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Sleepy Hollow Overhauls Code, Proposes Changes

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Sleepy Hollow trustees had concerns about a proposed change to the village's peddling and soliciting code during a recent board of trustees meeting, saying it would affect the selling of Girl Scout cookies.

“We don't mind when the kids come. It's when they bring their parents,” Deputy Mayor Tom Capossela said joking.

The Sleepy Hollow Board of Trustees is expected to set a public hearing during its next meeting for village code revisions. Trustees and village staff are working to revise the entire village code to bring it up to date. The code will be put online once trustees vote to approve the final code draft.

“There's a bunch of things in the code that just need to be updated because of language changes or state changes that overrule the village code and so on,” Mayor Ken Wray noted. Other code revisions involve policy changes. Residents can view all proposed revisions on the village's website.

The proposed peddling and soliciting change would require background checks for groups and their members who want to solicit in Sleepy Hollow neighborhoods. It would not apply to political or religious groups, Police Chief Gregory Camp said.

Residents would also be able to put a village-approved sign on their door or in their yard to keep solicitors away under the proposed change. Camp said solicitors who violate the signs would be in violation of the law and subject to a charge of disorderly conduct.

Camp noted that many religious or community groups do let police know when they'll be in the neighborhood. Some nonprofit organizations also alert police, he said. Gandolfo assuaged trustees that kids soliciting in their neighborhood would not be a problem because everyone knows them.

Trustees also discussed changing the village's rules regarding Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests. Gandolfo noted that they currently charge 25 cents per page for each request. She proposed adding an hourly fee for requests that were more “voluminous” in nature or that would require significant time to fulfill.

Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio proposed adding the hourly fee if it takes longer than one hour for staff to find documents or fulfill a request after trustees debated whether the fee would make it difficult for a resident to request documents.

The village's law against drinking in public should remain the same under the new code, Gandolfo said, because it would give the police department “more teeth.” The village ordinance and New York State's penal law mean that police could issue two tickets for one offense.

“It might be more of a deterrent for people drinking in the park, etc.,” Gandolfo said.

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