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02/08/17 10:00am
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO Resident Chuck Kraus addressing the Town Board Tuesday on the issue of short-term rentals.

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO Resident Chuck Kraus addressing the Town Board Tuesday on the issue of short-term rentals.

Councilman Paul Shepherd characterized it as the “the elephant in the room.” Supervisor Jim Dougherty called it “the main event ” of Tuesday’s Town Board work session.

But it took a while to acknowledge the elephant and kick off the main event. (more…)

01/17/13 3:00pm

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Pieter Ruig (center) shown here at a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting in February 2012.

The Shelter Island Zoning Board of Appeals is seeking a replacement for Pieter Ruig, who resigned at the end of 2012 after more than 10 years of service to the town.

Mr. Ruig couldn’t be reached for comment, but Town Clerk Dorothy Ogar said, “He’s not going to be on the Island a lot anymore.”

Ms. Ogar noted Mr. Ruig would be in New York City a great deal of the time, making it impossible for him to continue to serve on the ZBA.

Doug Matz, ZBA chairman, was unavailable for comment about the transition.

Mr. Ruig’s term is due to expire July 8 this year and the person appointed to replace him would serve until then. It would be up to the Town Board to decide whether to reappoint the replacement for a full term or make another decision, Ms. Ogar said.

In response to advertisements in the Reporter, she already has four applications, she said. Interviews will be set up with the applicants, and the Town Board will make the final decision about who finishes Mr. Ruig’s term.

In recent months, Mr. Ruig and Ellen Lear put their Paard Hill horse farm on the market for $7.95 million. The couple had won their own prolonged zoning battle back in 2000 to establish the horse farm that ultimately became what was characterized as “a four star hotel for horses,” according to Corcoran Real Estate Senior Vice President Penelope Moore, with padded floors, water fountains in the 23 stalls and water views.

11/21/12 11:59am

PETER BOODY PHOTO | Legal or not? The Town Clerk stopped sending warning letters to dog owners who don’t renew.

State law and the town code both say Rover requires a dog license.

But what if he doesn’t have one? Does it really matter on Shelter Island?

As long as Rover stays out of the neighbor’s chicken coop and otherwise keeps his nose clean, a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” appears to be in effect on the Island when it comes to dog licenses.

After learning that was the case, the Town Clerk’s office recently stopped sending out follow-up letters to dog owners warning them they would face a summons if they don’t renew their pet’s annual $5 license.

Deputy Clerk Sharon Jacobs used to send out two warning letters to owners after their dog’s license had expired. She stopped doing so after Dog Warden George Butts told her last summer that his boss, Police Chief James Read, had instructed him not to issue summonses for unlicensed dogs unless they were found running at large or otherwise creating a nuisance.

With that news, the clerk’s office also stopped keeping Mr. Butts informed of dog owners who had ignored the clerk’s two warning letters.

For more about the town’s dog licensing practices, see next week’s November 29 edition of the Reporter.

11/16/12 1:58pm

JULIE LANE PHOTO |Getting fresh: Jeff Reiter opening scallops Friday morning at Bob’s Fish Market and Restaurant.

Baymen spoke of a good kickoff to the scalloping season, delayed by more than a week by Hurricane Sandy.

Normally the season opens the first Monday of November, but historic storm surges canceled opening day, slated for Monday November 5 until Tuesday November 13.

Usually if the opening is canceled, it’s because of  a rain out. If there is more than three inches of rain in a 24-hour period, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will call off opening day because the deluge will cause extreme cases of runoff into the waterways, triggering a health hazard.

“With Sandy, it wasn’t so much rain but the exceedingly high tides, going over parking lots and into storm drains,” said bayman John Katula, who has been working the waters for more than 30 years. “God knows what could have fallen into the bays.”

But Katula, along with several other baymen said were in “so far, so good” agreement. “I scalloped in Coecles Harbor the last couple of days and got my five bushel limit pretty quickly,” Katula said.

Brothers Jeff and Earl Reiert said they had no complaints, going out Friday before dawn and catching their limit in four hours. Overseen by their father, Bob, in the back room of the family business, Bob’s Seafood Market on North ferry Road, Jeff  Reiert was busy shucking and cleaning the bivalves at noon, to be ready for sale today and tomorrow for $18.95 a pound.

Shelter Island Town Clerk Dorothy Ogar said there has been 406 town shell fishing licenses issued this year at $10 a license. Last year the town issued 372 licenses.

The clerk couldn’t explain the spike this year, but Mr. Katula said hearsay might have something to do with it. “When you scallop you’ll see signs of what’s going to happen next year, and word gets out,” he said.

Last year when baymen were harvesting, they noticed an unusually large amount of “bug” or  or immature, scallops. “So people think this year is going to be great, so they get licenses,” Katula said.

11/14/12 10:00am

JIM COLLIGAN PHOTO | Shelter Island dock wrecked by Hurricane Sandy.

Waterfront property owners with docks, catwalks, bulkheads, stairways and other structures damaged by Hurricane Sandy can make repairs under a special fast-track permit procedure that the Town Board put in place this week.

Instead of the time-consuming permit review process that requires legal notices, public hearings and a vote of the full Town Board, applications for Hurricane Sandy Emergency Permits will be distributed by the Town Clerk to all Town Board members but require no action on their part unless they see problems with the proposed work. If they have no objections, permits will be issued by the Town Clerk and remain in effect for one year.

Applications for the special storm permits, which require a $150 fee, must be submitted to the Town Clerk by December 31, 2012.

The Town Board formally adopted the special storm permit process in a 5-0 vote at a special meeting on Tuesday, when board members also agreed to extend the policy of accepting storm-related yard debris for free at the Recycling Center until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27.

Hurricane Sandy Emergency Permits may be used to install sandbags to protect damaged structures of escarpments; place sand at the foot of eroded escarpments; repair or rebuild stairways that had been in usable condition before the storm; regrade eroded dunes; in-kind and in-place repair or reconstruction of bulkheads and other erosion control structures that “were functional before Hurricane Sandy”; in-kind and in-place repair or replacements of docks and catwalks that had been functional before the storm; and to build new returns at the end of bulkheads to prevent washouts. The rules allow for the use of chemically treated lumber only under certain limited circumstances.

Applicants will also need a permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which also offers a special fast-track permit for emergency repairs.