Oneida councilors to vote on housing policy changes

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ONEIDA — The city of Oneida’s Common Council could vote on some changes to its fair housing policies in its meeting tonight.

The six-member body meets at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at the municipal building, 109 N. Main St.

If approved, the legislation will add on to an existing statute from 1991, and will bring city codes in compliance with federal Housing and Urban Development requirements, according to the legislation.

The new policies will require the city to “display fair housing posters and distribute fair housing materials prepared by the city of Oneida” to “community residents, landlords, real estate professionals and lenders,” as well as compel the council to pass a “fair housing resolution that demonstrates a ‘good faith effort’” to comply with HUD.

The changes would also designate a fair housing officer to serve as the “primary point of contact for all fair housing related issues.” Internal documents note that the city’s Director of Planning and Community Development will serve as the fair housing officer.

“Further municipal activity will include implementation of a fair housing training program every three to five years to educate elected officials, municipal staff in charge of planning, zoning, building, housing, community and economic development, and their third party consultants,” say officials in internal documents.

Councilors will also vote on resolutions in preparation of the city’s City Center Market in Higinbotham Park, to run from June 6 through August 29, form 4:30 to 8 p.m.

The resolutions will shut down Broad Street from Farrier Avenue to Vanderbilt Avenue during market hours, and will permit vendors to sell wine and microbrew beer in the park.

The council will schedule a public hearing on a measure to reduce the amount of time during which political yard signs can be displayed.

As it stands, homeowners may erect signs after Aug. 1, and must remove them within 15 days after the election. New codes would limit the window to “45 days before (the) election,” a reduction of around 50 percent, and keep the 15-day rule in place.

According to the council agenda, the city Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals gave the measure a “positive recommendation.”

The public hearing to be scheduled by the council is set for April 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Councilors are also expected to vote on a financial auditing services contract with Bonadio Group of Clinton for $27,000.

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