Sands Point okays ‘quality-of-life’ laws

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The Sands Point village board passed four laws on Tuesday, all in an effort to improve the quality of life, officials said. 

“All of these proposals came up in an attempt to make our entire building code more uniform, and resident-friendly,” Trustee Lynn Najman said. 

The laws include amending section of the village code titled “driveways” to allow “all parking areas, including but not limiting to, all parking courts and driveways where vehicles are parking or stored, whether paved or unpaved must be screened from the street and from any adjoining property by a living screen of evergreen trees and/or shrubs.”

“It’s been broadened because there are gray areas and there are people who have been using sections of a driveway, if a driveway is wide enough to park cars continuously it’s no different than a parking court,” Mayor Edward Adler, said at the Tuesday meeting. 

The other laws that were passed include a site plan review law would allow for more discretion in mandating site plan review for small projects, a neglected house law that would allow village action on “zombie” houses, and a law to update and align the village penalties for zoning violations with other villages in the area.

The new law on ‘zombie houses’ state, “The Village of Sands Point is enacted to require that all unsafe structures, be secured, and so that the Village may undertake such other action(s) as may be necessary to protect that health and safety of occupants of such properties, and other Village residents.”

“Not just eye sore but they’re actually situation that are unsafe and present a determine to the community or those near by,” Alder said referring to the law that allows the village to take action on neglected houses. 

“Looking for homes that are in gross disrepair,” Trustee Peter Forman said.

Adler said the board proposed these laws after having a meeting with members of the villages board of zoning appeals. 

“Because our code was lacking in something specific to allow the BZA, as part of their site plans design to insist on the circumstances where they felt a planed parking area needed screening,” he said.  

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