Town to tout ‘green’ options on May 1

Karla Friedlich, at Town Hall on Tuesday, presented a rundown of the plans for a town environmental fair, which she and other Green Options Committee members hope will be an annual event.

Plans to hold a Shelter Island environmental fair in May and issues subject to Town Board action at Friday’s regular meeting took shape during Tuesday’s work session.


Herb Stelljes and Karla Friedlich of the town’s Green Options committee reviewed the list of participants offering to set up informational booths at an environmental fair slated for May 1 at the Legion Hall Youth Center. Solar energy representatives, presentations on invasive vines and Island aquifer issues, stormwater runoff control information from the town Highway Department and green building options are just a few of the booths planned. Presentations will be recorded and broadcast on Channel 22.

More details will be announced prior to the event.


The Town Board completed discussions on Marc Wein’s special permit to convert the Center luncheonette into office space in anticipation of a vote on Friday.

Mr. Dougherty said that although the board had generally agreed to approval conditions, there were lingering concerns about parking. Mr. Wein proposes four on-site parking spaces to service a relocated M. Wein Realty office as well as a second-story apartment. The Town Board will have to waive most of the code parking requirement of 20 spaces to grant the special permit for a new business in the B-1 zone.

Mr. Wein said that he could cut down mature trees on the property to make room for parking but he would prefer not to. He also said that he had made three phone calls and had two conversations with representatives of the Presbyterian Church about parking issues. He did not say how the church responded. 

“Your tenants will be using these spaces, too?” Town Attorney Laury Dowd asked in reference to the apartment above the proposed office space. Mr. Wein said yes. That might take up two of the four spaces, Ms. Dowd said. Mr. Wein said that the tenants might have one car. He also noted that other nearby businesses use more parking spaces than the realty office.

Councilman Glenn Waddington said, “I want to see something done with that building. I’m not an obstructionist. I don’t know how many spaces it will require … but between you and the church, the church and the town, I hate to see that parking lot empty.” The church has asked that parking in the lot be limited to community members using the church and programs housed there.

Mr. Wein also reported that a prospective café lessee visited the property but an agreement could not be reached because the gentleman wanted to make improvements that the town Building Department or county health department would not approve. “If a deal went through, what in the world would anybody have done with parking?” he added. He would have to arrange a lease with the church, Councilwoman Chris Lewis responded.


At the March 16 meeting, the Town Board also discussed:

• An upcoming hearing on a new draft of the town’s temporary sign law; the code currently prohibits commercial real estate signs. Audience member Paul Shepherd asked if the town would be voting on the law the same evening it hosts a second public hearing on the issue, expected to be scheduled for April 9. That would be up to the Town Board, Mr. Dougherty said, but Mr. Waddington replied that if enough citizens raised concerns about it, the board would not be likely to vote without taking another look at the law. Mr. Shepherd objected to the draft law’s restrictions on individual speech and said, “I don’t want to be the one to have to sue you people but I will if I have to.”

• Pending open space acquisitions. Mr. Waddington reported that final action on the Klenawicus property at Burns and Cartwright roads is nearly ready and that the Two Percent fund will cover the $3.6 million purchase with a modest amount left over. But other acquisitions are in the works and will further tax the account if it is not replenished by an upturn in real estate sales.

• Sunset Beach wetlands permit. Sunset Beach owners are proposing to replace leaching pools on the property and want to complete the work before May, Mr. Dougherty said. They’ve asked that the town vote on the permit Friday, immediately after the public hearing, rather than waiting for work session deliberations. If the board perceives a problem during the hearing, the vote will wait, the supervisor said.