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$50K donated for Comprehensive Plan review

WASHINGTON — The Town of Washington (TOW)held its August meeting on Thursday, Aug. 12, at Town Hall, in person and on Zoom. Town Supervisor Gary Ciferri called the meeting to order at 6 p.m.

The first item on the agenda was to thank the Tribute Garden for a generous donation of $50,000 for the review of the town’s Comprehensive Plan, currently underway. The town is looking to determine the significance of the term “hospitality” within its borders, and how it will affect future business and zoning laws.

The second item was to name Debbie Wright secretary to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) at the rate of $18 per hour.

A Zoom meeting will be scheduled to discuss an electric vehicle (EV) charging station at Town Hall. 

Since the arrival of COVID-19, a number of residents have complained about furniture and other large items being discarded on the sides of roads and country lanes. The issue has been discussed at prior meetings. On Aug. 12, a public hearing was opened regarding Local Law Number 2, which will be known as the “Washington Litter Control Law.” 

Nine pages were devoted to the definition of litter, those who litter and fines and or other punishments for those who violate the law. 

Litter was defined as animal or vegetable waste, such as one might find in kitchens, restaurants, food stands or picnic areas; furniture; household goods; any form of paper or wrapping; metal, wood, glass or plastic. In other words, litter qualifies as almost anything that is not disposed of properly. As stated in the town’s definition, litter is anything that “tends to create a danger of public health, safety and welfare or tends to create blight.”

Littering is prohibited in public places, from automobiles, parks, beaches and bodies of water. Littering is not allowed on private premises, including items for trash pickup before 5 p.m. on the day before scheduled pickup. It is unlawful to place handbills on windshields, or to be given to any person who doesn’t want it, nor can they or other posters, notices, etc., be placed on poles, buildings or other places without permission authorized or required by law, and no notices may be posted prior to six days before the event and must be removed within three days after the event, etc.

Other discussion centered on legislative intent, penalties, fines, etc.

This law, while complicated and covering a very wide field of offenses, is needed for public safety and quality of life, agreed the board. 

Comprehensive Review

The board next discussed a resolution to establish a temporary moratorium on certain land development applications that are pending or may be filed with the Town of Washington. This would enable the TOW to prepare and consider revisions to the Comprehensive Plan and is seen as a temporary stop-gap while the plan is under reconsideration before new zoning laws can be drafted.

After Ciferri closed the public hearing on the local laws, they were passed. 

The board will hold a public hearing to further discuss the comprehensive plan in September. 

A Town Board meeting was held on Thursday, Sept. 9. For more on that meeting , read this week’s front page of The Millerton News.

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