Featured Story

Comprehensive Plan’s resident advisory committee taking shape

A group of Islanders and government leaders are in the early stages of preparing for another effort to update the town’s Comprehensive Plan.

The 1993 Shelter Island Comprehensive Plan sits on the shelf, and while it was the basis for an update effort started in 2008, no new plan emerged.

Edward Hindin and Councilmen Mike Bebon and Albert Dickson have spent time seeking residents for a new committee that would work with a consultant to be named in starting the actual process of reviewing the Comprehensive Plan.

A municipality’s Comprehensive Plan dictates policy on multiple fronts, including development, land use, the environment, transportation, housing and other aspects of community life. It’s not merely a statement of beliefs and a guide to successful planning, but shows a commitment to serious ideas to improve the municipality, which in turn is used to attract funding from the state, federal, county and other entities.

To form a working committee, they solicited applications throughout the town. There were 38 residents who asked to be considered and the three men cut that list down to 17, which quickly became 16 as one of those who initially applied withdrew.

All the applicants were “really good people,” Supervisor Gerry Siller said. Of the 16 left in the first round, 12 emerged as top candidates and represent a good mix of people with varied expertise, he said.

Among them were seven long-time Island residents; seven women; four long-term renters in the town; four young couples with a commitment to the town; and a couple of business operators, the supervisor said.

The Town Board needs to approve the 12 so they can be notified. A decision on notification is expected this week.

The next step will be to approve a consultant with experience in working on comprehensive plans.

Others who initially expressed interest in working on an updated comprehensive plan need to be reengaged to work with the committee, Mr. Bebon said.

The next step is to pick two top consultant applicants and award the contract to the best candidate. If, for any reason, the top candidate doesn’t go forward with the work, the town would have the second qualifier in the wings and not have to restart the interviewing process.