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June 27, 2013

Boatloads of people speak at public hearing

Village attorney gives rational on wanting to prohibit boat trailer parking

A large group of fishermen, boaters and others who are concerned about access to Otsego Lake came to a public hearing Monday to speak out against a local law that would prohibit boat trailers from parking on Fish Road in Cooperstown. 

Before Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz opened the meeting up for public comment, the village’s attorney Martin Tillapaugh made some clarifications. He said the reasoning behind the board wanting to pass such a law came after receiving a number of complaints from people not being able to park near the launch, especially during fishing tournament days. The trailers take up a number of spaces, he said. 

“The board recognized that it had created a little bit of a problem because we prohibit trailer parking throughout most of the rest of the village,” Tillapaugh said. 

According to the attorney, the village board passed a law a few months ago that allowed various paid-parking lots to permit people from parking their trailers in them. A couple places mentioned by Tillapaugh were at Fairy Spring and Vinnie Russo’s lot on Chestnut Street. 

Once this was allowed, Tillapaugh said the board continued to receive complaints about people with trailers still taking up more than one parking spot because they would unhook the trailer and park their vehicle next to it. 

“The board’s intent, by prohibiting parking of trailers down there was certainly not to in any way prohibit or to make more difficult access to the lake. They actually believed they would make it easier,” he said. 

“What I think happened was some miscommunication,” he continued. “When the notice went into the paper it said we are prohibiting trailer parking down here. It probably would have been better to add, because we were opening up about 900 spaces elsewhere for trailers.”

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