The slumlords who are trying to dissolve the Village of Brockport want you to believe that there will still be adequate code enforcement in the Village, because the Sweden Town Code’s provisions on code enforcement will protect Village residents. But that’s a bold faced lie.
The Brockport Village Code and the Sweden Town Code are similar, but there are some major differences. For example, the Village Code has 144,589 words, while the Town Code only has 142,917 words. That’s a difference of 1,672 words, and those missing words are important.
The biggest, and most important, difference between the two codes is that the Sweden Town Code does not address rental properties in any way shape or form. That is probably because the Town of Sweden doesn’t have many places rented by college students. Unlike the Village of Brockport, the vast majority of rental properties in the Town of Sweden are apartment complexes, such as The Meadows on Ellis Drive, Viking Apartments on Viking Way, the Patriot Landing Apartments on Sweden Lane, and The Woodlands on Owens Road. Each of those apartment complexes has its own set of rules that the tenants have to follow, so the town government doesn’t feel that it needs to put similar rules in the Town Code. That is not the case in the Village of Brockport, where there are almost two thousand SUNY students living in off campus housing.
The Sweden Town Code does not mention Rental Properties at all.
The Word Rental
The Village Code contains the word rental 60 times, while the Town Code only contains the word rental 12 times. That’s a difference of 48 words. But that isn’t the half of it. In the Town Code, there is NO MENTION of Rental Properties.
The Village Code uses the word rental 40 times in relation to rental properties, 14 times about the sewer rental, 3 times in regulating sales in Adult Bookstores, 2 times in relation to Bingo and other games, and once in the definition of Gross Income.
The Town Code uses the word rental 4 times in relation to Bingo and other games, 4 times in regulating sales in Adult Bookstores, 2 times in regard to the Senior Citizen Tax Exemption, 1 time in regard to Compensation of the Town Board, and once in the definition of a Public Garage. The Town Code never mentions Rental Properties.
The Village Code does not mention Board Compensation, a Senior Citizen Tax Exemption, or the definition of a Public Garage. The Town Code does not mention Rental Property, a Sewer Rental, or the definition of Gross Income. That’s right! The Sweden Town Code does not mention Rental Property. So don’t believe the slumlord s who are trying to dissolve the Village when they tell you that there is no difference between the Village Code and the Town Code.
Residential Rental Property
The Village Code contains the words “Residential Rental Property” or “Residential Rental Properties” 30 times. The Town Code DOES NOT contains the word the words “Residential Rental Property” or “Residential Rental Properties” at all. That may only be a difference of 30 words, but think about the importance of those 30 words.
For example, the Village Code includes a definition of “Residential Rental Property” that is 194 words long, and a section about the Application of the Uniform Code and the Energy Code to Residential Rental Properties that is 166 words long, as well as a building permit section that is 42 words long. The Town Code doesn’t contain anything even remotely similar.
Certificates of occupancy/certificates of compliance
The Village Code uses the words “Certificates of occupancy” 32 times, while the Sweden Town Code only uses the words “Certificates of occupancy” 9 times. Both codes contain a section with the title Certificates of occupancy/certificates of compliance, but they are drastically different. Section 36-5 of the Village Code (Certificates of occupancy/certificates of compliance) contains 1,172 words. On the other hand, section 64-7 of the Town Code (Certificates of occupancy/certificates of compliance) only contains 768 words. That’s a difference of 404 words.
But, the Town Code on Certificates of occupancy/certificates of compliance is entirely about newly built houses. The Town Code does not contain a single word about Certificates of Occupancy (C of Os) for rental properties.
Definition of a single-family home
The Village Code contains a definition of FAMILY.
It shall be presumptive evidence that four or more persons living in a single dwelling unit who are not related by blood, marriage or legal adoption do not constitute the functional equivalent of a traditional family.
The Town Code DOES NOT contain a definition of the word family. So there is no restriction in the Town Code on how many unrelated people can live in a rental house.
Former Village Trustee Hanny Heyen points out that the Town Code does not include an open container law.
The Brockport Village Code mentions drinking three times. Two are about drinking alcoholic beverages in public, one is about water. Section 4-5 of the Village Code is about drinking alcoholic beverage in public. Section 4-5 is 180 words long
§ 4-5. Drinking in public; penalties for offenses; effective date of amendment.
Public drinking. No person shall possess nor consume from any open bottle or container containing liquor, beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages while such person is on any public highway, public street, public sidewalk, public parking area, playground, public park or in any vehicle or public place or grounds appurtenant thereto, except those premises duly licensed for sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the premises. Such public consumption or possession is detrimental to the public good.
Violations. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a violation and shall be subject to the performance of community service and/or a fine of not less than $100 and a maximum fine not exceeding $250.
The Sweden Town Code mentions drinking fourteen times. Twelve are about water. Two are about drinking alcoholic beverages in town parks.
§ 137-10. Regulations.
Alcoholic beverages. The consumption of alcoholic liquors or beverages, including beer, and the bringing of such items into the parks are permitted under the following conditions:
No person shall become intoxicated. No person shall bring into or drink any alcoholic liquors or beverages, including beer, in any park, except in such areas as designated by the Director. Beer may be brought into the parks for consumption at private family or social picnic parties but may not be dispensed or displayed at temporary bars or from kegs or other bulk dispensing units unless permission is obtained from the Director.
Drinking alcoholic liquors or beverages, including beer, is prohibited in the parking lots and rights-of-way within any park.
So if the Village is dissolved, there will no longer be any rules about drinking in public on the streets of Brockport. If that happens, what are the odds that on Friday and Saturday nights some college students will start walking down the streets of the Village while they drink their beer as they walk from party to party? What are the odds that they will toss their empty beer cans and beer bottles on people’s lawns?
Don’t believe the slumlord s who are trying to dissolve the Village of Brockport when they tell you that the Village Code and the Town Code are virtually the same. There is a drastic difference between the two codes.
Think about it. When it’s time to vote on dissolution, VOTE NO.