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On Leaf Blowers and Dogs

Thu, 07/25/2019 - 12:57

Several proposed laws, including one that would prohibit professional landscapers from using gas-powered leaf blowers from June 1 to Labor Day, will be considered by the East Hampton Village Board at hearings on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

A law that would impose more severe fines for violations of village restrictions regarding animals on the beach will also have a hearing on Wednesday, as will one that would prohibit driving or parking on the beach during the village Fire Department’s annual fireworks display, this year on Aug. 17.

Also expected at the meeting are two reports. Michael Bouker, the deputy superintendent of public works, will describe the village’s stormwater management program and a representative of the United States Geological Survey will discuss a study of Hook Pond’s water quality.

The proposed summer ban on leaf blowers includes a provision that would allow them to be used after a major storm or when responding to an emergency.

Golf club and municipal employees would be exempt from the ban, and Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. has said the village would not use gas-powered leaf blowers during the summer if the law is enacted. “We want to lead by example,” he said at a June 21 meeting.

The legislation, which would take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, includes fines. A first offense would cause a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1,000, plus any costs incurred by the village as a result of the violation. For a second offense within a two-year period, the fine would be not less than $500 nor more than $2,500. Subsequent offenses within two years would carry fines of not less than $2,500 nor more than $5,000.

Animals are now prohibited from any village beach from May 15 to Sept. 15, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. At all other times during those four months, the code states dogs must be on leashes until they are 300 feet from the beach parking lot or the end of the access road.

The penalty is a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $250 for a first violation within 18 months. If the proposed law is enacted, the fines would be a minimum of $150. An additional $75 would be incurred by those who fail to pay the fine within 15 days or to contest the citation during that time. Additional penalties for fines not paid within 60 or 90 days would be $150 and $200, respectively.

Another hearing on Wednesday is on a proposal to amend the zoning code with regard to roof heights, a change the board hopes will limit overlarge houses on small lots. The proposed amendment defines a low-pitched roof as any roof with a slope of less than 7 inches of vertical rise over 12 inches of horizontal run. The area of low-pitched roof within nine feet of the maximum roof height permitted per lot size would have to be no more than 15 percent of a house’s gross first-floor area.

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