Featured Story

WMAC wants code on boat lifts

Waterways Management Committee members want to codify their stance on boat lifts, concerned that with increased requests for them, they need to establish limits so  boats aren’t dangling throughout the area, blocking pristine water views.In practice, the WMAC has banned boat lifts on inside waters and not frequently tried to avoid them even on outside waters. But the practice hasn’t been codified.

Members at Monday night’s meeting agreed to retain the ban on inside lifts and generally to limit lifts to an 8,000 pound capacity where they are allowed.

The lifts are constructed with a lot of redundancy that assures they can effectively lift boats up the capacity for which they’re constructed, said Councilman Peter Reich, liaison to the WMAC.

Member Al Loreto wondered if a 10,000-pound capacity might be better, noting he has an older boat weighing in at 9,000 pounds, but the others preferred to stay at 8,000, noting that the WMAC exists to enable an applicant who wants a lift capable of lifting a heavier craft to make a case for why it’s needed.

They worried that if they allowed a 10,000-pound limit, applicants would be seeking double that figure.

Such a case could result in a large boat on a lift blocking neighbors’ views of the water.

Ultimately, it will fall to the Town Board to make the decision about the code.


Work will be done to upgrade the Silver Beach Lagoon town landing with the anticipated $20,000 to $22,000 cost coming from the WMAC budget.

In January, WMAC member Bill Geraghty reported on the poor conditions there and sand debris and old moorings needed to be removed and new pilings would  have to be installed to create boat slips and new moorings.

Costello Marine had provided a quote for 10 pilings — five on the north side and five on the south — at an estimated cost of $12,000, while permits for the work would cost approximately $3,000. Another $5,000 could be spent dredging, although Mr. Geraghty said it could be as low as $2,000 depending on how long the work would take.

At the time, he predicted that the expenses would be recovered within 10 years or less since fees would go up for those using the boat slips.

“It’s one of the busiest launching ramps on the Island,” Mr. Geraghty said, explaining why there’s a need to restore it.


Marine contractor Jack Costello is still likely going to have to make some changes to his revised proposal for a nonconforming dock for Congdon Point LLC.  The committee struggled with the issue in March and asked Mr. Costello to make changes that would provide protection for boats in an area where wave action can be threatening without exceeding code as aggressively as originally proposed.

“It’s still toolong,” committee chairman John Needham said about the latest proposal. But a formal proposal isn’t currently before the committee again, so no action was necessary at this point.


Following a lengthy discussion, committee members sent applicant Jan Sudol of 18 Little Ram Island Drive back to the drawing boards to come up with a revised plan for replacing a nonconforming dock with an expanded version.

The existing dock is “sort of an eyesore,” Mr. Sudol told the committee. He further argued that code limits docks to 100 feet from the mean high water but fails to take into account the depth of the water he said is very shallow

If he had asked to replace the existing dock in kind, he would have gained an endorsement, but to add to the nonconforming status with expansions troubled the committee, Mr. Reich said.

“We’re having a hard time allowing you to add on to a pre-existing non-conforming [dock].” Mr. Loreto said.
Members offered various alternatives that might work, but it became apparent that Mr. Sudol needed time to consider the various alternatives and assure that they could achieve his aim and stay within his state Department of Environmental Conservation permit.

He also needs to submit plans that show actual dimensions, including where the mean high water mark is and to minimize any extension.

In other actions, the committee recommended that the Town Board approve:

• An application from Thilo Semmelbauer of 125 Ram Island Drive for a private mooring in Coecles Harbor.

• An application from Philip O’Connell of 20A Cartwright Road for two moorings in Coecles Harbor. He is giving up a mooring in Dering Harbor.

[email protected]