Featured Story
06/26/17 2:00pm
COURTESY PHOTO Elizabeth Morgan on the Shelter Island course Saturday, June 17.

COURTESY PHOTO Elizabeth Morgan on the Shelter Island course Saturday, June 17.

Elizabeth Morgan’s nickname since girlhood has been “Bitsy,” she says, as in “Itsy Bitsy.”

On Saturday, June 17, at the Shelter Island 10K, Bitsy came up big as the first woman registered from Shelter Island to cross the finish line. (more…)

Featured Story
06/21/14 12:00pm
COURTESY ART | It's the course, of course, that attracts many runners to the Shelter Island 10K.

COURTESY ART | It’s the course, of course, that attracts many runners to the Shelter Island 10K.

From the breathtaking views of the Island, to the chance to watch Meb Keflezighi, winner of the Boston Marathon and the American record holder for 10 kilometers, the 35th annual running of the Shelter Island 10K is ticketed to be a memorable event. (more…)

03/01/13 4:57pm

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Paard Hill horse farm’s open space area is running out of takers.

The Peconic Land Trust (PLT) has officially turned thumbs down on an opportunity to take over 28.5 acres of Paard Hill horse farm to preserve as open space.

Now the Town Board of Shelter Island has to decide if the town wants to accept the property, a highly unlikely result, since by contract the public would be denied access to it, but the town would still  be responsible for insurance payments and maintenance costs.

After a meeting of the PLT’s board earlier this week, John Halsey, president of the board, signed an agreement refusing to accept the so-called “open area.”

A deal is imminent for Paard Hill, which in addition to the open area, includes 7.65-acres with a single-family house.

Christopher Kent of the Bridgehampton office of the law firm Farrell Fritz, representing the sellers, Pieter Ruig and Ellen Lear, has said the sale price would be lower than the original asking price of $7.95 million.

A declaration imposes a covenant on the property requiring the open area to be donated to either the Town of Shelter Island or the PLT after the deaths of both Mr. Ruig and Ms. Lear, or  if they subdivide and sell the property’s residential component.

The present deal calls for no further subdivision of the property.

Any future use of the equine facility as a commercial operation is prohibited.

The new buyer can use the open area for private “equestrian of pedestrian purposes.”

03/01/13 4:57pm

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Paard Hill horse farm’s open space area is running out of takers.

The Peconic Land Trust (PLT) has officially turned thumbs down on an opportunity to take over 28.5 acres of Paard Hill horse farm to preserve as open space.

Now the Town Board of Shelter Island has to decide if the town wants to accept the property, a highly unlikely result, since by contract the public would be denied access to it, but the town would still  be responsible for insurance payments and maintenance costs.

After a meeting of the PLT’s board earlier this week, John Halsey, president of the board, signed an agreement refusing to accept the so-called “open area.”

A deal is imminent for Paard Hill, which in addition to the open area, includes 7.65-acres with a single-family house.

Christopher Kent of the Bridgehampton office of the law firm Farrell Fritz, representing the sellers, Pieter Ruig and Ellen Lear, has said the sale price would be lower than the original asking price of $7.95 million.

A declaration imposes a covenant on the property requiring the open area to be donated to either the Town of Shelter Island or the PLT after the deaths of both Mr. Ruig and Ms. Lear, or  if they subdivide and sell the property’s residential component.

The present deal calls for no further subdivision of the property.

Any future use of the equine facility as a commercial operation is prohibited.

The new buyer can use the open area for private “equestrian of pedestrian purposes.”

02/19/13 5:00pm

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The town board showed no interest in taking on the 28.5 acres of the Paard Hill horse farm as open space.

Why pay for something you can’t use?

That’s the consensus of the Town Board on the issue of taking over 28.5 acres of the Paard Hill Horse farm, which by agreement must be offered to the town or the Peconic Land Trust for a sale of the complete property — about 37 acres — to be finalized.

Supervisor Jim Dougherty said at Tuesday’s Town board work session that a new contract states that no public access would be allowed if the deal goes down on the so-called “open area” of Paard Hill. Mr. Dougherty noted that insurance costs plus maintenance would have to be met by the town on the preserved open space but no access for the public was a deal breaker.

A sale for the property is in the works with an interested buyer ready to sign for less than the original asking price of $8 million. The remaining 7.65-acres of the Paard Hill property has a single-family house.

The supervisor added it was his understanding that the PLT is not interested in taking on the open area of Paard Hill for the same reasons as the town. He said John Halsey, president of the PLT was “going in the same direction we are.”

A  PLT spokeswoman said  Tuesday afternoon that “we are currently in the review process.”

Councilman Paul Shepherd said at the Town Board’s meeting that it didn’t make sense to take on the property. “No matter who gets it, no one gets to use it,” Mr. Shepherd said.

Last week Mr. Dougherty said he had seen an agreement for the sale that a new buyer can use the “open area” for private “equestrian or pedestrian purposes.”

Paard Hill has been described as a four-star hotel for horses, with padded floors and water fountains in many of the 23 stalls with water views.

A  2012 declaration imposes a covenant on the property requiring the open section to be donated to either the Town of Shelter Island or the PLT after the deaths of the two owners, Pieter Ruig and Ellen Lear, or if they subdivide and sell the property’s residential component. The declaration prohibits any future use of the equine facility as a commercial operation.

The Lear-Ruig application to open a commercial horse farm in a residential zone touched off a storm of protest when first proposed. The board granted a special exception use permit to allow it in August 2000.

Run originally as an equestrian business, Paard Hill hasn’t been a commercial venture for some time.