A public hearing held in East Hampton Town last week had at least one resident raising questions about a situation he believes has gone on way too long.
According to David Buda, the town of East Hampton has “lacked the ability to enforce the state building code and to enforce penalties.”
Revisions to the code, he added, “are long overdue.”
And while he lauded changes to the code, which included renumbering of sections and other revisions, he said he was not certain that the new draft was “all encompassing” and suggested further clarification was still necessary. “I want to be sure all the tools in the arsenal,” are utilized and fully enforceable, Budha said.
One issue of concern, Buda stated, involves building permits and certificates of occupancy. In the past, he noted, situations have existed where individuals who were not related to the owners of a property signed an application for a building permit, to his “absolute amazement.” He added that there is a “looseness in the requirement, a problem that needs to be addressed.”
Buda also said the code should state how many bedrooms are allowable at a site, as well as square footage, to prevent conversion of four bedroom homes to illegal eight bedroom residences. “Nobody’s watching,” he said.
Other changes Buda champions include stiffer penalties for recidivists.
Finally, Buda said building permits often remain open for years, leading to abandoned properties with “falling apart decks,” eyesores and safety hazards.
Councilwoman Theresa Quigley took note of Budha’s concerns and suggested the board vote to adopt the changes to the legislation on Thursday, with an eye toward further discussion. The board voted unanimously to adopt the legislation but agreed to review Buda's suggestions.
“We’ll discuss this at a work session,” Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said.
No Street Damage, Please
With a recent host of marathons and other events held in East Hampton, resident Katie Casey asked the board to consider asking participants not to spray paint directional markers or anything else on area roads. Such paints, she said, cause "damage” and take months to remove.
While she did not want in any way to discourage marathons or other events such as the Ride to Montauk, which was voted upon at Thursday’s town board meeting, Casey said the board might suggest to those applying for mass gathering permits that they use removable flags to designate marathon and other event routes.
The board agreed and said they would ask event participants not to use spray paint on the streets moving forward.
School Zone Approved
After what Quigley said was “years in the making,” the board voted on Thursday to place school zone signage on Old Stone Highway near School Street in East Hampton, including a school speed zone of 20 miles per hour.