Denis Noncarrow, town government liaison officer, and Leslie Kanes Weisman, Zoning Board of Appeals chairperson, met with the Town Board during a work session Tuesday morning to discuss the new special events permit law.
The law was adopted last month, which mainly shifted the decision-making responsibility from Ms. Weisman to the Town Board. A committee of five people was also formed last month to review special event applications and make recommendations to the board before they vote on it by resolution.
Various business owners who make their livings largely on special events at their venues were on edge about the new law and urged the town at several public hearings to reconsider. Town Supervisor Scott Russell had said this was purely an administrative adjustment and the only thing that was changing was who will review the applications in house.
Mr. Noncarrow said that the committee will largely function via email, unless there are any major discussions that must take place in person.
“The biggest thing we want everyone to know is that they can get their applications in early,” Mr. Noncarrow said.
Councilwoman Jill Doherty said there was some confusion with the public about when they can apply. Many expressed concern that 90 days prior to an event is too short notice because people book so far in advance, but that is actually the minimum amount of time allowed.
“They can submit [the application] any time in that year,” she said. “If they have an event in July, they can submit it in January.”
Business owners will be able to find the new application online and the board agreed the process for the applicant would not be much different than what is already in place.
Councilman Jim Dinizio was concerned about the committee, along with outside commenters like the Southold Police chief, discussing applications via email, because he did not believe it is efficient enough.
Ms. Kanes Weisman assured that everyone on the committee are looking at all the comments, and most of them are simple responses.
“The primary goal of the committee was to gather all the information and then to boil it down and give us the recommendation and go from there,” Councilman Bob Ghosio said.
Photo caption: The Southold Town Board held a work session Tuesday morning. (Rachel Siford file photo)