by Terry Duffy
The topic of boat storage on properties during warm weather months returned and occupied discussion in what was otherwise a very low-key Porter Town Board session on a frigid night last month.
Hawthorne Place resident Pat Gray inquired on the status of a petition filed earlier by Youngstown Estates residents. Their action followed active discussions at board meetings last fall on the issue following the town's adoption of zoning regulations that prohibit storage of boats and recreational vehicles in certain areas of residences.
Gray told the board he felt any changes on boat storage in the town's recently adopted zoning code should be universally applied to all town residents. "It should not be singled out for Youngstown Estates," said Gray.
It's not, responded Town Attorney Mike Dowd. He said the issue is a Town Planning Board matter and does not involve spot zoning. "The law as it's written toady applies to all residential areas of the town," said Dowd.
Town Supervisor Mert Wiepert suggested the matter go directly to the Town Planning Board where it will undergo "town-wide analysis," likely with a public hearing, before it returns to the board. Board members summarily approved the motion and the matter was expected to be discussed at the Planning Board's March session.
In other news:
•Board members heard brief updates from Scott Hillman of the town's Water and Sewer Department and from engineer Dave Britain of CRA Associates on options for upgrades versus replacements of a cast iron waterline replacement project in the western areas of the town. Also discussed was a capital improvement option of replacing the town's water tank and combining the cost with the line upgrades.
The matter was left with a map plan of the affected areas to be prepared by CRA with cost estimates, and financing options to be pursued by town grant writer Bernie Rotella.
•The town assessor's office announced it has begun work with state appraiser Dave Wilkins to determine the level of assessment for commercial properties in the town. No timeframe was given on when the project would be complete.