East Williston board passes flagpole law

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East Williston residents who want to fly the American flag – or any other banner – from a new front-yard flagpole can now do so, within certain parameters.

The East Williston Village Board passed a local law stipulating regulations for erecting a flagpole and running something up it at Monday night’s meeting after a brief public hearing.

The new law stipulates that any flagpole installed before Feb. 13, 2012 will not be subject to the new law, as long as there is only one flagpole on the property flying no more than two flags at one time.

“All the flags now in place will remain,” said Robert Campagna, Village of East Williston building inspector.

Flagpoles now being installed are limited to a height equal to the house on the property where they are placed. Residents must file a permit to put a flagpole on their property. The poles are limited to a diameter of six inches and can only fly two flags at a time.

“It is a change because previously, more than two flags could be flown,” said village attorney Jeffrey Blinkoff.

East Williston resident Ray Gaudio asked whether the law would place any restrictions on the kind of flags that would be permissible.

Blinkoff said the object of the law is not to regulate what sort of flags people may choose to fly.

“It was a zoning issue,” Blinkoff said.

The law is an attempt to regulate existing practice, according to East Williston Mayor David Tanner, who said the law previously prohibited putting flagpoles in one’s front yard.

But residents were doing that anyway, Tanner said, so the village is putting controls on the practice.

In other developments:

• Tanner said the tentative village budget should be ready on April 1 and all residents will have time to review it. He repeated previous comments that he expects the village board will exceed the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap on municipal and school board budgets.

• Grievance night, when residents can appeal their local tax assessments, is slated for February 21 at 7 p.m. in East Williston Village Hall.

• Gaudio, the village’s representative on the Town and Village Aircraft Safety and Noise Abatement Committee, said that organization will hold its next meeting on Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Garden City Public Library. Gaudio said several elected representatives are expected to be at the monthly meeting of the grassroots group.

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