Shandaken hammers out new building law; cell phone tower rules eased by town board


By Jay Braman Jr.

The Shandaken Town Board adopted a local law covering the administration and enforcement of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code following a public hearing that yielded little input from the audience.

The town’s new law was passed following public input on April 7. 

The law outlines the creation of “the office of Code Enforcement Officer” and details its powers. It also spells out the building permit process, what types of work need a permit and what types don’t. Fees are not listed in the law, those will be set by the board.

Also outlined in the law are the specifics on stop-work orders and certificates of occupancy and operating permits. There’s also a section that calls for regular fire safety and property maintenance inspections on buildings for public use and commercial structures.

A section on unsafe building and structures, a topic that came up last year after the Phoenicia Hotel burned down and the owner refused to demolish it, is not spelled out. Instead the law points to another section of town law (Town of Shandaken code book chapter 65).

The board also passed a resolution to change the town’s telecommunications facilities law to allow towers to be built without having at least two providers lined up in advance to occupy a tower. The change, Supervisor DiSclafani said, only pertains to towers built on town-owned property. He said the change was made because the one tower proposed in town, which is supposed to be built soon, was getting stalled in the planning stage because the tower builder does not have any carriers ready to commit until they see a tower built. DiSclafani said that some carriers have committed to towers that were supposed to be built in town in the past, but those projects never came to fruition.

The board also passed a pair of resolutions designed to restructure the finances of the town’s ambulance department. One resolution raised the pay scales for staff because previous pay was below what other ambulance companies pay in the county. The other increased the rates the department charges.