Jerusalem lot coverage law stalls; motion fails without a second

John Christensen

A law proposed to make the language of the lot coverage laws universal throughout Jerusalem's zones was stopped dead in its tracks after Supervisor Daryl Jones' motion failed to receive a second, thereby preventing it from coming to a vote.

Pushed strongly by Zoning Board Chairman Glenn Herbert, the law would amend the existing code in the agriculture/residential district to limit total lot coverage by any combination of structures to just 10 percent of the total lot acreage. Herbert believes this was the intent of the board when the law was drafted in the early 1970s, but that it was poorly worded, allowing any number of buildings on a lot, so long as each one is less than 10 percent of the total lot size. In this, he was supported by fellow zoning board member Jim Crevelling and resident Scott Demmin.

Herbert often became noticeably irate during discussions, and directed many of his criticisms to Fred Thomas, who is building a development on Central Ave. in Keuka Park that exceeds the 10 percent rule Herbert favors by just 0.6 percent. Herbert says that as the law now stands, Thomas could cover his whole lot with buildings.

The two most vocal members of the town board opposing the measure were Pat Killen and Mike Steppe, who believe that an overnight change that immediately restricts landowners to building on just 10 percent of their property is too restrictive. Killen, who openly declared that he lives on a small lot in the Ag./Res district, believes the question is about freedom and a property owner's rights. Steppe clearly stated that he believes the 10 percent per building rule is too broad, but that 10 percent total is too restrictive. He expressed support for the concept of making the language consistent, but believes 10 percent is unfair, especially for small lots in the Ag./Res. district, and for structures such as high tunnel greenhouses.

Without a second to call the vote, the board effectively tabled the proposal.

In other business;

• Fence law – Tabled for revisions suggested by town attorney.

• Resignation – Bill Pringle from the planning board for personal and health reasons. The board thanked him for his years of service.

• Appointments – Rob Ayers to Highway Dept. as equipment operator at $14.50 per hour.

– Lee Hardy as Keuka Park water/wastewater maintainer on union contract.

– David Owens as Planning Board member to replace Mary Coriale.

– Vernon Brand as full time sole appointed assessor at $47,000 per year.

– Art Carcone as temporary coverage for Code Enforcement Officer on medical leave for a maximum of 1600 hours at $20 per hour.

• Contracts – Authorized supervisor to sign Teamsters' Union contract

Authorized supervisor to sign contract with Larson Design

• Intern – The board approved the hiring of a Keuka College student on field period as a data collection intern for a maximum of $1200 to be paid from the contingency fund.

• Consultancy overspending – The Planning Board overspent on services by Matt Ingalls for the two rounds of public comment on the Rte. 54A scenic overlay district by $6,500. There was no approved contract for services beyond an "as needed" statement.

• Truck – surplus Highway Dept. pickup auctioned for $11,100.

• Organizational Meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. Jan. 9.