Board discusses joint taskforce, potential five-year plan


Auld acquaintances were not forgot at the village board meeting despite the new year. Trustees convened at Village Hall on Monday night to pass resolutions on old items and discuss new, potential actions.

A motion passed to amend the village code to regulate the use of short-term dwelling units in all zoning districts. After listening to residents’ complaints about the use of short-term rentals, Sea Cliff Deputy Mayor Kevin McGilloway had drafted a set of rules and regulations in late September.

The code change prohibits short-term dwelling units in all zoning districts in the village unless a permit is granted by the village clerk.

According to the code, “Any person, acting as owner, occupant, person with authority to permit use or occupancy of any property in the Village, or as agent for any such person who shall establish, maintain, operate, let, lease, rent or suffer or permit a property in … to be used as a Short Term Dwelling Unit without a Short Term Dwelling Permit shall be guilty of a violation.”

Short Term Dwelling Permits authorize the maintenance, operation, rental, lease or use of premises for up to thirty consecutive days, and may be obtained or issued for use no more than two times in any calendar year. Each person obtaining a permit shall pay a fee to the Village in an amount determined from time to time by resolution of the board.

A committee to address the issue at Littleworth Lane has been championed as part of a “coordinated effort” between the village and the school district. Trustees Dina Epstein and Deborah McDermott, as well as Village Administrator Bruce Kennedy and the village’s Traffic and Safety Committee Chairman Daniel Flanzig are four of the 18 members that were chosen as part of the joint taskforce.

According to Epstein, the taskforce will meet every two weeks through March to work on providing recommendations to “quell concerns” over Littleworth Lane. McDermott said that Superintendent Dr. Peter Giarrizzo, who is also part of the effort, divided the taskforce into three groups — short-term solutions and signage, long term solutions, and education and communication — each working towards a specific goal to amend the problem.

“These subcommittees will provide recommendations about what to do next, gather information to think through this, and figure out what our options are,” McDermott said.

During her report, McDermott expanded on her proposal for the village to draft a five-year plan, which was initially presented to the board at a conference meeting on Jan. 2. She explained what a five-year plan is what it entails, and why Sea Cliff would benefit from one. She added that the public document would be built collaboratively among the board, its subcommittees, and the village’s citizens.

“This document would address what our goals and visions are for Sea Cliff, and how we plan to make an impact . . . and build consensus around them,” she said.

Trustees’ reactions were mixed.

Epstein said she was unclear as to what the document actually was, and wondered if the implementation of a five-year plan would cost the taxpayers money.

McGilloway said, “We’d be crazy not to embrace some level of planning in general, but this sort of thing doesn’t happen by itself.” The deputy mayor recommended the item be put on the agenda for the board’s next conference meeting on Feb. 5.

Some residents were glad to hear that the board would re-entertain the possibility of a five-year plan.

“This is a tool used constantly in business, which is driven by guidance,” Brian Ryniker said. “[A five-year plan would help] the board and the subcommittees hit the right topics, and set the right priorities.”

“With all the pressures we face not only within Sea Cliff, but from the surrounding communities with the development that is going on, we need to know what the vision is from the board for our village, and have consensus about that,” said Roger Friedman.

Additionally, a motion was passed to set the village’s Grievance Day for Tuesday, Feb. 20, between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., at which time complaints to the Proposed 2018-2019 Assessment Role shall be received. The Assessment Role will be on file in the village clerk’s office between Feb. 1 and Feb. 20.

The board’s next public comment meeting will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in Village Hall.