When the members of the Village’s administrative team needed some expert advice to draft a composting ordinance, they had to look no further than Trustees Tom Jester and Mary Oppenheim.
Oppenheim and Jester gave those who had drafted the proposed law significant input at Monday’s meeting of the Village Board of Trustees so when the ordinance is put to a final vote it will cover good practices already in use.
After hearing from Jester, Oppenheim and other Board members, Village Manager Kent Street promised to alter the proposal for the final reading of the new law next month.
As proposed, the ordinance limits homeowners to one composting bin per property or a pile no more than five feet by five feet by five feet. They must be located within three feet of a lot line and not on existing easements.
“We don’t allow it or disallow it,” Assistant to the Village Manager Jenny Maltas said after her presentation. “We want the ordinance so you can do it in your back yard.”
Once Maltas finished, it was time for Board members to ask questions. Oppenheim and Jester, two people who have been actively composting in their yards for years, were ready with suggestions.
“For 36 years I’ve been composting,” Jester said. “The best place is in the furthest corner of the yard. I have three Darth Vaders in my yard,” he added referring to the bins used.
Oppenheim fears the current proposal will not motivate the kind of sustainability the Village hopes to accomplish. “I’m afraid this will be limiting rather than encouraging,” she said. She was also unconcerned about easements. “They’ll move it and move it back. They always have,” she said of utility companies working in her yard.
Jester suggested an appeal process or exceptions for people who are already composting. Street then suggested his staff would develop more expansive requirements before the proposal returns to the Board for a vote.
In other business, the Board unanimously approved a subdivision on Meadow Lane dividing one large lot into two complying pieces of property.