Zoning questions still not answered in Hanover


OBSERVER Assistant News Editor

HANOVER – Philosopher John Locke said the purpose of government is to protect life, liberty and property.

Sunset Bay resident Benita Szymanski recently asked the Hanover Town Board to fulfill its duties by investigating construction on her neighbor’s property, which could negatively impact her property and the rest of the community.

Szymanski and her husband, Leo, have attended several town meetings and asked the code enforcement officer for answers to no avail.

“I appreciate all that the town board does, but I am dismayed that after three months and one week, I have only gotten this (she indicated two sheets of paper) as answer to my questions,” she said.

She reiterated her questions to the board.

First, she said she is concerned that her neighbor’s eave is over the five-foot setback required by fire codes by three feet. This could affect the Szymanskis’ ability to build an addition to the full five-foot setback from their property line. She said she has found evidence that two other similar permits have recently been rejected because they were over the allowable setback.

Additionally, they are concerned with drainage issues. She reported that the contractor applied for a drainage permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation only two weeks ago, long after the project started.

Again, Szymanski expressed her concern with the amount of fill brought in to the site – over 35 truck loads.

Aside from these zoning issues, she also expressed concerns with what could happen to the town’s Federal Emergency Management Agency sponsored flood insurance rates if the zoning laws to prevent flooding in Sunset Bay are not enforced. In addition, she questioned the “poor treatment” she and other residents have reportedly received from the town’s code enforcement officer.

“I have been struggling to find answers and I am dismayed that no one on the board has stepped up to investigate this,” she said. “I have been told this is a gray area of the law, but I am concerned for the entire bay and my own property rights.”

The board did not respond to Szymanski’s questions at the meeting.

The board received notice of retirement for Jerry Hartloff and notice of resignation from Brenda Vaughn.

It approved a three-month leave of absence for Andrew Burns.

Richard Berner, Frank Boniface, Frank Matthews, Robert Perry, James Tunney and Elaine Wojda were appointed to the Hanover Sewer/Water Advisory Committee.

Highway Superintendent Steve D’Angelo reported the town is eligible for funds from storm damage sustained in May. The board authorized Supervisor Todd Johnson to sign the documents allowing the town to receive the funding.

The town board will meet again on Aug. 11.