Featured Story

Town Board work session report


In an effort to decrease the number of applications that have to be submitted to the Building Department for permits, the Town Board is working to re-examine and change some current practices.

Among them is a requirement to obtain a building permit for sheds on private property. While small sheds have to meet zoning standards with respect to setbacks, board members at their February 13 work session authorized Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr. to draft a resolution that would remove requirements for shed owners to apply for a Building Department permit.


Interns working with Town Engineer John Cronin the past few summers have identified existing septic systems in much of Shelter Island and now the board wants to begin to map wells. Of particular importance are those wells that are on Town property.


On March 26, soil scientist and wastewater expert Justin Jobin will be speaking at Town Hall at 1 p.m. about changes to Suffolk County’s septic system program to encourage upgrades of existing systems to the I/A nitrogen-reducing systems. The session is open to the public and will be streaming on the Town website as well as being covered by the Reporter.


Brad Tolkin, whose application to build a large house at 6 Charlie’s Lane was approved after months of debate back in 2014, got an agreement last week from the board for construction of a 10 1/2-foot wall needed to close off a basement housing an extra bedroom and bathroom in an area that would not be heated. It would not affect the square foot lot area of the site and would only be used in the summer, Mr. Tolkin said.

On the advice of Ms. Beard Raymond, who said asking Mr. Tolkin to go through a full application process would be “onerous,” the board members said they had no problem reopening the application. They expect to approve the request at the March 1 meeting.


In an earlier work session this month, Building Inspector Chris Tehan outlined a list of possible responsibilities that could be assigned to Fire Marshal and Code Enforcement Officer Arthur Bloom.

It’s expected that much of Mr. Bloom’s time will be consumed during warm months with issues surrounding the town’s short-term rental law, which is expected to be tweaked by the Town Board over the next few weeks.

Enforcement of the town noise ordinance is something board members generally agreed should stay with the Shelter Island Police Department, which has the equipment and knowledge to handle complaints.

On the other hand, there could be issues of occupancy, enforcement of the dark skies legislation, irrigation requirements and open burning situations handled in conjunction with Fire Department members.

Councilman Paul Shepherd made it clear he wants enforcement of issues involving health and safety, but doesn’t want an elaborate structure to create the enforcement role. Be realistic and keep it simple, Mr. Shepherd advised.

Councilman Jim Colligan outlined a number of projects being eyed for possible grants. Among them could be grants for a community housing manager, he said.

He also said the Capital Planning/Grant Committee wants to explore town-owned buildings that would benefit from installation of the nitrogen reducing septic systems.