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Opponents target STR Law with new suit

Shelter Island Town again faces a lawsuit over short-term rentals, similar to one that was dismissed in federal court September.

Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr. was scheduled to discuss the new suit in an executive session following the Nov. 13 Town Board work session.

The original suit was filed in Federal Court and dismissed with both sides agreeing to the action.

The main issue this time, as with the last lawsuit, is a charge that the law is unconstitutional, Mr. DeStefano said. Those who filed the original lawsuit last March said they believed the town had violated their rights under federal, state and local laws, including the right to equal protection, due process, fundamental property rights and the town’s zoning regulations.

Mr. DeStefano said he thought objections to the law had been addressed with the revisions passed in July.

A hint of the lawsuit now filed came from Michelle D’Arcambal, one of those who joined the suit last time and is thought to have done so again with this new suit.

She told the Reporter in September that the group reserved the right to ague that the new law was improperly passed.

But Mr. DeStefano had said the changes weren’t substantive and, therefore, didn’t require another public hearing.

Asked if the dismissal of the original suit was a victory for the town, Mr. DeStefano said in September, “Temporarily.”

When he received notice of the new lawsuit, Mr. DeStefano turned it over to the town’s insurer to appoint an attorney to fight it. The same attorney who handled the original suit also will handle this one.