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Hopkinton to hold hearing on trash law next month

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HOPKINTON — When the Town Council meets next month, it will hold a public hearing on a new law regulating garbage on people’s properties.

According to a draft of the proposed law — titled “A Local Law of the Town of Hopkinton Regulating Rubbish, Trash, Debris and Garbage” — the purpose of the legislation is “to promote a clean, wholesome and attractive environment; protect the community from potential hazards to property and persons; protect water resources; preserve the aesthetic qualities of the municipality; and to prevent the depreciation of properties in the community.”

The law itself includes two sections — one regarding junkyards, and a second regulating where “junk storage areas” may be located:

n “The town, as its option, may pass a resolution requiring a permit for a junkyard, except that no permit shall be required for junkyards in existence at the date of the adoption of this local law. In the event that the town adopts such a resolution, then no person shall establish a new junkyard unless a permit has first been issued for such junkyard pursuant to this law. All regulations to operate a junkyard will meet New York State requirements.”

n “Whether permitted or not, no junk storage area shall be located within 500 feet from the following: any adjoining property line, except that the setback from a public road shall be at least 50 feet; any public park, church, educational facility, nursing home, public building or other place of public gathering; any stream, lake, pond, wetland or other body of water.”

Councilman Gilbert E. Sochia said if the new law works, it would be great. However, he questions how enforceable it will be.

“If it works it will be good,” he said.

Town Supervisor Susan M. Wood said the new law would give the town’s code enforcement officer something to refer to when trying to get people to clean up their properties.

“We have to have something for code enforcement to work with,” she said. “I personally think we need to have something on the book in case we’re ever challenged, but I’m just one vote.”

Mr. Sochia said he thinks the public hearing, which is required by law before a new law can be passed, is a good idea.

Gordon O. Jock, who was attending his last meeting as a town councilman, agreed.

“I think more people should have a say in this than just the two or three of us,” Mr. Jock said.

The hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. July 15.

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