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March 27, 2014

Trustees enact one law, reject two others

The Village of Cooperstown Board of Trustees held a public hearing on three proposed local laws at its March 24 meeting, after which the trustees chose to pass one of the laws, while voting down the other two.

Proposed Local Law No. 4 sought to amend Village of Cooperstown Zoning Law to allow the extension of a nonconforming use of a building to any part of the building where it is located. The triggering case for this law is the effort by New York Pizzeria to place three tables upstairs.

Proposed Local Law No. 5 sought to authorize a real property tax levy in excess of the cap of a 2 percent increase established in General Municipal Law Section 3-c.

Proposed Local Law No. 6 sought to revise the village’s sign bylaw, most significantly by altering the application process.

In his presentation before the board before the hearing, Charlie Hill, chairman of the Village of Cooperstown Planning Board, gave the planning board’s report on Proposed Local Law No. 6.

While being generally supportive of the changes to the sign law in Proposed Local Law No. 6, Hill conveyed the board’s suggestions, which included a more-precise application form and cutting down the amount of time it would take the zoning enforcement officer to arrive at an application and make a decision from the five weeks proposed.

“We feel that that can be compressed to a much shorter amount of time,” said Hill, who said that the proposed length was greater than what was in the current law, and questioned whether it was a misprint.

On Proposed Local Law No. 4, Hill was more critical, with many of his concerns revolving around the exact definition of a property’s footprint.

“The planning board doesn’t get into your house if you want to remove a closet and install a bathroom,” said Mayor Jeff Katz, in explaining how the law had come to be proposed. “In a sense that was the guiding principal.”

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