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Yorktown Imposes Temporary Building Moratorium

YORKTOWN, N.Y.-- The YorktownTown Board passed a local law imposing a three-month moratorium on approvals for accessory buildings at Tuesday's board meeting.

Supervisor Susan Siegel said the moratorium is to allow for the building inspector, John Winters, to have ample time to review the current language in some of the laws that have raised issues in the past.

"It became apparent to the Town Board last year that some of the regulations in the zoning ordinance, which would probably go back many, many, many years, are probably a little vague ambiguous, and have resulted in a court case, so we decided that we need to revise several sections of the zoning ordinance dealing with the size of accessory buildings," she said. "There are many different questions that touch on many different aspects of this issue and because this all surfaced at a time when our building inspector, Bill Gregory was retiring, we didn't have an opportunity to really get involved in and discuss the different possibilities."

Siegel said she was hopeful that the review could take less than three months, and it includes the building of all accessories-- including sheds and pools. For those people who have already secured a building permit, they would still be allowed to build, however, new permits will not be issued under the moratorium.

Councilman Jim Martorano, who posed the question of whether or not sheds and pools could be built under the moratorium, was concerned that the moratorium reached too far. Martorano said he agreed that the moratorium would stop issues with the code that other residents had voiced earlier in the meeting, but that it did too much.

"...what concerns me is, the purpose of government, I believe, is to make life easier for people and I've gotten a few phone calls from people who are worried about a small shed or something of that nature, a pool, they're concerned that this moratorium will prevent them from having something which normally would be totally acceptable," he said. "This is like a shotgun where you really don't need a shotgun; where you need a surgical cut, we're covering too much right now and I'm concerned about that."

The law passed with all members of the board voting in favor, except for Councilman Terrence Murphy, who was absent from the meeting. Tuesday's meeting was held at Shrub Oak Memorial Park, to continue with the board's summer tradition of holding non-work session meetings outside at different locations in Yorktown.

Will the moratorium disrupt any of your summer construction plans for a pool or shed? Tell us in the comments below.

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