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Site plan review nearing completion: Pridwin project a priority for board

For a few months now, the Town Board has been working on revising its site plan review process and is nearing a point where a proposal will be presented to Islanders at a public hearing.

What started as an effort to streamline the process became more critical when major Pridwin Hotel renovations and expansions bounced back to the town for lack of a wetlands permit.

The Pridwin’s plans included upgrading its septic system to a nitrogen-reducing system. But both removal of the original septics and installation of the new system would impinge on wetlands.

The Town Board anticipates moving to clear the way for the Pridwin with a special resolution next week.

Under the revised system, still in draft stage, wetlands examination would be included for any major project on which the Town Board and other boards would act.

A new site plan review process will avoid applicants having to come back to boards or committees for more action after it appeared they had surmounted every hurdle, Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr. said. It would also open the door to the Town Board becoming involved in an application in order to ensure it’s moving along without unnecessary delays and not bouncing among various committees.

Most of its provisions would have much greater impact on large projects, but it would also ensure smaller projects weren’t slowed by red tape.

Councilman Jim Colligan called the latest draft “a much better document” than what has existed. At the same time, he said he doesn’t want to rush through the changes.

Deputy Supervisor Amber Brach-Williams agreed, and said she wants the Town Board to have another look at the changes before setting a date for a public hearing.

When that happens, the revised site plan review document will be posted to the town website in advance of the hearing date.

In other actions, the Town Board:

• Heard from Councilman Albert Dickson that Green Options Committee Chairman Tim Purtell has been speaking with Southold officials about that town’s efforts to provide some solar energy at its Recycling Center. Mr. Dickson said the local committee plans to look further at whether that might be done on the Island.

• Began a preliminary discussion of possible projects for which it might seek money through the Community Development Block Grant Program. In the past, the town has averaged $13,500 and been able to tackle small projects. But Town Board members want to consider whether there are larger projects the town needs, particularly to improve senior services or services to low income residents — for which it could apply for a larger grant even if that money had to be provided over a few years.

On Oct. 23, the  Town Board made the following appointments:

• Sara Mundy as full-time Senior Citizens Center manager retroactive to Oct. 19 to work for up to 30 hours per week.

• Julia Weisenberg to the Deer & Tick Committee

• Wendy Turgeon to the West Neck Water District Board of Directors

• Carl Cosby as full-time senior cook for the nutrition program, retroactive to Oct. 19.