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Great Valley Town Board Discusses Stricter Zoning Laws

By Mary Fox

The December Great Valley Town Board Meeting on Dec. 9 was preceded by a public hearing on updating zoning laws and possible changes to the Town of Great Valley Comprehensive Plan.  Items included looking into the use of trailers and campers as permanent residences, creating a mining district, fracking roads should they become necessary, windmills, property setbacks and dumpster enclosures.

“We need to get some teeth in them (zoning laws) and we don’t have anything to back them up,” said Vice Superintendent Ted LaCroix.

Further input will be accepted from the public until Jan. 31, 2014.

Superintendent Dan Brown opened the board meeting at 7:20 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Planning Board Chairman Chris Shena reported the Great Valley website is up and running but more information is needed.

Code Enforcement Officer Rob Germain reported that there were no new building permits.

Germain also reported that three properties having property maintenance violations were taken to court but no one showed up.

“The zoning laws are too vague,” said Germain. “There has to be a local law set to define the penalty issue. We must go by the State Code, but it is up to individual municipalities to set specific code penalties.”

The issue was tabled for further discussion on code penalty legislation at the January meeting.

The Great Valley insurance carrier’s representative, Phil Moyer from the Weast Insurance Agency, made his yearly presentation of an overview of the town’s present insurance coverage.

Reappointments for the following positions will be made at the Jan. 13 board meeting: town attorney, code officer and dog control officer.

Supervisor Brown read a letter to the board from Barb Sergel and Pat Pawlowski, travel chairwomen of the Great Valley, Ellicottville, Salamanca, Mansfield and Humphrey Senior Citizens group, thanking them for providing funds to help offset the cost of the four trips made by the group this past year.

The board then went into executive session. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m. The next meeting of the Great Valley Town Board will be on Jan. 13, 2014.

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