Conflict Over Waterville Codes Decision

A disagreement on how a codes regulation should be interpreted has the Waterville Codes Officer at odds with the mayor and village attorney.


During last week’s Waterville Village Board meeting, Codes Officer Kevin English said he wanted to discuss an issue that has been going on for a couple of years. English issued a permit for a homeowner on West Bacon Street to put a shed on the property line shared with a neighbor.


English said he interpreted the regulation saying structures need to be 25 feet away from the property line to not apply to temporary accessory structures such as a shed. He said a fence, which is more permanent than a shed, can go on a property line according to the village codes.


Adding to the complications of the matter is the permit English issued went to his son, Jake. The neighbor, David Upcraft, has requested the shed be moved to follow the 25-foot regulation. Upcraft is also chairman of the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals.


English said it makes no sense for a regulation to say a shed has to go in the middle of a yard, especially if that yard is small. He did admit that the shed roof does overhang onto the Upcraft property.


However, Mayor Gene Ostrander and Village Attorney Bill Getman both disagreed with English during the discussion on some of what he said.


Getman said he interprets the code to say a shed has to be 25 feet from a property line. Ostrander disputed the portion that is on the Upcraft property, saying he went out to view it, found the property stakes and some of the shed is over the line.


Ostrander said Upcraft is willing to compromise and ask that the shed be moved 15 feet back, Ostrander said. Upcraft would recuse himself from a ZBA hearing if Jake English applies for a variance to the regulation, Ostrander said.


For that to happen, Codes Officer English would have to go back and deny his son’s initial permit request for the shed. Jake English would then have to send a request to the ZBA to review the denial.


Board member Jim Younes asked why the shed was not put on side yard where there is more room. English said there were other plans for that space.


Getman said the issue is whether a shed is interpreted as a structure, which he said it is. English said it is not a building and if fences can go on a property line, so can a shed.


If the matter does not go to the ZBA for resolution by this week, it will go to Village…



The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper.