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Sleepy Hollow Proposes Village Code Revisions

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Technically in Sleepy Hollow, it's illegal to wear a bathing suit in public. The prohibition on bathing suits is still written down in the village code, although it is no longer enforced.

Constables are also something the village code addresses.

“We no longer have constables and haven't had for many, many years,” Mayor Ken Wray said during the public hearing. Constables are “supplied by towns and not by this village, and we are proposing to eliminate that from the village code.”

Inconsistencies, policy changes and outdated laws are the target of the Board of Trustees and village officials as they work to update the Village Code and get it online. The village is working its way through the code, putting up sections of proposals on the village website.

The first several public hearings on the proposed village code revisions was held during a recent Board of Trustees meeting. Two issues were discussed in length: the role of the Architectural Review Board and filming.

Wray noted that the board was considering taking away some responsibility from the ARB, such as approving signs in the village, and giving it to the building department. Wray argued that the process change would lessen the burden on property owners when making changes.

“It's a way of trying to streamline the process in some places and make it somewhat easier for residents and homeowners to approach changes on their property,” he said.

Resident Daniel Scott said the function of the ARB was different from the zoning and planning boards because it was concerned with ensuring village standards are met. Relaxing the standards, he said, “puts us at great risk.”

Village Attorney Janet Gandolfo noted that the signage regulations were already in place in the village code.

“It's just a suggestion of shifting the responsibility and lessening the work of the ARB,” she said. “It's gaining less of an onerous atmosphere and having to wait perhaps two months to get sign approval when the building department can do it much more readily.”

Trustees also discussed what changes should take place in regards to filming. They discussed whether permits should be issued and under what conditions.

Scott questioned whether having every film company apply for a permit would be too cumbersome, especially if they were only filming on private property. Wray noted that even filming on private property could be bothersome. A recent shoot in his neighborhood blocked off traffic and continued filming past the allotted time, he said.

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