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Roslyn Harbor village trustees seek to regulate use of tents

A new law, if enacted, would determine when, where and for how long temporary tents can be used by residents and businesses.

Roslyn Harbor officials said they will hold a

Roslyn Harbor officials said they will hold a public hearing on the proposed tent law in September. Photo Credit: JC Cherubini

Trustees in Roslyn Harbor want to pass a law that governs when, where and for how long a resident or business can erect a tent in the village.

A party supply company lsought a tent permit last month for a June 30 wedding and village officials realized Roslyn Harbor doesn't have a law for temporary tents, village Clerk Marla Wolfson said. Since then, trustees have reviewed tent structure regulations in other villages, looking for ideas on how to craft their own tent law. 

Any measure enacted would apply to public and private property specifically for catered parties, officials said.

During Tuesday's board meeting, illage attorney Peter MacKinnon showed trustees the tent structure law passed by the Village of Old Westbury and said a similar version should be passed in Roslyn Harbor.

“It defines what tents are regulated,” MacKinnon said about Old Westbury’s law. “It also defines that you cannot establish permanent tents, and it also sets the period of . . . when permits are issued, when temporary tents have to be removed.”

MacKinnon is to draft a Roslyn Harbor tent law, and trustees said they will hold a public hearing on the proposed law in September. Trustees said they want to move quickly.

“The concern is that if we do not have such a law, there’s nothing to stop someone from putting a permanent tent up,” said trustee Jeremy Rosof.

New York State has a law that regulates temporary tents, stating that any tent more than 400 square feet must have a permit. The tent must be inspected at least twice and cannot be erected for more than 180 days, the law states.

An official in Old Westbury would not comment Wednesday about the village's tent law, whichstates that no one can erect a tent  for more than seven days without a permit.

It ,behooves Roslyn Harbor to create a tent law because there are three facilities in the village where people often erect tents for parties, said village building inspector Stephen R. Fellman.  

Enacting a tent law allows the village to inspect the structures, village officials said. Fellman said, for example, that the village needs to make sure a tent isn't made of flammable material  and that there's no possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning if there's a heating unit under the tent. 

The proposed law “is 100 percent about safety,” said Wolfson, the village clerk.

“If we’re not permitting and inspecting, then the liability is on us, even on private property,” she said.

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