Featured Story

Public to have a say in site plan changes; appointments made to several town committees

The Town Board will hold a public hearing on Dec. 4 seeking input on a proposed replacement for its Site Plan Review law.

Revisions, long under discussion, are aimed at balancing the needs of businesses with those of surrounding neighbors.

At issue is an effort not to impose significant burdens on businesses while protecting the interests of those affected by business changes. It is designed to streamline the process of approvals without rushing projects through the process, but ensuring that applicants aren’t hindered unnecessarily by oversight or red tape.

Although the site plan review was well underway when the Pridwin renovation and expansion project had to come back to the Town Board for a wetlands permit, that potential need is built into the revised section so applicants can go through the process once and be examined for all issues that might affect them.

The Pridwin case arose because plans to upgrade the hotel’s septic system triggered issues for the Suffolk County Department of Health Services on handling runoff since the structure overlooks Crescent Beach.

It was something handled rapidly by the Town Board, but members agreed it should have been addressed during the initial review of the two-stage project.

The revised site plan review system will prevent applicants having to come back to boards or committees for more action after it appeared they had surmounted every hurdle, according to Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr.

The revised site plan review section proposed to replace the existing process is on the town website and included in legal notices in the Nov. 19 Shelter Island Reporter.

The hearing is slated to start at or soon after 4:46 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4.

In other actions, the Town Board on Nov. 13:

• Unanimously approved use of approximately $15,570 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds to be used for renovations to the Senior Center and Recreation Center housed in the American Legion Hall.

• Appointed several Islanders to committees as follows:

P.A.T. Hunt and Richard Surozenski as co-chairs of the Taylors Island Preservation and Management Committee and Keith Clark as a member of the committee. All three have been long-term, active members of the committee that has overseen work needed to save the site for public use.

Margaret Anne Larsen as an ongoing member of the Planning Board.

Craig Wood and Mark Cappellino as co-chairmen of the Conservation Advisory Council.

Alfred Loreto as an ongoing member of the Waterways Management Advisory Council.

Mariana Koehler as a member of the Recreation Commission.

Kate Soroka and Cristina Cosentino as members of the Green Options Advisory Committee.