HIGHLIGHTS FROM ANDES TOWN BOARD MEETING: PLEA FOR TRAFFIC CONTROLS IN HAMLET POSITIVE FEEDBACK FROM SHORT-TERM RENTAL OWNER – May 2024

Submitted by Judy Garrison

Andes Town Hall: April 9, 7 pm

Present: Supervisor Wayland “Bud” Gladstone; Councilmen Ritchie Gabriel, Dale Cole, Jason Mondore; Town Clerk Carol Ames; Highway Superintendent John Bouton

Absent and Excused: Thomas Hall

Privilege of the Floor: Dede Shelton, a Delaware Avenue resident, advocated for ways to address speeding in the hamlet, characterizing it as a public safety issue. One solution she offered is solar powered automated speeding display signs—with the more sophisticated models tracking data for law enforcement—to be installed at one or more of the 4 ingress/egress routes to Andes. These have documented ameliorating effects on speeding. Tina Mole, Bovina Supervisor, told her that a grant from the O’Connor Foundation helped with Bovina’s funding for their sign. Delhi, Stamford, Roxbury and Grand Gorge also have installed these signs. Shelton offered thorough details of her own observations as well as results of her research, such as state fatality rates based on various vehicle speeds. For instance, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling 40 mph has a 90% chance of his injuries being fatal, while a reduction in speed brings fatality numbers way down. She also recounted instances of accidents and near-accidents on Delaware Avenue due to incessant speeding and made a from-the-heart plea for the Town to prevent future injuries. She has submitted FOIL requests for detailed accident reports, but so far has not obtained these.

Bud said the Town has continued to acquire more static signs and has posted State Troopers who usually appeared at slow traffic hours in the middle of the day. He will try to get postings at the busier times of day and will meet with Tina Mole to learn Bovina’s process. Council Member Cole remarked that a sheriff’s patrol is on duty near the school most days, adding that the worst spots where speeding poses threats to safety were near the school and coming off Palmer Hill into the Hamlet. A mother of an ACS student in the audience expressed appreciation for this effort as did all who listened, and it appeared that the Town will follow up with Shelton’s request to pursue funding for one or more display signs.

Mark Pezzati, who with his wife has been conducting a short-term rental of a cottage on their property off Shaver Hollow, came to the meeting to offer feedback on their process of submitting to Andes regulations. He recalled that they had strong reservations 2 years ago when the regulations were first being considered, expected them to be burdensome. However, after going through the procedures for complying with the application process, paying the fee, having the code enforcement officer, Al Mohr, check everything, adhering to all the regulations, he now has no problem at all with it. In fact, he characterized the process as straightforward and smooth, even helpful. Bud offered that people might think the local government is trying to dictate, “but it’s really just about public safety.” Mark added, “I think if people want to be in business, they have to follow regulations. Andes absolutely has a right to determine how it’s done.” It was rewarding to witness someone take the time and effort to share positive feedback. Bud said that some towns have put a numerical limit on short term rentals, but Andes hasn’t done that. This writer is aware of Hanock and Colchester recently passing their own set of rules regulating Short-Term Rentals, likely having seen how well it went for Andes.

  Bob Abbate, Chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals, moved in separate motions to re-appoint both Dana Scuderi-Hunter and Skip Parcells to the ZBA through December 2026. Motions passed.

  John Bouton reported on the daily work of chipping brush and trees, mowing, plowing and sanding. Stevens Road, off Fish Hollow, where it meets the Town of Hamden, will become a seasonal minimum maintenance road and is now so marked.~