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September 23, 2018

Councilors Eye Changes In City Code


OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Planning and Development Committee discussed changes to the city code.

Councilor Connie Cosemento and the Code Review Committee requested discussion regarding proposed amendments to the Code of the City of Oswego, Chapter 207, Solid Waste, Chapter 211, Streets and Sidewalks, and Chapter 249, Vacant Property.

Councilors are considering changes in the city code to better address issues such as vacant buildings and garbage.

Councilors are considering changes in the city code to better address issues such as vacant buildings and garbage.

“This is a result of the Code Review Committee meeting, to address some concerns about unoccupied buildings,” Cosemento explained.

In so doing, they have incorporated parts of other chapters of the ordinance and included them in this chapter, she said.

The amendments address who can write a ticket, where and when refuse (including ‘building debris’) can be placed and other issues.

A new part, regarding dumpsters, has also been added.

“Tickets can now be written to the tenant. So, now it is just as much the tenant’s responsibility as it is the landlord’s,” she said.

Council President Dan Donovan, a committee member, pointed out the last time the issue was discussed, Councilor Mike Joyce brought up some issues (regarding areas of ‘natural vegetation’).

“It looks like it has been dealt with in these amendments,” he said.

“That particular issue is addressed. But it doesn’t prohibit requiring cleanup of city lots,” Gay Williams, city attorney, pointed out.

“This will give Code Enforcement more teeth,” Donovan agreed.

The amendments consolidate several areas of the code to actually simplify it, added Councilor Sue Sweet, another committee member.

“I think it’s really going to help Code Enforcement and the councilors because we have so many complaints regarding garbage and these dumpsters that aren’t being maintained properly,” she said.

There will have to be a separate public hearing to amend each one of the chapters involved in the change, the city attorney pointed out.

The hearings are tentatively set for prior to the Aug. 25 council meeting.

The committee gave a favorable recommendation to the proposal.

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