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Jerusalem’s new code for non-conforming houses approved

The Town of Jerusalem’s amendments to their local zoning law was approved unanimously, with one abstention, by the Yates County Planning Board at their Jan. 24 meeting, declaring it as having a positive county-wide impact.

In the past, older non-conforming homes, especially those with lakefront, could not be expanded with any square footage. Under the new code, these homes may be expanded so long as the non-conformity does not increase. Newly appointed YCPB member Jamie Sisson, a sitting Jerusalem Town Board member, says Keuka Lake has hundreds of such properties, and the town was being inundated with variance requests. The Dept. of State recommends when so many variances are applied for and granted, then the town should consider redrafting the code.

“We consider this a win-win for the town and the homeowners,” says Sisson. “We want to see the character of Keuka Lake preserved. We don’t want to see old cottages torn down and replaced by these ‘McMansions’ that are being built.”

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