Brad Tolkin will build a 7,840 square foot house at 6 Charlie’s Lane, despite Supervisor Jim Dougherty’s last minute effort at Friday’s Town Board meeting to delay action on the application by forcing a lengthy environmental study.
The vote was 3-1 — with Mr. Dougherty voting no — in favor of granting Mr. Tolkin both a special permit and wetlands permit to start construction after weeks of hearings and deliberations . Councilman Peter Reich recused himself as he had from the beginning because he is a neighbor and could be involved as a contractor on the project.
Referring to what he termed the “ambitious personal needs” of the applicant, Mr. Dougherty argued that the project should have been declared a Type 1 action requiring a lengthy SEQRA evaluation, rather than the Type 2 action that the applicants and their agents had already undergone.
The survival of the town’ aquifer, “a rural gem,” requires long-term survival that could be in jeopardy as a result of such large projects, Mr. Dougherty said.
But Councilman Paul Shepherd, while acknowledging that the project is “ambitious” and “controversial,” said he saw no reason to delay approval.
The development of the six bedroom house with six full baths and two half bathrooms is “bigger than I need,” Mr. Shepherd said.
Charges that the town is being “stream rolled by money,” is untrue, he added.
The town might consider future changes to its codes to limit such structures, Mr. Shepherd said, but it can’t enforce future changes on this project.
Mr. Tolkin has granted a number of concessions in pushing the project forward, including two fewer bedrooms and bathrooms than originally proposed.
There have also been changes to landscaping that will result in less water use and less environmental impact to the aquifer than the smaller structure currently on the lot that will be demolished, Mr. Tolkin’s representatives have argued.
Kieran Pape Murphree, Mr. Tolkin’s attorney, refused comment following the vote.
In other actions Friday, the Town Board:
• Approve an application from Philip and Alix Shearer of 11 East Brander Parkway to replace a 1,507 square foot house with a 1,023 square foot house and expanded garage. The couple modified an original proposal, but the new structure will be 39.5 feet from the bulkhead, slightly closer than the original house.
But the limited size of the property convinced the board to approve the application. The applicants must comply with Suffolk County Department of Health Services requirements pertaining to stormwater containment and recharge and to replace an asphalt driveway with gravel as well as to take other required steps to mitigate the intrusion into the vegetative buffer.
• Presented a proclamation to Townsend Montant honoring his efforts to raise awareness of breast cancer and declaring October 27 Pink Day in honor of his late wife, Teresa Montant, who succumbed to breast cancer on that day in 2011.
• Presented a proclamation to representatives of the Retreat during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
• Presented a proclamation to the Shelter Island Fire Department declaring October 6 through 11 Fire Prevention Week and honoring the work of the volunteers in keeping the community safe.