Following a public hearing at which there was no public comment, the Village of Dering Harbor Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Saturday, February 16, to approve a new local law setting a speed limit of 25 mph on 12 village roads.
The board had discussed at previous meetings the safety issues raised by speeding on village roadways and had originally considered setting a 20-mph limit. Village attorney Joe Prokop explained, however, that state law only permits 20-mph limits under certain circumstances — in school zones, for example.
In other business, Mayor Tim Hogue reported that in spite of renewed efforts to solicit bids for a new village well, only one bid of approximately $68,695 had been received. He will be looking at whether the bid is reasonable for the work involved and what interest rates a bank would charge on a five-year bond. Trustee approval of both — the estimate and floating a bond — will be on next month’s agenda.
The new well would replace village well #2 and has been the subject of discussion with the Suffolk County Department of Health over the past several months. The county is also requiring that the village purchase a generator to back up the village water system.
Mayor Hogue reported briefly on the minimal damage in the village caused by Hurricane Sandy, noting that a village tree had fallen on Kirk Ressler’s property and his claim was currently under review by the insurance company. The village “did not have significant problems” with Winter Storm Nemo, the mayor added.
Flooding on Yoko and Shore roads continues to be a problem but one solution — a new drainage system — will now require a state DEC permit, Mr. Hogue said.
•Parcells application deferred: At the trustees’ December 15 meeting, there was considerable discussion regarding Patrick Parcells’ application to install a gate in an opening of his beech hedge at Havens and Manhasset roads. At the board’s November meeting, action on whether or not to forward the application to the Architectural Review Board (ARB) for its consideration was deferred until later. At issue at the December meeting was Mr. Hogue’s opinion that the application ran contrary to the provisions of a conservation easement that had been enacted between Mr. Parcells and the Peconic Land Trust at the time of the subdivision of Oriole Farm. Two sections of the document in particular, he said, would seem to preclude building the proposed gate.
Mr. Parcells suggested again in December that the PLT have a look at the plans. The PLT is not the final arbiter, the mayor said — changing the terms of the agreement would be up to the Planning Board.
Mr. Parcells reiterated that there had been a driveway at that location before and there had been a break in the hedge since that time. The proposed gate would be used only for pedestrian traffic, Mr. Parcells said. While the aesthetics of the gate, particularly its size, was questioned at the November meeting, that was a separate issue, the mayor said in December.
Susannah Rose, a newly appointed ARB member, commented from the audience that she had read the deed of conservation easement and while she would not personally have a problem with installing a gate at the location, the document “is what it is” and would seem to preclude that from happening. Trustee Linda Adams said it was the board’s obligation to follow the terms of the legal document, “regardless of the opinion of the document.”
After further discussion, the board voted unanimously not to forward the application to the ARB for review. Mr. Hogue said the board would, however, “keep an open mind going forward.” Mr. Parcells was encouraged to present the board with any further documentation, such as PLT’s legal opinion. The trustees will look at what steps would be necessary to legally amend the easement agreement, which might require going back to the Planning Board to re-negotiate the terms.
• Also at the December meeting, the board unanimously approved Mr. Hogue’s recommendation that Bob Ruttenberg be appointed to serve on the Village Planning Board.
The next meeting of the Village Board was set for Saturday, March 16 at 10 a.m..