Chatham close to requiring short-term rental residency

CHATHAM – The Town Board held a workshop meeting last week to discuss the short-term rental section of the proposed new zoning law. On the agenda they planned to discuss the FAQ (frequently asked questions) sheet board members had written about the new zoning regarding short-term rentals but they ended up spending most of the meeting deciding what part of the short-term rental regulations each board member was comfortable with passing when they finally approve an updated zoning law.

The April 4 meeting started with a public comment period where several residents spoke about the residency requirement proposed in the law and the local lodging business.

Jodie Paris, owner of the Inn at Silver Maple Farm in East Chatham, said rumors of not enough places to stay in the area were not true. She said that many days of the year, there are vacancies at her bed and breakfast. “We don’t make money unless we bring people here,” she said of her business, adding that she has spent thousands of dollars promoting the area. Read more…

What’s this ‘farmer’ really growing?

COPAKE—If at first you don’t succeed, stall, stall again.

That seems to be Salvatore Cascino’s strategy for dealing with the Copake Planning Board’s request for information members need to help them decide if Mr. Cascino is really the farmer he claims to be.

Mr. Cascino’s right-hand man, David Wiener, appeared for the second time in two months at the Planning Board’s most recent meeting, representing his boss on two site plan reviews. One review seeks site plan approval for existing buildings, which Mr. Cascino has already built on his 300-acre property, some without permission, and the second review seeks approval for three more new structures that will yield 64,200 square feet of enclosed or semi-enclosed space—all to be used in Mr. Cascino’s “farm operation known as Copake Valley Farm,” according to a proposed operating plan submitted by Mr. Wiener in March. Read more…

ICC schools super faces DWI charge

KINDERHOOK–Ichabod Crane Central School District Superintendent Michael Vanyo is on indefinite, unpaid leave. Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow was appointed acting superintendent at a special board meeting Tuesday, April 9.

News broke Monday morning that Mr. Vanyo, 51, was arrested by the Saratoga Sheriff’s Office for DWI – operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater – leaving the scene of a property damage accident, and an improper right turn. According to a press release for the sheriff’s office, they “responded to a call of a property damage motor vehicle crash on Maple Avenue in the Town of Wilton on April 6 at 8:33 p.m. where one of the involved vehicles reportedly left the scene.” The sheriff’s office did not release Mr. Vanyo’s BAC.

Mr. Vanyo, who lives in Saratoga Springs, was processed and released to a third party. He is scheduled to appear in the Wilton Town Court on a later date. Read more…

Valatie’s sidewalk flaws spark talk of new walk law

VALATIE–The Village Board discussed changing the village code on maintaining sidewalks and who is responsible for repairing them at their March 12 board meeting. According to Mayor Diane Argyle, the current code says the responsibility for the repairing sidewalks lies with the property owner but she also said that property owners don’t own the sidewalks; the sidewalks are owned by the municipality.

Jenn Kolb, who owns a business on Main Street and is a former village trustee, asked what the village plans to do about the sidewalk in front of her property. A section of the sidewalk has sunk and for several months has had safety cones around it so that pedestrians won’t trip. Ms. Kolb said she told the village about the sunken sidewalk in the fall.

She also said that because of the sidewalk, water has been leaking into her basement and the basement wall has deteriorated from the water damage. Read more…

Ancram ponders slab and color scheme for equipment shed

ANCRAM—Big trucks and heavy machines keep getting bigger and heavier.

That’s why many fire stations have been built anew or added onto in recent years to accommodate expanding truck size and why the Ancram Highway Department needs a new shed to keep all its equipment out of the weather.

With the long-awaited removal of the Houghtaling house at 2 Town Road near the Highway Department headquarters now complete, the Town Board has decided to go forward with the construction of a new equipment shed in its place Read more…