The Elma Town Board last week took the first step toward enacting a historic preservation law by setting a public hearing on the issue for 7 p.m. July 17.
Marlene Baumgartner, president of the Elma Historical Society, introduced the idea to the board earlier this year when a developer tore down an old house on the grounds of the former Camp Centerland on Bullis Road.
”It is imperative for Elma to have this law to save historic homes,” Baumgartner said during last week’s meeting. “Many towns across New York have historic districts, and we are far behind in this movement.”
Supervisor Dennis Powers said all board members favor the preservation law, which would require an appointed seven-member commission.
Powers said the town expects to identify homes and businesses for designation and make rules for the owners of homes and buildings designated as historic.
“There are many advantages to being designated a historic house or in a historic district,” Baumgartner said. “All homes, even new homes, can be in the district if one is approved. It’s all about curb appeal.”
Baumgartner, who noted she has compiled a list of nearly 100 buildings in Elma that could qualify, suggested four historic districts in the town.
Councilman Michael Nolan, however, said he is “apprehensive” about creating districts and prefers individual designations.
The next step for the board, according to officials, is adoption of a historic preservation resolution.
In other matters, the board:
• Authorized Water Superintendent Gene Stevenson to deliver a final warning to William Pfeil, owner of Triton Valley Estates, a community of 80 mobile homes on Hemstreet and Porterville roads. At issue is compliance with state codes governing health and safety concerns about water service. The mobile home park has until July 19 to make upgrades or risk having water shut off, officials said.
• Issued a business-use permit to American Technologies Inc., 611 Jamison Road. The company has 25 employees and provides hardware for the Internet.
• Issued a business-use permit to Todd Huber for J. Anderson Construction, 6300 Seneca St., provided no materials of any kind are stored on the site.
• Issued proclamations for the annual Elma Relay for Life and Spring Brook Fire Company for 100 years of service.
• Granted a music permit to Matty’s, 1271 Bowen Road, for 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday to have outdoor music.
• Granted a one-year music permit renewal to the Cove, 4701 Transit Road.