Three of the nine members of the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) have resigned.
Petra Schmidt, one of the CPAC members who resigned, announced the dramatic news at Saturday’s open house and public hearing on the Plan that attracted about 140 residents to the Community Center.
Ms. Schmidt said the draft doesn’t reflect data and information that was in a previous document and there’s no evidence to change the meaning of the document that already speaks to the interests Islanders have expressed.
Two other members, Benjamin Dyett and Lily Hoffman also tendered their resignations.
Mr. Dyett, who is a candidate for Town Board on the Democratic ticket, said his resignation was not motivated by any concerns about his candidacy. Rather, he felt CPAC members were cut out of the discussions because he perceived consultants from BFJ Planning were only communicating with Task Force members leading the effort. The Task Force consists of Town Councilwomen Meg Larsen, BJ Ianfolla and Planning Board representative to the Task Force Julia Weisenberg.
Ms. Hoffman was reluctant to speak about her resignation, but said the hearing highlighted many issues the public has with the draft document.
Ms. Larsen said she knew about the three leaving the CPAC, and had heard about it prior to receiving the resignations. She noted there had been talk about dropping Mr. Dyett from the Advisory Committee because he had been absent from a number of meetings.
Mr. Dyett hasn’t responded to Ms. Larsen’s comment about his attendance record.
Following Ms. Schmidt’s statement, CPAC member Wendy Turgeon said she was saddened by the resignation because she believed all had contributed to the process.
Kathleen DeRose, who had resigned from the previous CPAC group that was put on hold after the resignations of Plan Project Manager Edward Hindin and former councilman Mike Bebon, said she sides with the three who resigned this week. The draft plan doesn’t do enough to protect the sensitive Near Shore and Peninsula Overlay District, she said. Nor does it include information submitted by the Shelter Island Association.
She described the process by the current group as a “chaotic process.”