Near the beginning of the Jan. 3 board meeting at Farmingdale's village hall Peter E. Wass, William E. Reilly and Robert J. Jensen were sworn in as fire police for the Farmingdale Fire Department.
The board continued on to a list of public hearings. A public hearing regarding a special use permit for a restaurant at 191 Main St. was set for Jan. 24. The public hearing regarding rezoning 1 West St. from Residence B to Office/Residence was postponed indefinitely.
Continuing from the previous board meeting was a public hearing on street and sidewalk obstructions. This includes regulating dumpsters, materials being stored in the street and other health, safety and welfare issues that have come up from homeowners and contractors. Superintendent of Buildings Ron Craig said he realizes the current code does not adequately address these issues.
"What we are trying to accomplish here is to regulate where dumpsters get located," Craig explained. "To get dumpsters off the street in general and get them on to private property and to prohibit or severely limit the ability for homeowners and contractors to store materials for a prolonged period of time in the street. We want to eliminate unsafe conditions for vehicular traffic."
After citing instances of construction materials entering the drain systems after a rain storm and unsafe roads due to dumpster placement, Craig suggested there be a permit process.
"This way the cost incurred by time and effort by the building department to regulate its location, reflectors, collecting insurance from dumpster contractors is defrayed by the person who needs this service, as opposed to taxpayers," Craig said.
This public hearing also addressed store merchandising along commercial sidewalk space on Main Street. Trustee Dr. Benjamin Giminaro broached this topic.
"We need to address how we can go about regulating this in a reasonable manner," Craig said. "There needs to be some sort of limiting as to how much merchandising is done."
Craig recommended allowing store owners to utilize one row, kept maintained against the building for merchandising purposes.
"This would allow for the maximum amount of accessibility to the sidewalks," Craig said.
When opening the floor to public comment Widen Street resident Pat Christiansen said she doesn't view the merchandising as obstructive.
"I think it adds life to our Main Street," Christiansen said. "It looks like something is going on."
At the Sept. 6 trustees meeting, the board unanimously approved entering into contract with General Code to update the village code. General Code is the company that currently maintains the village code. Street and sidewalk obstructions and dumpster permits will be part of the overall amendments. This public hearing will continue at the next board meeting.
A Hallock Street resident complained about her neighbor's "billboard-sized" commercial vehicle. She went on to say that her and other neighbors' requests to the truck's owner to move it to his backyard were unsuccessful.
"He has consistently defied everybody and almost blatantly ignored us," the resident said. "I've made several calls to Village Hall without complaint because supposedly there was a list arm's length of complaints of this truck going on. I was told it was being taken care of."
On the morning of the meeting, the 28-year Farmingdale resident said she not only saw her neighbor's truck, but another neighbor across the street with the same truck.
"I think that precedence was set because we didn't move fast enough on it," she continued.
While the trucks are parked in her neighbor's driveways, this resident stated their size obstructs the view of her children's bus stop and affects air quality.
"Twenty-three minutes was the amount of time this diesel truck was running this morning," she added. "I feel like I'm not in a small town anymore."
Craig said that Joann Edling in Code Enforcement is aware of the situation and "has been working with it." Craig said the truck owner was allegedly given a fine last year but they would "take another look at it."
Another resident suggested calling the 8th Precinct because "it is illegal to park commercial vehicles in the street."
"I will make sure Code Enforcement discusses this with the 8th Precinct also because they can't write parking tickets on private property," Craig said.
He also added that this is another area, which will be updated during the recodification process.
Sherman Road resident Jessica Healy addressed the board regarding light shields on the lampposts along the Lenox Hills Estates development.
"They are these bright lights that are in my bedroom," Healy explained. "Besides the fact that I can't keep my curtains open and people can see me if they are coming down that street. It's like a K-Mart shopping center."
Craig said that the shields placed on the existing lampposts "direct 85 percent of all light to the street."
In addition to the lights' luminescence, Healy continued on to state that there were 13 lampposts on Lenox Court and how it was considerably more than in other recent developments, such as the Dale Drive extensions.
"Nelson & Pope, the engineers in charge of lighting, said it [the lighting] was not excessive and the village's engineers, H2M, agreed," Craig responded. "The village building department is working with the village engineers right now at trying to put together a plan to [possibly] eliminate some of that lighting, but nothing has been agreed to yet."
Additionally, a 60-watt bulb behind the Healy home was replaced with a 40-watt bulb. This lamppost is located just over 140 feet from the Healy residence, according to Craig.
Another concern Healy mentioned was the shrubbery and plantings beyond her backyard.
"We wouldn't have to worry about that [the lighting] if the shrubbery was put in that was supposed to be," Healy said. "We wanted the planting, which they did, but they put in these tiny little bushes. They were supposed to put in trees along the whole fence."
Healy also said the trees were put 15-feet apart and it would take 40 years for their purpose to take effect.
According to Craig, the developer, Bartone Holdings, LLC, has planted 204 of the 6-foot perimeter plantings, whereas 160 were required.
Craig later told the Farmingdale Observer that to date, "the builder has planted 20 percent more than the site plan required of him in general."
"We will continue to address it," Mayor George Graf added.