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Building codes strengthened

NORTH EAST — The Town Board discussed the proposed Local Law No. 4 of 2011, which seeks to deal with the intricacies of building code administration and enforcement. Attorney to the Town Warren Replansky was on hand to discuss the matter. The board is looking to update its enforcement procedures and how it operates within the parameters of its current zoning codes.“We have very similar language we are borrowing from the administration enforcement code and are integrating it into the zoning code so we can provide for the purposes of both zoning code and building code enforcement,” town Supervisor Dave Sherman explained, adding that there already exists a “goodly portion” in the building and administration enforcement code. “So essentially we’re grabbing that language and putting it into the zoning code,” he said. “We’re not reinventing the wheel. We’re using what we had before but making it more effective, particularly for zoning code administration and enforcement.”Sherman said the new language is much more detailed and that it outlines what the code enforcement officer (CEO) can do as far as being able to implement the statutes.“It’s a good update, and it gives the ZEO [zoning enforcement officer] some extra tools to work with and defines how they are to be used,” Sherman said. The provisions allow the Town Board to make blanket authorizations when needed as well as specific authorizations to the zoning enforcement officer. Previously, blanket authorizations were not permitted, Sherman said. Now, the ZEO will have the ability to handle matters with the justice court, if need be, or with the civil court in Poughkeepsie.“It’s important to have the lines of authority more detailed and laid out versus something that has to be sorted out with the Town Board on a case by case basis,” the supervisor said. The law also provides a detailed list for the creation and duties of the code enforcement officer and zoning enforcement officer, which are appointed positions. It details building permit requirements, exemptions, applications, time limits, etc. It addresses construction inspections, stop work orders, certificates of occupancies, certificates of use, operating permits and fire safety and property maintenance inspections. There is also a section regarding complaints, record keeping, program review and reporting, violations, appearance tickets, civil penalties, criminal penalties and enforcement and injunctive relief.A public hearing on the proposed local law is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m. at Town Hall.

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