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Reporter Letters to the Editor


Enough is enough
To the Editor:
I truly feel badly for Claudia Lauren who contracted such a severe case of Lyme disease (Your Letters, “Consideration,” January 22).

But posting warnings all over the Island is not a great idea.

Information about tick-borne diseases is widespread and Shelter Island has been mentioned in many articles I’ve read as a place where you need to watch out for ticks. If we start putting warning signs up everywhere, just imagine what our Island would look like.
Shelter Island

Real consequences
To the Editor:
The New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council is considering a proposal approved by the Residential Sprinkler Task Force mandating the installation of fire sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes and townhouses in New York State.

If this bill is passed, not only will it increase the cost of building with the installation of dedicated cisterns as holding tanks, it will also create a local administrative burden for compliance and review. Cisterns are presently required on Shelter Island for approval of a subdivision and sprinkler systems for third-floor living space. The proposed regulation would add the number of buried cisterns within a given subdivision and throughout the Island.

A consumer building a new home has the choice to install a sprinkler system if they desire. And there are current building code requirements in place for hard-wired smoke and CO alarms that provide effective fire prevention. Research and statistics point to smoke and CO alarms as decreasing and preventing fire-related injuries and death.

Our real estate market continues to recover from the recession. On Shelter Island, the sale of vacant land and new home construction, which were two of the hardest hit categories in the recession, have improved in the last several years. This proposed regulation has the potential of hurting both sellers and buyers with added costs that will inevitably translate to higher taxes.

Governor Cuomo recently signed legislation that home builders provide paperwork to prospective buyers concerning the costs and benefits of fire sprinkler installation in their homes, and as of the beginning of 2015, that all leases, short and long term, disclose whether a rental property has a sprinkler system.

As Shelter Island weighs the pros and cons of irrigation regulations and counts underground cisterns, we should be mindful that New York State has been creating new sprinkler laws and is proposing regulation that would have real consequences for our town. Write to Congressman Lee Zeldin at [email protected] that it should be a consumer’s choice to install home-wide sprinkler systems.
Shelter Island