Town of Varick Panning Board Meeting Minutes
Date of meeting : July 26, 2007
Meeting called to order: 7:10pm
Attendees: Thomas Bjorkman(Chairman), Bob Kayser, Bill Larzelere, Frankie Long, Larry Peterson, Kevin Swartley
Absent: Annie Bachman
Thomas Bjorkman informed the Board that Larry Peterson was stepping down as Secretary of the board and thanked him very much for the many years of performing this task. All agreed he had done a great job. Thomas then said that Bill Larzelere had volunteered to take over the duties for a one year period.
The June meeting minutes were approved with 5 revisions .
The following discussion was on an ordinance for dangerous and/or vicious dogs in the town.
Thomas said the Town Board had asked our Board to craft an ordinance after several complaints from town residents of being harassed or threatened by such dogs, specifically on the East Lake road.
Frankie Long and Thomas Bjorkman had done research on some existing ordinances and submitted one from the Town of Utica as an example for discussion. The ordinance from Ag and Markets was also brought to the table. Ag and Markets version was the least strict allowed and Towns could be more strict.
It was noted that the ordinance cannot discriminate against any certain breed of dog.
Bob Kayser had done Web searches and had many useful definitions. One being:
“A potentially dangerous dog is any dog which when unprovoked on two separate occasions within the prior 36 months engages in any behavior that requires a defensive action by any person to prevent bodily injury when the person and the dog are off the property of the owner or keeper of the dog.”
It was decided to use this definition and also language in Paragraph 1 of the Utica ordinance in describing dangerous/vicious dogs.
Kevin Swartley had talked to Judge Case who felt that the Ag and Markets version lacked “teeth” to allow him to be effective in discouraging these types of animals and prosecuting cases of people being harassed by them.
After discussion, Bob Kayser made a motion that a fine for an offense be a $1000 dollar fine and up to six months in jail for each violation of the ordinance. Larry Peterson seconded the motion. Approved unanimously.
It was also decided that electronic (invisible) fencing was not adequate for containment of these animals.
It was then discussed how dogs that were determined by the courts to be dangerous/vicious could be moved to a lower level by having behavioral pattern improvements verified by the ASPCA or other accredited organization. This was in the Town of Utica ordinance.
Thomas suggested giving the Town Board language about owners, of dogs being taken for walks, being responsible for picking up fecal matter from their animal. He also suggested some leash law language. After discussion and suggestions that maybe this wasn’t the place for such language, it was decided for Thomas to craft the language and let the Town Board decide if this is something they would want to see in this ordinance.
Kevin Swartley made a motion that the Town of Utica Ordinance, with our changes and additions discussed, be presented to our Town Board as the Town of Varick Dangerous/Vicious Dog Ordinance. Bob Kayser seconded and it passed unanimously.
The next topic was a discussion on Personal Travel Trailers
Temporary hunting and camping camps on owners property are acceptable as long as healthy hygiene practices are followed in water and sewage.
Modification to Travel trailer code: 21 days OK- After 21 days permit is required and after 120 days travel trailers are not permitted.
Must conform to all health codes for electrical, water and sewage with no sewage discharge permitted.
Code Enforcement Officer has discretion for siting and setbacks.
Thomas Bjorkman has language details decided upon.
Kevin Swartley moved to make the above changes to the code. Larry Peterson seconded, and it passed unanimously.
The next topic was a discussion on a change to the Zoning code on page 7 paragraph 6 Flood Zone lowest living level.
Change lowest living level for new construction in the town from 1 to 2 feet above the 100 year flood level.
Bob Kayser moved to make this change. Larry Peterson seconded and it passed unanimously.
Next Topic for discussion was a definition for Commercial Property for the new Zoning Code
Definition discussed and agreed to. Thomas Bjorkman has language details decided upon. Bob Kayser moved to accept the definition, and Frankie Long seconded. The vote was unanimous.
Kevin Swartley brought up the need to better define “Common Access” roads and development regulations on them, in the Zoning Code. Because of time restrictions, this was noted as a topic for the next meeting.
The next meeting was scheduled for August 23rd 2007 in the Varick Fire Hall.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM
Approved August 23, 2007