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Q3: Buildable Land ?

Q3: Set backs are based on total lot size regardless of the buildable land area so it forces the waterfront property owner to apply for variances in every case. Why or why not would you support a correction to the town zoning regulations to remedy this?

Jim King

Jim King, Trustee Candidate: I do not agree with your statement that zoning variances are needed in every case. But, in the zoning code, developed properties (i.e. bulkheaded) are more restricted than an undeveloped waterfront lot, and that should be corrected.





Bob Ghosio

Bob Ghosio, Trustee Candidate: For Trustees, setbacks are built in to our Wetland Code Chapter 275 and are fairly straight
forward. We have the ability to adjust as required as well, depending on environmental impact. Zoning code setbacks and criteria are a Town Board issue but I would support any suggestion that would prevent a waterfront property owner from having to go before both Trustees and ZBA for the very same setback to wetlands issue.

Bill Ruland

Bill Ruland, Councilman Candidate: I would support a correction to the Town Zoning Regulations to remedy this in
a limited way. Each case could be judged on its own merit but some oversight is required.





Scott Russell

Scott Russell, Supervisor Candidate:  The current code requirements that determine setbacks based on lot size makes better sense and is less restrictive than code language that would determine setbacks based on “building area” since the buildable area of a waterfront lot is generally less than the overall lot size. The code, as written, seems fairer. Further, the challenge of setbacks for waterfront property owners isn’t the general code language as it pertains to setbacks, but the very specific language added to the code over a decade ago that defines bluffs and bulkheads as property lines. Prior to this, the set back required on a water front lot was determined by the Southold Town Board of Trustees. At that time, the trustees were the only jurisdictional board with the authority to review and establish setbacks from the water. After the code was changed the applicant would need relief from the Zoning Board of Appeals as well.

Under current code, a waterfront property owner now needs the review and the approval of two separate jurisdictional boards to determine setbacks from bluffs and bulkheads. This is not just a costly and time consuming task but, in practice,
the applicant can get two entirely different answers. How can an applicant possibly get a clear understanding of what he can or can’t do on the property when the different boards of town hall can’t even agree?

The solution here is simple and that is to merely remove “bulkheads” and “bluffs” from the definitions of property line. This will not eliminate the setback requirements established in the code but it will only require that the application be
reviewed by one jurisdictional board-the Town Trustees. This would eliminate the need of the ZBA to review these applications.

Jill Doherty

Jill Doherty, Council Candidate: If there needs to be a “correction” in the town zoning regulations, I would support to remedy it. I see the Town Code as a work in progress. As the needs of the town change and evolve so does the need to update the regulations.



Steve Brautigam

Steve Brautigam, Trustee Candidate: This is a complicated issue and in the past I have referred this issue back to the zoning board. Although it affects the board of trustees, the trustees do not make the rules. However once established I would recommend engineered beaches and
wetlands. This takes a one time survey of the property at a specific time with permits and conformity in place. Then you have established a foot print with all the agencies in agreement, including the towns zoning. Then if this footprint has been eroded or changed in any way you would look at the original template and it would be honored with minimal duplication of permits and permission. This was established by FEMA and is already being done on village and town levels. This is a simplified version of the actual process.

Bob Meguin

Bob Meguin, Supervisor Candidate: Given the uniqueness and the vagaries of real property throughout the Town and especially waterfront land, it is probably an impossible goal to develop a single and comprehensive rule of law applicable to all waterfront parcels.

Accordingly there is an absolute need to permit the Zoning Board of Appeals to exercise its lawful authority by developing reasonable guidelines and applying them on a case by case basis.

Waterfront property is a special community resource which commands vigilance and heightened scrutiny whenever the natural land is proposed
to be altered by the construction of a structure. I do not support a “correction” to zoning regulations whose goal is simply to avoid the
permit exceptions without government oversight and review.

Unfortunately the remedy is judicial appeal to correct arbitrary, unreasonable and capricious decisions imposed on the waterfront land owner.


Repeated calls for answers from the following candidates were not answered by press time:

Council Candidates Nick Deegan and Marie Domenici
Trustee Candidate Lynn Summers

Go to question 1: Your Motivation to Run
Go to question 2: Waterfront Views
Go to question 3: Buildable Land
Go to question 4: Coastal Stewards
Go to question 5: Storm Damage
Go to question 6: Bluff Protection
Go to question 7: Qualifications
Go to the Main Elections Page: Candidate Bios

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