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Smithtown eyes tougher rules for big tents

The Smithtown Town Board voted unanimously to purchase

The Smithtown Town Board voted unanimously to purchase two properties for $240,000 that can be used for transfer of density flow rights. (Feb. 20, 2012) Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

Smithtown Town officials are weighing tougher rules for large tents.

Tents larger than 120 square feet would have to pass an inspection by the town fire marshal in order for users to obtain a permit from the town Building Department, under proposed new zoning rules. The tents could remain standing for no more than four months in any given year, if the new rules are approved.

At a public hearing before the town board last week, town attorney John Zollo said the town zoning code does not delineate time limits for a tent to remain standing, and fire inspections are not required.

“We didn’t have any regulations in terms of how long they could be up,” he said. “We wanted to make sure they met fire safety [codes] .?.?. Right now, you have no standards for that.”

A fire inspection would consider the proposed location of the tent, exits, aisles, seating arrangements and other issues outlined by the state fire code.

The board did not announce when it would vote on the proposal.

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