Shelter Island Reporter editorials: Planning on plans

Back in 2016, a Planning Board member reminisced at a Town Board work session of picking up a congressman at North Ferry and driving him to some Island function.

“Why did you let this happen to Route 114?” the Congressman asked his driver, looking out at what sits along some parts of the Island’s main road.

Why indeed?

Call it carelessness; call it Islanders allergic to any government regulation; or elected officials unwilling to work with each other to come up with solutions. But whatever you call it, the result is something visitors see immediately upon arriving, and Islanders see every day, something former Supervisor Jim Dougherty dubbed “an eyesore.”

No one wants over-regulation. But no reasonable person wants those who don’t care for their community putting up whatever they want and negatively affecting the natural environment and/or making our eyes sore looking at it.

A workable and fair site plan review is long overdue.


Another plan is on rails and will be delivered to the town, if Councilman Mike Bebon has anything to say about it. And on the push to create a Comprehensive Plan for the town, Mr. Bebon is doing more than talking.

He’s brought ideas, commitment, long-range thinking and, most of all, energy, to craft a roadmap for the town that dictates policy on multiple fronts, including development, land use, the environment, transportation, housing and other aspects of community life.

It’s an enormous undertaking, which will cost over $100,000 for consulting fees and other expenses — the figure is still not settled and has not been earmarked — and take months of consultation with an advisory committee, as well as public hearings.

But Mr. Bebon and his colleagues on the Town Board are moving steadily, and with some speed, to get it done.

We applaud their efforts, and will watch closely their work, as should all Island residents.