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Shelter Island Town Board work session report

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | The Town Board in work session Tuesday. From left, Councilwoman Chris Lewis, Councilman Paul Shepherd, Supervisor Jim Dougherty and Councilman Peter Reich. Present but not shown in the photo is Councilman Ed Brown.

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | The Town Board in work session Tuesday. From left, Councilwoman Chris Lewis, Councilman Paul Shepherd, Supervisor Jim Dougherty and Councilman Peter Reich. Present but not shown in the photo is Councilman Ed Brown.

At Tuesday’s Town Board work session the board discussed issuing a notice to the owners of 61 North Menantic for an unsafe outbuilding on the property.

Building Inspector William Banks described the building as a detached “barn.” It’s not currently used and is “rodent infested and a fire hazard,” with one side completely collapsed and in a generally unsafe condition, Mr. Banks said.

In a letter to the board, Mr. Banks wrote: “There does not seem to be a way to salvage the building as it appears to be too far gone from so many years of neglect.”

Mr. Banks said he had several conversations with the owner, who doesn’t live at the residence, and her sister, who does, and cited “family issues” as a reason for inaction on the matter.

If the owner doesn’t remove the building or make it safe, the town will issue notices to the owner, and if after a period of time there is a failure to comply, the town will destroy the building and bill the owner, according to Town Attorney Laury Dowd.

The board once again looked into a wetlands application and a special permit application by Brad Tolkin. The plan is to remove an existing structure on Charlie’s Lane and replace it with an 8,297-square-foot house. The plan includes eight bedrooms and bathrooms, with two half baths and bedroom suites in a garage and basement. It will also include 4,150 square feet of porch, terrace, cabana and the garage.
Neighbors of the proposed house have concerns about the length of time for construction, water usage, traffic and environmental concerns if the applications are approved.

One lengthy Town Board meeting has already been devoted to the project and the meeting Friday, August 22, meeting will take up the issue again. Supervisor Jim Dougherty characterized the time spent on the applications as “a soap opera.”

Mr. Dougherty announced that State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) had secured $50,000 in state funds for the Taylor Island Foundation. P.A.T. Hunt, a director of the foundation, gave the board an outline of continuing restoration and upkeep efforts of the historic Smith-Taylor Cabin that will be presented to the senator as a requirement to receive the funding.

Councilman Peter Reich said moorings in Dering Harbor have been inspected and Coecles Harbor is next up for inspection. He noted that about a dozen moorings were not found and many are unused. This calls in to question people waiting for moorings while people holding them fail to use or maintain what they have, Mr. Reich said.

Councilman Paul Shepherd, the board’s liaison to the Conservation Advisory Council, reported on a meeting where the Town’s Green Option Committee Chairman Tim Purtell presented the CAC with “A Map of Walkable Open Space & Preserved Lands.”

Still a work in progress, and presented to the Town Board two weeks ago, the map is a handsome, foldable pamphlet similar in size to the free Shelter Island maps available in many places around town, with information on preserved areas of the Island with readable, easy to follow directions.

The map won’t require town funds. Mr. Purtell said the Green Option Committee is seeking a business to foot the bill, with a space dedicated on the map for the donor’s name and logo. He estimated the cost at about $400 for about 1,500 copies.

Mr. Shepherd said there had been discussion about giving information on preserved public land to visitors and others “not invested” in Shelter Island.

“There’s the public, and then there’s the other public,” Mr. Shepherd said.

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