Planning was on the Town Board’s mind at its Tuesday work session.
The Planning Board had sent a letter to the Town Board with a list of concerns about The Pridwin Hotel project, now in its 18th month. The Planning Board’s issues were not game-changers, but were serious enough to merit a discussion. Engineer Matt Sherman represented The Pridwin’s owners, Glenn and Gregg Petry, who are revamping the legendary hotel on Shore Road overlooking the bay.
Questions about parking, landscaping, lighting, stormwater runoff and emergency vehicle access were addressed.
It was agreed that delays have been caused by different town entities weighing in, and by applications to county regulators, with little coordinated leadership from the town.
There is no site plan review process for Shelter Island, which the board addressed later in the meeting, and would have streamlined The Pridwin project.
Planning Board Chairman Ian McDonald said his board “is fully in support of this application,” but it needed more clarity on certain proposals. He said his board was out of the loop at times, giving an example that it “didn’t see the full extent of plans on sanitary systems,” which delayed the process a bit more.
All agreed that the project is now moving forward with all clarifications and adjustments in the works.
Supervisor Gerry Siller said the Town Board had to take some responsibility for the glacial pace of the project, noting that the “process was not run smoothly” and “it’s our fault.”
Planning Board member Edward Hindin said, speaking about the prolonged process, “We ought to recognize, if things had been done differently, we wouldn’t be here now.”
The board turned to a brief discussion of proposed legislation to establish site plan review for the town, which everyone agreed could have saved a lot of time with The Pridwin and other large projects.
Town Attorney Bob DeStefano has drafted legislation and presented it to the board on the subject. Mr. DeStefano had made changes to his original draft and took suggestions from board members on other changes. Since he was absent from Tuesday’s meeting, the board decided to wait for a full discussion on the issue, but made comments.
Site plan review means setting up a process requiring all commercial property owners — and private home construction — to formally submit plans for development, or re-development. Shelter Island is the only town on the East End lacking one. The review’s purpose is to, among other things, to mitigate environmental impacts of new development on the land and water resources, and prevent overcrowding of land or buildings.
The issue surfaced several years ago, but was never acted on. But the board is now serious about enacting legislation. Councilman Jim Colligan suggested that, before more drafting of the proposed law, a subcommittee be set up to discuss definitions of projects that will be subject to site plan review, including small projects and large ones, such as The Pridwin, and ones that fall in the middle of the scale.