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Massage RV rubs residents the wrong way

COURTESY PHOTO |  The Town Board at Tuesday’s work session discussed commercial uses at town beaches.
The Town Board at Tuesday’s work session discussed commercial uses at town beaches.

Sparked by a resident’s complaint about an RV-sized massage business parked on Shore Road, the Town Board at its Tuesday work session discussed controlling commercial uses at town beaches.

Amy DiBenedetto said that Bonheur Supreme Spa, which operates out of the RV and caters mainly to Sunset Beach patrons, parks in front of her house, sometimes for days at a time.

Ms. DiBenedetto said the RV is a “huge eyesore,” blocking her view of the water and the 400 feet of private beach she shares with a neighbor. The site of the RV also hurts property values, noting that her neighbor advertises a water view for renters, ‘but who wants to rent a house with a private beach and it comes with a massive bright orange RV?”

There’s also the problem of people sleeping in the RV overnight and running the engine, which causes pollution, plus street sweepers can’t do their job because the vehicle doesn’t move.

It’s a “dangerous opening to more commercialization of one of the most beautiful parts of Shelter Island,” Ms. DiBenedetto said.

It was noted that the owners of Sunset Beach requested the RV be moved because it was blocking the view of their patrons. Councilman Ed Brown made the point that “if a commercial operation doesn’t want it in front of his place, why would a resident?”

The owner of Bonheur Supreme Spa is scheduled to meet with town officials this week to discuss the matter. In addition, the board will look into licensing or permit applications for commercial uses on or near town property.

In other business, Ann Dunbar, chairperson of the West Neck Water District, gave a brief financial overview of the district, noting that the books are sound and the district is operating at a surplus. Construction will begin on a new project digging lines along West Neck and Menantic roads in November or early December at a cost of about $30,000, Ms. Dunbar said.

Branca Neuman of Hay Beach Road told the board that garbage cans from the private sanitation service are left out on the road all week in her neighborhood, and some of them that have not been picked up “can get really ripe.”

“Believe me, I know,” Councilman Peter Reich said.

Pick up should be made on the properties and not “left permanently on the road,” Ms. Neuman said.