New tent code regulations allow for closer inspections

03/12/2014 2:00 PM |
CARRIE MILLER FILE PHOTO | Vineyard 48 erected outdoor tents violating town policy, according to Southold Town attorney Martin Finnegan.

Vineyard 48 erected outdoor tents violating town policy, according to Southold Town attorney Martin Finnegan. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

The Southold Town Board passed new building code regulations on the use of tents.

The change codifies and expands the town’s existing fire code to include tents. The new rules will apply to all for-profit businesses — most notably, wineries — that apply for tent permits for special events or additional seating during the summer months, according to the law.

The law gives the building department and code enforcers more control over inspecting tents for safety hazards once they are erected. It also defines the words “tent” and “canopy” and is meant to clarify that they are one and the same in the town’s eyes.

The push to create a clearer policy stemmed from a difference of opinion that emerged last summer between the town and Vineyard 48. At the time, the Cutchogue winery argued that it was allowed to set up four “canopies,” regardless of the town’s laws on tents.

The new measure also gives the board more control over revoking tent or canopy permits once they’re issued, according to the law.

Those who violate the new rules can be fined up to $1,000 on a first offense and up to $2,500 for a second infraction within 36 months, the law states.

Read the law below:

Southold Town Tent Code

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