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Fri., Oct. 9
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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More city code troubles


Two years ago we started proceedings with the city code office to put a garage beside our home. A garage would help my 100 percent disabled husband, retired from military service of 24 years, and Department of Defense service for 20 years.

City code officials told us all garages must be located to the rear of the residence. On our property this would mean not only increased expense, but totally negate the purpose of alleviating physical distress for my husband.

We were told we could apply for a user variance. We hired a lawyer to aid us in applying for this variance. The lawyer contacted the city attorney and was told we would have little success in obtaining a variance but we could challenge the code under an Article 78, at a great expense to us.

According to the city code, the only way to have this garage is to attach it to the house, another great expense.

The garage would be built by North Country Storage Barns. It will be secured on a concrete base, and have fire walls and a fire door. North Country Barns has never had to attach a garage like this, and wondered why the city could make us do this. As they put it, it would be a “waste.”

Zoning laws can be changed, as we are all recently aware of. I have addressed this issue with the mayor and council members numerous times and received no response.

The old adage “You can’t fight city hall” is alive and well in Watertown, N.Y., unless you’re from a well-known family.

Can’t wait for November elections!

Claudia Lawlor


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