Dunkirk discusses possible construction moratorium

In a push to rezone the area along Route 60 not for major housing developments, the Dunkirk Town Board raised the possibility of enacting a temporary, short-term moratorium on construction in the area during its recent meeting.

Councilman Juan Pagan reported the zoning board is almost ready to present recommendations to the town board on how to rezone the area for commercial use.

Councilman Robert Penharlow asked whether a moratorium should be enacted while the Zoning Board of Appeals reviews the zoning code. The board is looking into zoning property around the Route 60 area as commercial in order to attract more jobs.

“The question of ‘should’ is for the five of you,” Town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro said, referring to the board. “Legally, can you? Yes. That’s a judgment call, though … You have to be specific as to the districts involved. Outline a description of the area that would be covered by the moratorium, and what it is you would say cannot happen.”

The town board did not take any action on the possible moratorium after discussing it.

During the open comments segment of the meeting, several residents brought up the issue of Dunkirk city water lines being extended to the town, wondering if the possibility was coming to a dead end.

“We’re working on it, but we don’t have an engineer for that project, so we are working with Chadwick Bay whenever they can spare time to help us over here,” Supervisor Richard Purol said. “They’re going to say ‘OK, now someone’s going to have to pay.’ The town can’t just go ahead and pay, it needs to come out of the people from that (water) district to hire the engineer … We’d love to make this a fast process, but it isn’t.”

The board also voted to install new doors to the courtroom. Purol cited safety for the court clerk’s office as the main reason for these doors. The cost will be about $2,100, which includes materials and installation.

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