By Raymond Janis
During its Thursday, Nov. 16, meeting, the Smithtown Town Board approved two code amendments. It also held a public hearing on its 2024 community development program.
Assistant town attorney Janice Hansen explained the first code amendment, including stricter noise violation penalties. The amendment increases the fine for first-time violators of Chapter 207, entitled “Noise,” from $250 to $500. The penalties for second- and third-or-more-offense noise violations go up from $500 to $1,000 and $1,000 to $1,500, respectively. Hansen said the town may enforce the noise code in residential and commercial areas.
Following no public comments, the board unanimously adopted the amendment.
The second proposed code change involved an addition to Chapter 221, the town’s property maintenance code. Hansen said the new section, “Post-disaster debris collection,” empowers the town to move more swiftly during emergencies.
The amendment authorizes the town to “enter upon and remove debris from public and private roads, right-of-way, storm drainage easements and ingress/egress easements within town limits,” the statute said, “including private communities, private properties, utilities and/or infrastructure impoundments and/or containments for the purposes of emergency vehicle travel, stormwater conveyance, protecting public health and safety, facilitating response and recovery operations, and for any other purpose the Town Emergency Manager or designee determines is necessary to remove an immediate threat to life, public health and safety, significant damage to improved public and private property, and the economic recovery of the town.”
Hansen said that to enter private property, the town must first obtain consent from the property owner through a right-of-entry permit. Following no comments from the public, the board adopted the resolution unanimously.
The board considered the town’s 2024 community development program during the final public hearing. The municipality anticipates receiving roughly $211,000 through federal Community Development Block Grant programs, according to a public notice.
The grant funds, made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, are intended to support “infrastructure, economic development projects, public facilities installation, community centers, housing rehabilitation, public services, clearance/acquisition, microenterprise assistance, code enforcement and homeowner assistance,” the HUD website indicates.
Kelly Brown, housing rehabilitation administrator for the town’s Planning & Community Development Department, presented the aims of the 2024 program. She said projects under consideration must fulfill two conditions.
“Every project must qualify as a designated eligible activity, such as housing rehabilitation, infrastructure improvement or handicapped access improvements,” she said, adding, “Every project must meet one of three specifically defined CD program objectives,” which are benefiting people of low-to-moderate income, prevention or elimination of blighting conditions or meeting an urgent community need, such as storm damage cleanup.
To watch the full meeting, including the consent agenda and board resolutions, visit www.smithtownny.gov/226/town-meetings.