Airmont Board of Trustees Enacts New Regulations
Posted in the West Haverstraw Forum
#1 Aug 7, 2013
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Airmont held a very successful meeting on June 3rd. Many village residents made it their business to attend, which was very helpful. It enabled them to voice their concerns and demonstrated to the Mayor and the trustees that they are invested in the village’s affairs and provided welcome oversight on governmental decision making. It’s extraordinarily important that you keep coming to watch your elected officials in action, but if you can’t – the AirmontScoop will continue to cover the meetings for you and report on them in an accurate and clear manner.
A few irate Airmont residents stated that their reported complaints about the state of their neighbors’ properties were not addressed, specifically mentioning overgrown lawns. Trustee Phil Gigante responded to their complaints by suggesting that,“If anyone spots any maintenance issues at all around the neighborhood, they should email or call Village Hall, and Roy, the code enforcement officer would run right out and issue a violation.” A summons will be issued and then a public hearing will be held before the owner is billed for the lawn mowing.
Without much further discussion of the financial impact it may have on property owners, and without obtaining bids from other landscaping firms, the board voted to have Steve’s Lawns cut the repeat offenders lawns and attach the bill to their next year’s tax bill. No specific mention was made if the Village Attorney weighed in on exactly what type of legal warning would be made to the homeowner before Steve’s Lawns crews showed up to do work on their property.
Trustee Ralph Bracco, in an interview with the AirmontScoop’s reporter took umbrage at Gigante’s proposal to tell people to report on their neighbors and said,“He’s not the liaison to tell people what to do.”
Some homeowners have commented after the meeting that recommending to residents that they spy on their neighbors and report them, so that they should be issued a violation, did not seem to be a “neighborly” way of handling this issue. They mentioned that some homeowners are out of work and struggling in this difficult economy and may be finding it difficult to pay for landscaping maintenance that will meet the upscale standards of their more affluent neighbors.
A few business owners complained that they had received phone calls from someone trying to impersonate Village Clerk, Roberta Rodriguez, informing them of violations on their properties and the issuance of fines for those violations. Unfortunately, the calls were not recorded, making it difficult to apprehend the perpetrators. It is illegal to impersonate a village official and when apprehended, the impersonators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The board voted to limit the issue of variances and special permits to one year’s duration. That means that once a variance is granted to a property owner, if it is not acted upon in one year’s time, it will expire. Mr. Gigante said,“A good example of where this would have been useful would’ve been for the property that the car wash is planning on being built. That variance was granted twenty years ago and is causing issues today.”
Mr. Gigante reported,“ The hearing for the application of the Chabad Jewish Center of Suffern was postponed, and will be held at the next meeting on July 1st.” No new notices will be sent out. Tonight’s meeting will serve as official notice of the upcoming hearing for this application.
Read more on www.AirmontScoop.com
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