Kings Point weighs bills on building inspector role, soil erosion

Kings Point weighs bills on building inspector role, soil erosion
The Village of Kings Point Board of Trustees discussed two new bills at the Aug. 29 board meeting. (Photo by Karina Kovac)

The Village of Kings Point Board of Trustees discussed two bills that would affect the duties of the building inspector and mitigating soil erosion at construction sites at its Aug. 29 meeting.  The inspector bill received unanimous support from the board members for adoption and the soil erosion measures will be subject to a public hearing.

The key provisions of Bill 10B of 2023 would give the building inspector the authority to suspend or revoke a certificate of occupancy if it was issued in error or based on incorrect information supplied during the permit application. The code would be consistent with current New York State rulings on the issue.

Additionally, the bill allows for the suspension or revocation of certificates in cases where a building or structure is found to be in significant violation of ordinances or regulations, posing a substantial risk to the health or safety of individuals in or near the structure. In such instances, the property owner has the right to appeal the decision to the Village Board of Appeals and, if necessary, to the Board of Trustees, which has the authority to affirm, reverse or modify the suspension or revocation and impose relevant conditions.

Furthermore, the legislation empowers the building inspector to issue orders for the evacuation of a building if it is deemed unsafe for occupancy. These orders can also permit limited occupancy for the purpose of identifying and performing necessary safety-related work while ensuring that individuals are protected from entering or remaining in close proximity to the building during this period.

Such protective measures may involve boarding up access points to the structure and erecting fences.

Bill 10B also enables the building inspector to order the repair or removal of a structure that is deemed unsafe due to instability or poor condition. These orders can also include protective measures to prevent individuals from being in or near the unsafe structure, such as erecting fences.

In addition to Bill 10B, another proposal, designated as Bill 15A, was introduced during the session. This proposal focuses on amending provisions related to the maintenance of construction sites within the village. It was suggested by the Village of Kings Point Building Department, and the board of trustees unanimously approved the motion to schedule a public hearing.

Bill 15A primarily addresses soil erosion concerns on construction sites, requiring that the premises be protected at all times from soil erosion onto other properties, including roads, wetlands, and waterways. This protection is to be achieved by following New York State Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control Best Management Practice Methods, which include the placement and maintenance of salt-hay bales, silt fencing, crushed stone, geotextile fabric, mulch and raised berms as necessary to satisfy the Superintendent.

It mandates that stockpiles of extra fill not be located within 20 feet of any property line and should be protected with erosion control measures or removed when deemed necessary by the superintendent. Regular monitoring of erosion control materials, especially after rain events, is also required to ensure their functionality and sufficient condition.

Another provision of Bill 15A mandates that all construction sites install and maintain mailboxes approved by the Building Department for the receipt of mail and other communications from the Village.

There was a lack of public comments on both bills during the hearing.

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