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Dougherty says he’ll enforce STR law but encourages others to overturn it

REPORTER FILE PHOTO

REPORTER FILE PHOTO

For the second time since it closed a public hearing on the proposed short-term rental (STR) law, the Town Board allowed audience members to comment at Tuesday’s work session.

Two residents who oppose the proposed law — Larry Adler and Kathryn O’Hagan — reiterated their views. They added that neither the Village of Sag Harbor nor the Village of Greenport have laws dealing with STRs.

But all townships on the East End — East Hampton, Southampton, Southold and Riverhead — have laws regulating STRs.

Ms. O’Hagan and Mr. Adler argued that most people on the Island opposed the proposed legislation. Councilman Paul Shepherd said he didn’t think that was the case.

Ms. O’Hagan argued that Islanders should be looking at communities like Fire Island, Block Island, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Fisher’s Island, that she compared to Shelter Island.

Mr. Dougherty, acknowledged that he is likely to be the only vote against the law on Friday. He pledged to enforce the law if it passes in line with his oath of office, but said he depended on those who agree with him to work to overturn it in the future.

The board is scheduled to vote on the proposed law at its April 21 meeting

Site plan review

It’s not ready for prime time, but the board heard from Building Inspector Reed Karen and Building Permits Coordinator Lori Beard Raymond about concerns they have about a site plan review process.

Both said there was vague language in a proposed law on the matter and asked that specific guidelines be included so Building Department personnel wouldn’t end up in needless disputes with applicants.

They specifically referred to how they should evaluate cultural features and landscaping and screening of a property. They also asked for 15 to 20 days to evaluate an application that comes to them from the Planning Board and Ms. Raymond suggested that changes that are going to involve the Suffolk County Health Department should be approved before they consider other matters.
MS4 Report

Town Attorney Laury Dowd provided a draft of her annual Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) report that deals with water runoff and how to avoid problems resulting from adverse effects on groundwater.

The full report is on the town’s website under the MS4 Committee. Ms. Dowd is asking residents to review it and make suggestions for any changes or ask any questions they may have by May 19.

Camp

Shelter Island business official Tim Laube and Academic Administrator Jennifer Rylott are seeking about $3,000 from the town to compliment money being contributed by the PTSA and, likely, the Shelter Island Educational Foundation to bus summer students to a recreation program at the East Hampton YMCA.

A morning program at the school is educational. But the afternoon program would be recreational and allow children to have full days of activities instead of just the half-day program.

The program runs from July 3 through July 27. Students would go to class here between 9 and 11 and then be bused to the East Hampton YMCA where they would eat lunch and engage in either a regular camp program that would cost parents $165, or a sports camp program for $175. Parents would also be responsible for a $50 per week transportation fee, but that overall fee is calculated at $13,000, including the money the families pay.

The PTSA has pledged $2,000 and the Educational Foundation has indicated it’s likely to come up with $3,000. The school needs the town to close the gap with another $3,000.

Garth Griffin, who oversees the town’s recreation program, is checking his budget to see if he can find the money there, Councilwoman Chris Lewis said.

Mr. Laube described the program as “an exciting partnership.”

Good rating
Moody’s has given Shelter Island an “AA2” rating calling its fiscal practices and low debt “sound.”

“Balanced financial operations are a sign of sound financial management,” the report said. “ Shelter Island approximately broke even while the tax base expanded modestly.”

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