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Board set to tweak town code in two places

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO Jim Preston, center, chairman of the nonprofit Shelter Island Emergency Ambulance Foundation, with EMT Mark Kanorvogel, left, presenting a check for $55,000 to Supervisor Gary Gerth at the Town Board work session Tuesday. The funds will go to pay for a second ambulance, which Mr. Preston said has been paid for entirely with cash.

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO Jim Preston, center, chairman of the nonprofit Shelter Island  Ambulance Foundation, with EMT Mark Kanorvogel, left, presenting a check for $55,000 to Supervisor Gary Gerth at the Town Board work session Tuesday. The funds will go to pay for a second ambulance, which Mr. Preston said has been paid for entirely with cash.

At its Tuesday work session, the Town Board decided to tweak the town code in two places.

Building Permit Examiner Lori Beard Raymond told the board that a merger regulation in the code is outdated and should be “reviewed and reconsidered.”

The issue concerns the requirement that a nonconforming lot “shall merge with an adjacent conforming or nonconforming lot which has been held in common ownership at any time since October 1, 1959.”

Ms. Raymond said that the details of the merger section of the code were confusing and unfair to people who are purchasing property and may be unclear about their responsibilities.

The board agreed to refer the matter to the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeal for further review.

Police Chief Jim Read, after consulting for a week with other officials, recommended changing the code on outdoor assemblies. At last week’s work session, Chief Read discussed an application submitted by Romanos Fessas for a 115-person clambake at the end of Shell Beach on an evening the weekend before the Fourth of July.

Chief Read noted that the applicant, who wants to hold a pre-wedding party at the beach, has “ticked all the boxes,” including small music speakers, no fireworks, guests bused to and from the site and portable toilets provided.

But the chief asked the board for guidance, noting that on one hand, “we don’t want to limit the public’s access to public places,” but there were other considerations such as large gatherings on town-owned beaches disturbing other residents.

On Tuesday, Chief Read said new regulations on permits for outdoor gatherings should be restricted to tax paying residents (which the current applicant is); a limit on the number of assemblies at certain areas on a first come, first served basis; ‘non-exclusive use,” meaning people already at a location can’t be pushed out for the event; and the commissioner of public woks will determine if the event will disrupt the area, such as spots at Shell Beach set aside for piping plovers.

The board agreed with the suggestions.

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