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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor, Sept. 30, 2022

Development not an issue?

To the Editor:

My perspective on the Island is formed by 70-plus years of family ownership of a home here and 30 years of my own residency.

And from this I sense a false narrative that development is not an issue that the Town Board is considering within the Comprehensive Plan.

When I look around the Island I see 1,200 sq/ft homes knocked down for 6,000 sq/ft mini-mansions going from one bathroom to seven and an outdoor shower and pool with a 40,000 gallon cistern requiring a water tanker truck to fill it twice a week.

That’s development. That’s not keeping Shelter Island the same. 

Unless you plan on closing down the Building Department, you will have development on Shelter Island, and with every house you get ascendant needs and neediness.

To all My Friends of Shelter Island, your desire for a professional consultant maybe properly placed. What this consultant would recommend would be an implementation of the wastewater system and a potable water system for the nitrate-contaminated water in the Center.

Leading to a business district improvement along Route 114 in sight lines and usage for the increased density that will accompany full build out in the years to come. 

BERT WAIFE, Shelter Island

A ‘no’ vote

To the Editor:

I am writing to applaud the efforts of Lilly Hoffman, who has fought diligently to make the Comprehensive Plan process an independent one and a true reflection of the desires of the community. But it looks she is fighting a losing battle to a Town supervisor, Town Board, and Town attorney who are using the process to push their own vision for the future of this island, and not a pretty one at that.

It seems that the so-called housing plan, devised by the obviously one-sided Community Housing Board, will be added as an element of the Comprehensive Plan, even if the housing referendum is defeated in November.

But the Comprehensive Plan Task Force still has the right to include in the Comprehensive Plan the true sentiments — on all sides of the issue — of town residents on the affordable housing question. And nothing in the referendum law keeps the CP Task Force from adding its own elements on the housing issues.

 For starters, the Comprehensive Plan could (and should) include a provision to prevent government cronyism. For example, it can provide that no one who has been a member of the Town Board, Community Housing Board, or Community Housing Fund Advisory Board (or any of their immediate family members) at any time during the seven years preceding the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan may be eligible for any form of housing subsidy offered by the Town.

I urge the Comprehensive Advisory Committee to propose just such a protection for our community. If any member of these Boards push back on this provision, then we know the fix is in.

 Thus, I urge all my neighbors to cast a “no” vote on the housing referendum.