Giving pool owners who live on corner properties more leeway regarding fencing requirements was one of several topics discussed at the village trustees briefing session Thursday night.
The current code does not allow for a pool fence to go beyond the width of the house, therefore severely cutting into the space of backyards in some cases.
“We find that homeowners who live on corner properties lose a lot of space, especially when they have pools,” trustee Edward Oppenheimer said. “We want to allow that fence to come out only three feet of the property line, which will give the owner a larger yard.”
Deputy Mayor Nancy Howard agreed, but clarified that keeping children safe from drowning is backyard pools was her main priority.
A three- or six-month freeze on maintenance fees for homeowners was another building department topic. The board wants to make sure that all work and improvements done on homes is up to code, but they do not want to penalize those who unknowingly bought homes that didn’t have proper permits.
“If the homeowner did the work themselves and they’re trying to sneak it in the back door, I’m not happy,” Oppenheimer said. “But if the homeowner can prove that they bought the house with that addition already there, I’d like to give them a break.”
The village is taking steps to eliminate “surfboard signs,” a popular new type of storefront banner that has already been restricted in the Town of Hempstead. Trustees claim these elongated colorful signs are not aesthetically appropriate and possibly a dangerous distraction to drivers.
In the interest of economy, ecology and efficiency, trustees would also like municipal buildings to become more paperless. They are considering several measures as a step in that direction, which includes having village employees doing more emailing and less photocopying for interoffice correspondence.
Another suggestion was supplying all trustees with iPads or laptops to communicate with each other, instead of leaving memos in each other’s mailboxes. Controller Mike Sussheim said that he will investigate the possibility of securing a state grant for these devices.
“It’s very possible that there may be some grants for this,” he said. “But we need to work quickly and take advantage of the 75 percent grant that might be available right now.”
Oppenheimer said that an inventory should be done of all printers in the village and to train all employees on how to scan documents into PDF or Adobe files. However, he said that in cases where the file is already in electronic form, it is wasteful to print it rather than forward it electronically.
“We need the right company to come in and teach us how to get this done,” he said. “I don’t’ care how it’s done, but I want it done. It’s important.”
After careful consideration and price negotiations, the board also approved bids on four items for the electric department, which include cable and wire, roof replacement, brick façade and step voltage control regulators.