Southold Town looking to zone Plum Island this fall

04/25/2011 12:52 PM |

SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO | Southold officials are planning to introduce zoning on Plum Island.

As the federal government’s plan to sell Plum Island continues along slowly, Southold Town is hoping to propose zoning for the island by this fall.

There is currently no zoning on the 840-acre island, which is within the town’s jurisdiction. Southold is hoping to prevent subdivisions and residential development on the island by zoning it for a variety of uses similar to ones that are currently there: research facilities, open space, government uses, mariculture, educational institutions, and perhaps alternative energy production.

The federal General Services Administration is the agency responsible for selling the island, but the GSA has not yet completed an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed sale that was expected last fall.

In the meantime, federal funding is in place this year to begin construction of a new bio and agro-defense laboratory in Manhattan, Kan. to replace the aging lab on Plum Island.

Southold Planning Director Heather Lanza said at Thursday’s code committee meeting that the town has been planning to use the GSA’s inventory of existing buildings on the island, which is part of the agency’s environmental impact statement, when drafting the zoning plan, but is unable to yet because the environmental document is not complete.

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9 Comment

  • Can we just zone it for use as parkland/ passive recreation only?

  • Why don’t they make it full of windmills! It would be a perfect location that would make a lot of energy to get Southold off the grid of LIPA….Town board to stupid to think of doing something useful.

  • There has been research done on installing wind turbines, however, it was discovered that there are large groups of migratory birds that fly directly over the island every year. They actually kept track of which species and how many birds this would possibly harm/kill, and the turbines were nixed.

  • There are legal challanges to zoning the island to uses that essentially render it useless and unmarketable. We are in the process of exploring zoning that would protect the areas that are currently defacto wildlife preserves. There are parts of the island that are substantially developed and the infrastructure is already built to support some uses that may serve the community well. We are trying to identify uses that would provide the meaningful employment that the research facility does now. There is a lack of good paying career jobs in Southold and the possibility of losing these is troubling. The Town is hoping we can develop zoning that would make feasibile adaptive re-use of the substantially developed part of the island and, at the same time, recognize the importance of protecting the natural enviornment that exists over a great portion of the island. Regards, Scott Russell

  • There are legal challanges to zoning the island to uses that essentially render it useless and unmarketable. We are in the process of exploring zoning that would protect the areas that are currently defacto wildlife preserves. There are parts of the island that are substantially developed and the infrastructure is already built to support some uses that may serve the community well. We are trying to identify uses that would provide the meaningful employment that the research facility does now. There is a lack of good paying career jobs in Southold and the possibility of losing these is troubling. The Town is hoping we can develop zoning that would make feasibile adaptive re-use of the substantially developed part of the island and, at the same time, recognize the importance of protecting the natural enviornment that exists over a great portion of the island. Regards, Scott Russell

  • Galapagos island number 2?

  • The place is a biohazard is anyone going to clean it up 1st? There is animal burial grounds and animal fluids that weren’t properly disposed of amongst other things. The water isn’t drinkable, I would want to see the Medical waste disposal reports and confirmation that it has been cleaned up to OSHA standards once the facility moves before any zoning is passed.

  • There are NO animal burial ground on PI or animal fluids. All animals are cremated. Enough with the old wives tales!

  • OK Jesse : Show you have the “RIGHT STUFF”. B–b—s. What are you going to do in District Three with Kathy Walsh????????? The success of the Republican party rest on that decision in 2011.