Public Hearing Scheduled for Zoning Amendments
By Jann Wiswall
The Town of Ellicottville’s board passed an amended Local Noise Law at its Wednesday, Jan. 20 meeting following a public hearing.
Cheri Giancarlo, whose noise pollution problems with a logging operation near her home prompted the board to review and revise certain sections of the law, attended the hearing. She asked the board for clarification of Section 5a, which specifies permitted noises within the limits of the town “by persons engaged in logging, construction, building, repairing, grading, leveling, excavating during the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday.”
Giancarlo pointed out that weekend permitted hours should be specified.
The board agreed and added permitted hours for the above types of work on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The law also specifies that sound related to farming is permitted throughout the town from sunup to sunset seven days per week. Sound created by homeowners’ lawnmowers or power tools is permitted from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.
Such noise-producing activities are prohibited at all other times.
The board’s goal throughout the process has been to strengthen existing law and clarify ambiguities to ensure that residents are not subjected to long-term noise pollution from industry or agricultural activities. At the same time, the law ensures that people are able to earn a living and is enforceable.
No changes were made to the existing law related to prohibited noise from music, loudspeakers, animals, etc.
The full text of the law can be found on the town’s website at ellicottvillegov.com or in the clerk’s office in the town hall.
Town Supervisor Matt McAndrew reported that he attended a training seminar sponsored by the State for first-time municipal officials. He said he expects to attend another training program sponsored by Southern Tier West in the spring.
McAndrew had a request from the state police, who maintain a substation on the first floor of the town/village hall, for some designated storage space in a closet on the second floor. Town Engineer/Highway Superintendent Mark Alianello said that the closet in question contains the access panel to the attic, so the police would not be permitted to have the only key. The board could not think of any other available space.
McAndrew also reported that he was appointing a board committee (including Ken Hinman and Greg Fitzpatrick, with Mark Alianello) to finalize the highway superintendent job description. The description needs to be approved by the full board and be submitted to the County Civil Service Commission for its approval. McAndrew noted that there is some urgency to get the process completed and asked the appointed committee to meet in time for a special meeting he scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. in the town/village hall.
The board was also asked to schedule a public hearing on proposed zoning law changes. Alianello explained that the Town Planning Board had been working for months on making needed changes to the existing zoning law to address types of businesses that had not previously been included, such as food trucks and distilleries. In addition, the planning board amended the definitions of some businesses and clarified land uses to allow for them. The public hearing will be held at the board’s next regular meeting on Weds., Feb. 17.
Alianello also reported that he and a committee formed to head the search for a new town planner had interviewed three companies/individuals that had submitted proposals. The committee expects to make a recommendation to the board next month.
Under old business, Alianello reported that the state Department of Transportation approved Ellicottville’s and the Town of Ashford request to reduce the speed limit on Town Line Road to 45 mph.
Finally, McAndrew said he is looking into designing a sign for the town highway garage, which will be named after former highway superintendent Dave Golley. McAndrew also suggested that the road to the garage be named “Dave Golley Drive.” The board was enthusiastic about the idea and will schedule a dedication ceremony after clearing dates with Golley’s family.
The next regular meeting of the Town of Ellicottville’s board will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17 in the town/village hall.