Elma Councilman James Malczewski wants the town to take a closer look at the code book regarding townhouses, condos, senior apartment complexes, apartment buildings and multifamily dwellings.
Meanwhile, Malczewski during a Town Board meeting last week called for a one-year moratorium on construction permits for such dwellings.
The moratorium, if approved, would pertain to multi- family residences of three or more units. It would not include doubles or two-family dwellings.
Malczewski said the code book was last updated in 1995 and last reviewed two years after that.
A builder, Malczewski called the definitions unclear at best and said the code needs to be more defined and restrictive. He called for a committee to be formed from the Planning, Town, Conservation and Zoning boards, as well as the building inspector and, if necessary, an outside engineer.
Councilman Michael Nolan said that for a moratorium to take place, a public hearing is needed.
The board plans to talk more about the issue during a work session Jan. 9.
Malczewski said he was inspired by the purchase of Camp Centerland by a local developer who says he is going to build private homes for his family on the site, but at the same time, Malczewski maintained that was not the reason for his request.
He said he was aware that developers have expressed serious interest in building patio homes and subdivisions in the town but, due to a lack of interest by the Town Board, dropped those plans.
Camp Centerland would have to be rezoned for construction of a subdivision – and Nolan has repeatedly told concerned residents that is not going to happen.
“Let’s do [the code] right, so it takes the questions out of it,” Malczewski said.
The board also held a public hearing before its meeting on smoke-free parks and playgrounds. No one spoke for or against the new law, and the board voted to approve it. No-smoking signs will be placed in the Creek Road and Village Green parks.
“I try not to regulate too much,” Nolan said, “but at parks, children don’t have a choice and should have a chance to enjoy fresh air. Elma, Marilla and Wales Sports Inc. also brought it to our attention, as it was becoming a problem at athletic events.”
“If someone wants to smoke,” Supervisor Dennis Powers said, “they can leave the boundaries to light up.”