not including stables).”

“The code is now not so limited,” said Attorney William Trask.

The change was brought to the board after a local resident asked for approval for a facility to board cats.

The amended code will also read, “All facilities shall be maintained in enclosed structures, which shall be constructed and maintained in such a manner as to produce no noise, dust or odors, at any property lot line.”

The code specified that pens and runways may not be placed within 200 feet of any lot line, “but shall be 300 feet from the front yard lot line, when such line abuts a residential use or district.”

According to Trask, the law will take effect only when filed with the secretary of state.

The board had declared itself the lead agency on this matter, during a previous meeting. Trask said that the final step would be for the board to adopt a resolution for a negative declaration, under the State Environmental Quality Review.

The issue is being referred to the planning board, “as is usual for a special use permit,” according to Trask, who added, “They will meet with the applicant.”

In another matter, New York State Department of Transportation Regional Traffic Engineer Thomas Messana informed the board that its request to reduce the speed limit on East Eden Road to below 45 mph had been denied.

“The need for a reduced speed is based on a thorough evaluation of many factors, including roadway characteristics, roadside development and a statistical analysis of prevailing speeds, as determined by radar checks,” Messana said, in the NYSDOT’s official notice to the board.

The NYS DOT said that the 85th percentile speed and the 10-mile pace are determining factors for fixing a location’s speed limit. The 85th percentile is the “speed at or below which 85 percent of all vehicles travel” and the 10-mile pace is that “10 mph speed travel that includes the greatest number of vehicles,” according to Messana.

The reported 85th percentile speed in the section of East Eden Road between North Boston Road and the Hamburg Town line was 46 mph. The 10-mile pace in that section of the town was between 38 and 47 mph.

“Considering the data we have obtained for this area, we have determined that we will not reduce the existing 45 mph speed limit, at this time,” the DOT said.

Supervisor Glenn Nellis said that the town was required to get permission from New York state to change the speed limit, because it is a Class 2 town, with fewer than 10,000 residents.

Boards in municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants may change the speed limit without appealing to the state.

In other board matters:
– The board approved a resolution thanking the Eden Corn Festival Committee and all volunteers for “a job well done,” during this year’s annual event. “We don’t say thank you enough for these things,” Nellis said.

The board congratulated those who planned the festival and asked Board Member Rich Ventry, the liaison to the corn festival committee, to bring a copy of the resolution to that group.

“On behalf of the corn festival committee, I would like to thank all of the volunteers,” Ventry said. “I was floored by the effort.”

The board estimated that at least 130,000 individuals attended the four-day festival.

– The board approved the appointment of Justin Lilga to assist Maintenance Supervisor Scot Christiansan with mowing and watering town plants as needed, through October, at $8 per hour. The appointment was made based on a recommendation by Eden Recreation Department Executive Director Susan Brass.

– The Eden Regional Farm Museum submitted a request for permission to seek funding to build a new building on site, including a visitors’ center operated by the Southtowns Community Enhancement Coalition and a conference/exhibition space.

“The town of Eden is the location of this building. It stands to host tourists coming to the visitors’ center and hopefully stopping at local businesses to eat and to purchase items,” the board’s resolution said.

The Eden Town Board resolved to support the not-for-profit museum’s application, part of the 2013 funding round, through the state consolidated funding process, the Rural Area Revitalization Program and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

– Chief of Police Michael Felschow announced that his department responded to 527 complaints in July and issued a total of 174 traffic summons. A total of eight accidents were reported to the state. Of those, zero were fatal.

– According to Eden Fire Department Chief Jack Rigley, the department answered 10 fire calls, completed three drills and did two work details, during July, for a total of 461 total firefighter hours.

– The board gave Superintendent of Highways Ron Maggs permission to help with the high school’s football scoreboard installation, as needed.

– Code Enforcement Officer Scott Henry reported that the Eden Building Department issued 15 building permits, did 43 inspections, made one minor subdivision determination, issued three certificates of completion and gave four notices of violation, during July.

– Brass told the board that the recreation department’s baseball games have been completed and that soccer house league practices have begun. Soccer games will continue through the beginning of October.

– Little Loop football and cheerleading has also begun; games will start in September and continue through early November.

– The board passed a resolution asking the Erie County executive and legislature to “help resolve the issue between the Erie County Department of Public Works and the 25 towns within the county of Erie, with regards to snow removal and de-icing of county roads within the towns that is fair and equitable to all parties.”

– Per Felschow’s recommendation, the board approved the appointing of Derek Filipiak as part-time dispatcher.

– Maggs announced that the town hall electric work is “progressing slowly,” but should be done within the next 30 days.

– Attendee Pete Reszka said that he and his wife have recently purchased land on Mill Road and wanted to commend the highway department for “an amazing job” on strip paving the streets.

Reszka also recommended that the board look into items that have been placed in right-of-ways in front of local homes. “Man-made objects there are a big issue,” Trask concurred.

The next Eden Town Board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 28.
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