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Applicants May Need To Cover Review Costs

Posted on 11 July 2008

George Butts was sworn in as Village of North Haven Trustee during the Monday, July 7 meeting. (k menu photo)

In order to ensure taxpayers in the Village of North Haven are not paying for the review of a private project, the board of trustees has introduced a law where those costs would have to be paid for by the applicant, rather than the village.

During the regular and re-organizational meeting on Monday, July 7 Mayor Laura Nolan introduced the bill to the rest of the board, which set a public hearing on the law for their next meeting, Tuesday, August 5 at 5 p.m.

The law aims to allow the village to charge applicants for professional consultants the various village boards need during the review of a project — whether it be for site plan approval, special permits, subdivisions, lot line modifications, variances, architectural review or other processes. In the case where the village feels it needs an engineer, environmental expert, planner or other professional to ensure a review is thorough, the village would have the right to bill back the applicant. Simply having a consultant in attendance at a meeting would not constitute an acceptable charge to an applicant, unless it is a special meeting, called in part to address a particular application.

Village clerk Georgia Welch noted the village code already ensures coverage for aspects of environmental review; but this law would expand that to ensure all environmental review fees are covered by the applicant, not the taxpayers of North Haven.

“The taxpayers as a whole should not be paying for an individual’s project,” said Welch.

In other village news, incumbent mayor Laura Nolan, incumbent trustee James Morrissey and new trustee George Butts were sworn in during Monday’s meeting. Trustee Jeff Sander was named deputy mayor.

Butts served on the North Haven zoning board of appeals for 18 years prior to his election to the board, most recently as chairman. He replaces Fred Stelle on the board of trustees, who chose not to run citing personal and professional reasons. Mark Poitras was sworn in on Monday as the new chairman of the zoning board of appeals.

Ferry Road

In other village news, the trustees took a look at the condominium project at 1, 3 and 5 Ferry Road, which was sent to them by the Sag Harbor Planning Board, which is seeking lead agency status in the environmental review of the application.

“The mass and scale of this project are too large for the property,” declared Butts, as the rest of the board gathered around the plans for an 18-unit condominium building with accessory boat slips.

“It’s time to get organized on this,” said Nolan, leafing through the plans.

Sander suggested everyone take extra time to review the plans and forward their comments to Nolan who would in turn forward them on to the planning board for their July 22 meeting.

“You may want a representative there,” suggested Welch.

Speed Buoys

Sag Harbor Harbor Master Ed Swenson informed the board via a letter on Monday that the United States Coast Guard has given the village permission to place speed buoys just beyond the breakwater.

According to Nolan, there have been numerous complaints about huge wakes carrying all the way through the harbor from larger vessels, prompting officials to consider slowing the crafts down earlier in their course into the harbor. It has taken a year to get approval from the Coast Guard, said Nolan.

The Town of Southampton’s Sea-TV has been contacting villages in hopes of receiving additional funding to cover the operation of the station. Like the Village of Sag Harbor, North Haven government meetings are not broadcast on Sea-TV.

Nolan asked the board to review the proposal and provide feedback by the next meeting. 

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