Featured Story

Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor


To the Editor:
As I understand the town’s short-term rental law, I can’t rent my home more than once every 14 days. This is to reduce noise, traffic, turnover, etc.

But I can lend my property more than once every 14 days, free of charge.

Our friends and relatives are thrilled they can now come and go for free.

No more turnover, noise, traffic, etc.

Now I understand.
Shelter Island

To the Editor:
It is difficult to ascertain the intent of the proposed Rental of Real Property law currently under consideration by the Shelter Island Town Board.

However, regardless of any other aspects that may be troublesome, unclear, unworkable or onerous, a plain reading of the law leads one to conclude that the town is poised to meddle with the property rights of a vast swath of Island property owners.

The proposed law applies to the rental of all real property, in any zone, regardless of the length or term of such rental. This includes the rental of homes, rooms, commercial space, garages, storage spaces, parking spaces, agricultural lands, otherwise unimproved parcels of land (including, one would reasonably conclude, lands offered for hunting, fishing, harvesting of bay life and so forth), and any other non-owner use or occupancy of any real property.

The law would, among other things, require the owners of any property offered for rent, for any length of time, to register with the town; possess a valid CO for the property; provide a copy of the “Good Neighbor Brochure” to the tenant (ensuring that the tenant signs the brochure); and indicate the registration number and minimum term of any advertised property (advertising includes text messages).

As the proposed law states that any occupant other than the owner is presumed to be a tenant, the owners hosting guests would activate the full law and thus perilously render the owner in jeopardy of running afoul of the Town Code.

It may not be the intent, but this is what the proposed law actually states. One might have reasonable cause to fear that the enactment of this law would evidence an unreasonable interference with the owner’s responsible use of any property located on Shelter Island.

Drafting legislation might seem easy, but is actually extremely challenging.

Perhaps the board should step back, table any further discussion and — employing facts, evidence and good faith — develop a bona fide plan for the Island’s future. If, indeed, further action is indicated, consider precisely-targeted regulation to advance the common good on Shelter Island.
Shelter Island

Look out the window
To the Editor:
I find it shocking that the supervisor led off his discussion of improving Route 114 with the need to landscape traffic circles when Wilson Circle, directly outside the windows of Town Hall, is beautifully designed and planted by the Garden Club of Shelter Island (“Facing the face of route 114 — part II,” April 18).

When in bloom, there is a continuous display of color throughout the season. Two other circles, one at St. Mary’s and 114, and the circle adjacent to the Whale’s Tail are planted and maintained by the Garden Club.

Plantings of daffodils along 114 leading from North Ferry, the garden bed at the turn of 114 by the IGA and in front of the Library are planted by the members of the Garden Club. All these gardens are maintained by the Club and without the convenience of running water!

I suggest that the supervisor and the Town Board look out the window and take a page from the Garden Club. Planters in front of shops in the center, possibly maintained by the Chamber of Commerce, would certainly be an improvement.

Lighting would be taken care of if the shops were occupied and blinking lights left over from Christmas is not an improvement.

Cleaning up a property, appropriate plantings and maintenance is the answer.
Shelter Island

Great things
To the Editor:
Thank you, Supervisor Gerth, and bravo for inaugurating a burn training program to combat ticks; a 96 percent success rate is wonderful in eradicating ticks (“Private property tick burning training to start,” April 18).

Communicating with various property owners along Route 114 will enhance our Island for both residents and entice visitors to stay and enjoy its many offerings.

The Garden Club with help, and the young scouts have for many years planted attractive perennials at the traffic circles and George’s corner. The Highway Department always helps.

We are a small Island where all generations work together and accomplish great things.

Happy spring!
Shelter Island

Why not here?
To the Editor:
I read the article on the proposed North Ferry rate increase (“North Ferry rate hike floated,” April 18).

So, once again, the residents of Shelter Island will be treated to another new, private toll, for the use of the New York State taxpayer-funded road, Route 114.

How interesting that all other state taxpayer-funded roadways have car counters, installed at toll booths. And they now have installed, in addition to the car counters, a method of collecting tolls, as vehicles pass through with an EZ pass.

And yet North Ferry, a private company, collects huge amounts of cash, using the honor system. No car counters and no method of confirmation for these folks.

Can anyone imagine going to your boss and stating, “My wife and kids need new, larger cars, so you have to give me a raise.” And the boss has no way of refusing you that raise? That’s what is going on here.

North Ferry states that they need a larger boat, And we have to provide it, with no accountability? Islanders, who have no choice, have to use those boats.

Tourists, who cause this demand, can choose to come here or not. They have created this alleged need. Yet we once again have to pay for the summer set of large crowds to our quiet little Island.

The honor system here should be over. North Ferry needs car counters placed in the tax payer-funded roadway. It works at bridges and tunnels all over America,

So why not here? How about it folks? Does this make any sense to anyone but me? It seems to work everywhere but here.
Shelter Island

Democrats gathering
To the Editor:
The Shelter Island Democratic Committee invites the community to come and meet our candidates for the upcoming election.

Please join us on Sunday, April 28 at the American Legion (lower level), from 3 to 5 p.m.

Invite your friends and family to this casual and informative meet-and-greet.

We encourage you to bring questions and to find out more about your candidates and what is at stake for Shelter Island’s future. We look forward to seeing you.
Shelter Island Democratic Committee