New Scotland to go all-remote for Aug. 10 public hearings

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

A yard during “No Mow May 2022.” New Scotland will hold an Aug. 10 public hearing on three proposed laws, one of which deals with property owners not maintaining their lawns. 

NEW SCOTLAND — After a brief return to in-person meetings in July, the New Scotland Town Board at its upcoming August meeting will hold a virtual public hearing on three proposed local laws.

The hearing will take place over Zoom on Aug. 10, at 6:30 p.m.

Supervisor Douglas LaGrange told The Enterprise this week the town had decided to go back to in-person meetings, but because the governor extended until Aug. 13 the executive order allowing public boards to go all-remote the decision was made to hold Zoom meetings again this month after hearing from members of New Scotland’s planning and zoning board. 

LaGrange added that the decision to go remote had been a collective one made by the town’s three boards and their members.

“Both really wanted to stay virtual because of a couple of health issues” with  their members, LaGrange said of the planning and zoning boards. And the town didn’t want to have one of its board conducting in-person meetings while another went remote. “We want to stay consistent, he said, “so it wasn’t confusing.”

LaGrange then acknowledged, “It’s already confusing because we went back in person … and now [we’re] switching.”

At the Aug. 10 meeting, town board members will hear feedback on three proposed local laws related to lawn and trash maintenance, the recording of public meetings, and residents looking to engage the town in litigation. 

Proposed Local Law C of 2022 is an attempt to bring New Scotland into stricter compliance with the New York State Building Code, specifically the state’s property maintenance code related to weeds, Councilman William Hennessy said during the July 13 town board meeting. 

The proposed local law sets standards, with some carve-outs, for how the town can deal with property owners whose lawns remain over a certain length for a period of time — 10 inches and 45 days —and for the storing of rubbish and garbage on the outside of buildings. 

LaGrange told The Enterprise on Tuesday that the town was having some issues with abandoned and foreclosed homes that were not being taken care of, and it was looking for a way to perform basic maintenance on those properties and to be able to bill the owners for those services. 

Initially New Scotland was looking for a way to deal with only the derelict properties, LaGrange said, but with the state already having its own property maintenance regulations the thought from town attorney Michael Naughton was to incorporate “both together.”

That way, LaGrange said, “we had the same rules as a state does, and also so we could address these abandoned homes.” 

The Aug. 10 meeting does not have a call-in option, which has been the case since New Scotland went to remote meetings at the start of the pandemic, LaGrange noted when asked about the option. 

The public hearing may be accessed online at:

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