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The Last of the Trustees…

southold town symbol…for this year only…. John Kramer reporting from the December 16 Trustees Meeting

There were two applications at the monthly Board of Trustees meeting that illustrated the continued public frustration with the ongoing lack of communication between the various departments regulating construction in the town.

In one case the applicant thought he was already approved by the zoning board of appeals and came to the Trustees only to be told that the ZBA had not sent any approval to the Trustees, and therefore, could not consider the application. The applicant was unclear if this meant a) get on the agenda for a ZBA hearing again, then get on the agenda for the Trustees meeting again, or, b) pick up an “approved” letter from the ZBA and get on the Trustees Jan. agenda. Regardless, at least another month goes by with no progress.

The other case was instructive. It seems that if you are purchasing property, you would want to have an expert flag any “wetland areas” so you can plan what is buildable and what must be protected. The buyer did this and with his survey showing the delineated wetland areas, proceeded to close on the property with the expectation of building. I presume that during the application process for a building permit, The DEC came out to approve the plans and re-flagged the property with a different delineation of the wetlands area. Now, over the course of two years, the Town Planner also goes to approve the plan and he remaps yet a third wetland area. The applicant now has 3 experts with 3 answers. He finally calls a meeting with the Supervisor, the DEC, the expert, and the Town Planner to pick a line, any line, that can be agreed upon so they can then go before the Trustees for their approval! Remember, I am sitting in the audience, hearing the saga for the first time, so it may not be entirely accurate, but the take away idea from this one was clear: You don’t just go buy a nice lot and hope everything will work out…… Not today.

John Kramer

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