LAKEWOOD - Changes to Lakewood's zoning districts were the main topics of discussion at Monday's meeting.
While the zoning committee had finalized its thoughts about the village rental policy - a policy modeled after Bemus Point's - village board members and community residents still had some questions.
The board said they would not be changing the zoning law, but changing zoning districts, including an overlay for a historic district that will prohibit short-term rentals. This historic district would run from Park Lane to Oakland Avenue.
Gale Denn, village trustee, wanted to know if the landlord rental agreement would be sufficient to cover the village board in the updated zoning ordinances once they go through, or whether the board be required to create a separate law. He also expressed the need to talk to the county about a bed tax and what Lakewood's responsibility for the tax is.
"The county may be interested in knowing who is registered (as a rental landlord). That's information we'll share with them - who is registered under it," said Edward Wright, village attorney. "But as to the amount they are charging for the occupancy, when they are occupied, and when they are not, that is going to be between the landlord and the owner and the county. We won't have any financial liability for that."
Wright said in terms of the law being needed for violations, the zoning code would include fines, including rental violations.
John Jablonski, village trustee, said he feels instead of a historic district, the village should open up to rentals as a whole or not at all. Cara Birrittieri, of Lakewood, agrees with this sentiment.
"Just regarding the historic district, I haven't really thought of it too much in terms of short-term rentals, but I kind of agree with Mr. Jablonski," Birrittieri said. "... If you have a licensing procedure, then I don't see why you have to sort out this historic district."
Linda Swanson wanted to know when a public hearing will be held on the rental policy. The board said it may take more than one public hearing to get through, because they want to get through completion of the rewrite of the entire zoning law. They may have to make changes after the first public hearing, but they hope to have everything wrapped up by May before the season starts.
"If the rest of the zoning code is dragging along, we will probably take action on the weekly rentals part of that prior to the summer rental season, so that we have that in place," said David Wordelmann, Lakewood mayor.
In other news, the board authorized Village Treasurer Andrea Windoft to transfer $7,000 from the trust and agency account into the police department account for the purchase of the K-9 dog. These items will be vouchered to the K-9 grant in the new fiscal year.
Wordelmann was authorized to execute a contract between Lakewood and Zambelli Fireworks Manufacturing Company in New Castle, Pa., for the Fourth of July/Summerfest activities for July 4. The cost of the fireworks will total $10,000. Activities that day will include the Firecracker 10-K and 2-mile runs conducted by the Lakewood Family YMCA, a street sale, entertainment to be announced at Richard O. Hartley Park and the fireworks display at 10 p.m.
Lakewood adopted a revised standard workday and reporting form resolution to include and list all elected and/or appointed employees in the village.
Monday's meeting was dedicated in honor of C. Scott Terry, an officer on the Lakewood-Busti Police force for more than 25 years. Terry passed away unexpectedly on March 4. A lifelong area resident, he became a police officer for the town of Busti on July 19, 1976, and became a Lakewood-Busti police officer on Jan. 1, 1983, when the departments combined services.
He retired from the Lakewood-Busti Police Department as an investigator on June 3, 2005. He was involved in many aspects of police work including animal control officer for the town of Busti, and was a certified firearms instructor. In 2009, he was hired by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department as a court officer. Prior to his years as a police officer, he was a dispatcher for the Jamestown, Lakewood and Busti police departments.