The Port Chester Village board wants to extend its amnesty program
until Sept. 30, 2014, but will not be able to officially do so until their Monday, Nov. 4 board meeting, where they can vote the extension into law. Although the program will be in limbo for the next four days the program, the
Building Department will still accept any applications with no guarantee they will be
officially accepted until Nov. 5, once the law is officially passed, according to
Chris Ameigh, Administrative Aide.
If officially approved by the Planning Commission, this would be the third extension to the program, issued because a short-staffed building department and code enforcement departments have struggled to process the hundreds of requests they’ve received over the last year. In recent months the village has hired several part-time or temporary employees to help expedite processing.
The Amnesty program was established in 2012 to help provide relief to people with code violations who would have faced fines if not in the program. Any homeowner can apply for amnesty, which helps them avoid fines and violation summons. The board has already extended the deadline to apply to the program from Dec. 31, 2012 to April 31, 2013 and then to Oct. 31, 2013.
The department had received about 480 applications and has processed about 10 percent of them since the start of the program, as of mid-September of this year.
Residents have accused the program of helping slum-lords and scofflaws and punishing law-abiding residents who have invalid building documents because of former village staff that did not follow local or state permit laws.
Steers says that anyone against the program does not fully understand it or has done illegal work to their buildings that they do not want to pay for now.
In this presentation, he explains how the Amnesty program can save building owners hundreds and thousands of dollars under certain circumstances.
Read more about Port Chester Code Enforcement and Amnesty in this Patch article, “This is What Your Certificate of Occupancy Should Look Like.”