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What was cooking at the Town Board work session?



When is a kitchen not a kitchen?

That question turned into a long discussion between Councilman Paul Shepherd and Town Attorney Laury Dowd at the Town Board’s Tuesday work session.

At issue was a request from the Building Department to clarify what constitutes an “accessory sleeping quarter” in the town code.

Last week, Building Permit Examiner Lori Beard Raymond told the board she and her colleagues were seeing what looked like apartments in the guise of accessory sleeping quarters, which the code defines as designated for “domestics, house guests and members of the family.”

It states no “kitchen facilities” will be allowed and can’t be used for “rental purposes.”
Ms. Dowd said if a structure has a dishwasher, a washer-dryer, a full size sink and an icemaker among other amenities “and everything except the stove that they move in the day after the building inspector leaves,” it should it be considered a kitchen.

The goal of amending the code, Ms. Dowd added, was to have it written so it’s clear what is acceptable.

Mr. Shepherd, who said he thought the matter had been solved by a resolution in March, also sought to specifically define, and not just describe, what a kitchen is.

The discussion volleyed back and forth between the councilman and the attorney. At one point,

Mr. Shepherd asked if Ms. Dowd had ever had people renting on her property. She responded,

“So you’re going to turn this into personal thing?”

Mr. Shepherd said no, he was only asking a question.

“I’m bringing this to you from the Building Department,” Ms. Dowd said. “This is not a personal thing. You [the board] should be talking to each other. I feel uncomfortable you talking to me. It’s not my issue.”

The board, after further discussion, decided to look into the matter next week.

In other business: The board is continuing to work on the short-term rental legislation passed on April 21, and will soon have an easy-to-understand version of the law available to the public.

Councilman Jim Colligan said the public bathroom slated for Volunteer Park off Bridge Street has been delayed and won’t be in place until Memorial Day at the earliest.

John Mahoney was appointed as a bay constable, joining Pieter Vielbig and Butch Labrozzi in that position.