Village Looks At Special Event Permits

Posted on 14 August 2008

In late June, the Village of Sag Harbor became aware that a Lionel Ritchie concert, among others, was planned at a Glover Street residence to the horror of neighbors. Of greater concern was that the event was planned for Fourth of July weekend, at the same time as the annual fireworks, meaning emergency service personnel and police would be preoccupied elsewhere should an accident occur.

Despite these reservations, there was very little Sag Harbor officials had in the way of power to stop the concert, although the event planners did pull out at the last minute while village officials scrambled in an attempt to obtain a temporary restraining order.

“We really didn’t have any legislation in place or power to deal with that situation,” explained Sag Harbor Mayor Greg Ferraris at Tuesday night’s board of trustees meeting.

Which was why trustee Tiffany Scarlato was asked to look at other municipalities in order to draft a stringent special events permit and explore the possibility of the village adopting a rental registry. On Tuesday, Scarlato presented the board with a draft of a special events permit, for discussion only, she cautioned.

On a basic level, the permit would require a permit for any event with more than 75 people anticipated to attend. Fines range between $2000 and $10,000, she said.

“Unfortunately there is sort of a lack of personal responsibility when it comes to maintaining one’s residence,” said Scarlato.

The board is expected to discuss the permit at next month’s meeting on September 9.

                                                 Moratorium Extension

Also on tap for September 9 is a public hearing on extending the commercial moratorium in the Village of Sag Harbor.

For over a year now, while the village is rewriting its zoning code, the village has been in a commercial moratorium, which prohibits site plan review without a planning board waiver. The moratorium, originally enacted in June of 2007 for six months, was extended in December of that year for another six months and in June for another three. The current extension is also for three months as the village anticipates its new code will enter the public hearing process in the next month or two.

 Scarlato noted on Tuesday that while the code is moving towards public hearing two issues have popped up, namely the possibility of 24-hour convenience stores as accessory to filling stations, and lighting provisions, which Scarlato would like to see expanded on.

                                                            Dark Skies

East Hampton resident Susan Harder, director of the New York State Dark Skies Association, announced a demonstration streetlight has been set up in front of the Sag Harbor Historic Society. The light was designed, she noted, to provide better visibility while reducing glare. Harder has worked on similar projects in East Hampton Village and Montauk.

Based on her findings, Harder suggested any new or replacement fixtures, which are already budgeted for, be replaced with these fixtures. Harder noted the fixtures will ultimately save the village money as they employ less wattage than the current fixtures.

Mayor Ferraris suggested on an annual basis the board consider these fixtures for replacements.

The village ended its fiscal year with a $55,000 surplus, although Ferraris noted retroactive pay under the new police contract, dock maintenance and other projects have required the village to dip into its fund balance.

Ferraris said the disclosure is part of what he anticipates will be a quarterly report to the trustees about the village’s financial state. The village treasurer will be at September’s meeting to discuss the first quarter of this fiscal year.

In other village news, the 2007 Suffolk Regional Emergency Medical Services Council awarded the Emergency Medical Service Agency of the Year to the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance. An awards ceremony will be held this October.

Mary Ellen McMahon has been posthumously honored by the Ambulance Corps for her 20-year service to the community, announced President Edward Downes. McMahon passed away this year and the newly acquired ambulance has been dedicated to her with a plaque. 

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