Changes to parking, open burn laws in Village of Dansville: What you need to know

Village board tightens local laws in response to concerns from residents

Chris Potter
The Dansville Online

DANSVILLE — It will be awhile before backyard barbecues and bonfires are once again the norm, but the Dansville village board is prepared for the warmer weather after recently passing amendments to open burning and parking laws in the village. 

The village board clarified the language in its law and tightened up what is permissible when it comes to open burning. Mayor Peter Vogt said the changes were made in response to the concerns of residents. 

“We had a number of complaints last year on burning in the village, people complaining about open fires,” Vogt said. “We’ve made it a little stricter as far as the fire, what you can burn them in. Last year was really warm and dry, which can add to the danger of outdoor fires.” 

PETER VOGT

The law now expressly states that recreational fires “must be contained in a commercially manufactured metal fire pit or a chiminea.” 

The amended law lists three exceptions: 

  1. A cooking fire shall be contained in a cooking device designed for cooking and be fueled by natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, or commercial charcoal or briquets.
  2. A recreational fire contained in a container, designed for burning combustibles, positioned on a noncombustible surface, and that is not less than 15 feet from a building or structure.
  3. A cooking fire in a container, designed as a barbecue pit, positioned on a noncombustible surface, and that is not less than 15 feet from a building or structure.

The board also clarified the law in regards to open-flame cooking devices. The law states “charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies, decks, porches, or within 10 feet of combustible construction.” 

The amendment adds three exceptions: 

  1. One-and two-family dwellings.
  2. Where buildings, balconies, decks, or porches are protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system.
  3. Liquefied petroleum gas (LP gas) burners, used with a cooking device, designed for cooking, having an LP gas container with a water capacity of 2.5 pounds or less.

Penalties for each open burning violation are punishable by a fine not exceeding $250, according to village law. 

Changes to curb-lawn parking law

The village board also targeted amendments to its parking law, spurred by some residents using lawn areas as permanent parking spaces. 

“We wanted to curb lawn parking. There has been a lot of that going on, and people parked between the street and the sidewalk,” Vogt said. “We tightened the standards up.” 

Current areas meeting village standards are grandfathered in, while areas not meeting standards must cease to be used and reseeded, according to the law. The property owner whose parcel is adjacent to the curb lawn can seek approval from the Board of Trustees to retain the parking area; however, if approved for retention, it must be paved at the owner’s expense.

Other aspects of the amendment: 

Curb-lawn parking areas remain part of the public right of way and may be used by the general public. 

Curb-lawn parking areas are not permitted where two-way traffic can still be managed with curb-side parking on both sides of the street.

Curb-lawn parking is not permitted along state highways (Ossian, Dock, lower Franklin, Main, Clara Barton) unless provided for at the state.

All newly approved curb-lawn parking areas must be paved at owner expense. The owner is also required to remove any concrete or stone curbing. Grandfathered areas will be paved at the village’s expense when streets are repaved/rebuilt. However, the owner of such parcel may opt to pave/concrete anytime at his/her expense.

Board approval is required for any new parking areas. Application must be submitted through the Superintendent of Public Works with the recommendation of both DPW and the Chief of Police.

Conditions not covered by this law will be addressed by the Board of Trustees on a case-by-case basis.

3-hour parking 

The board set three-hour parking limits Monday through Saturday between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on several village streets:

  • Main Street from Perine Street to Liberty Street.
  • Ossian Street from Spruce Street to Elizabeth Street.
  • Clara Barton Street from School Street and Spruce Street to Elizabeth Street.

If a trailer or motor vehicle continues to remain in the same marked parking space for more than three hours, each additional period of three hours will be deemed a separate violation under village law. 

Increased fines

To crack down on offenders, the board raised fines on violators, which hadn’t been changed in years. 

General parking violation fines will now be $25. Parking within five feet of a fire hydrant, in a fire lane, or impeding exit or entry of a fire apparatus can result in a fine of $50. Violating handicapped parking can result in a fine of $100. 

Failure to remedy any violation within 24 hours may result in an additional violation for each subsequent 24-hour period. Failure to pay any fines within seven calendar days will result in an additional fine of $50. Failure to pay the fine within 30 days “shall render the owner or operator subject to invitation by summons or arrest by warrant and punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment of not more than 15 days as shall be deemed suitable by the Village Justice of the Village of Dansville.”