K’hook code changes inch through system

KINDERHOOK–The Town Board agreed this week to send proposed Local Law #1 of 2014 on the county and town planning boards for review. The law, if passed by the town, would change the wording in a section of the town code that deals with land use development, which includes home occupations, off-street parking and codes for apartment dwellings.

The entire proposed law is on the town’s website at www.kinderhook-ny.gov. A Codes Committee, made up of the chairs of the town Planning and Zoning boards, the code enforcement officer, a board member and a community member, has been meeting for the last few months to work on the changes in the code included in the local law.

At the Town Board’s June meeting Town Attorney Andy Howard suggested the board change the code for Home Occupation category. The change would apply to buildings in residential areas that were built before the code was first adopted in 1978. It would “grandfather in” home occupations in those buildings, making them a permitted use. At that meeting in June the board agreed to have the Codes Committee review the suggested changes.

At the September 9 meeting resident Ed Simonsen asked Mr. Howard whether those committee meetings had been announced and publicized. Town Clerk Kim Pinkowski said that meetings only needed to publicized if three or more Town Board members attend and that only two board members attend Codes Committee meetings.

Town Supervisor Pat Grattan asked Mr. Howard if that law would “pass muster” without having the committee meetings publicized. Mr. Howard said he believed they would.

Contacted after the meeting, Bob Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, said that unless the Codes Committee is established by town law, the committee does not need to publicize their meetings.

Also at the meeting the board discussed a request from the Planning Board to reduce the speed limit on county Route 28 from 55 mph to 30. Mr. Howard said the Planning Board for was asking about the change because “there has been some sub-division action” in that area.

Board members couldn’t agree on the boundaries of various speed limits on the road and Mr. Grattan moved to ask the county look into lower the speed limit. Board member Deb Simonsmeier voted for the motion, but board members Tim Ooms and Paul Voltz voted against it and board member Patsy Leader abstained so the motion did not pass.

The board unanimously approved bonding for $87,500 to pay for a new one-ton dump-truck. Mr. Grattan said of the truck, “It’s a budgeted item, as far as we are bonding for it.”

Peter Bujanow attended the meeting for the Town of Kinderhook Democratic Committee to ask the board’s approval to plant a Rose of Sharon bush in front of the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building in honor of Margaret “Peggy” Butcher, the former town clerk who died last year. The board approved Mr. Bujanow’s request and the Village of Valatie, which shares the building with the town, also approved of the memorial at its regular meeting the next night.

The Town Board is also soliciting bids for sidewalk snow removal in the town. Bids will be opened at the next meeting October 20 at 7 p.m. at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .


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