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10/24/18 11:59am
10/24/2018 11:59 AM

The Southold Town Board held another public hearing Tuesday on proposed legislation that would require the owners of rental properties to obtain permits certifying their safety.

The latest iteration of the law mandates that owners of rental properties have a valid certificate of occupancy and show that the unit adheres to state fire prevention and building codes and has not been physically altered in any way without a valid building permit.

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01/24/17 6:00am
01/24/2017 6:00 AM

The Greenport Village Board has scheduled a public hearing on a revision to its residential rental permit law. The change would scale back some of the requirements in the original 2013 legislation and require every residential rental property — including short-term rentals — to have a rental permit. READ

12/23/13 2:30pm
12/23/2013 2:30 PM

FILE PHOTO | The Greenport Village Board is expected to vote on a zoning code amendment at Monday night’s meeting.

The Greenport Village Board is expected to vote on a proposed zoning code amendment that defines “family,” according to Monday night’s meeting agenda.

The move aims to match the zoning code’s definition of family with the definition listed in the village’s recently approved rental law.

Under the recently approved rental legislation, a family as “one or more persons occupying a dwelling unit as a single nonprofit housekeeping unit. More than five persons, exclusive of domestic servants, not related by blood, marriage or adoption do not constitute a family,” according to the existing code.

Residents have protested that the limited definition does not take into account diversity and the changing dynamics of modern families. Some went as far as to call the village’s definition of a family “racist” during those hearings. Many of those sentiments continued to be echoed during last month’s public hearing.

Tonight’s meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Third Street Fire House.

Scroll down to view the complete agenda. Check back later for an update.

Greenport Village Board Meeting Agenda, Dec. 23, 2013

10/29/13 10:30am
10/29/2013 10:30 AM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Village board members approved a measure Monday asking the public how the village should define “family.”

What makes a family? A group of very close-knit people? Blood relation?

Shortly after crafting new apartment rental regulations, Greenport Village board members are aiming to answer that question that themselves, as they seek to define “family” under the village code.

On Monday, village board members scheduled a public hearing for Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. at the Third Street Firehouse regarding the proposed amendment.

Currently, the code defines a family as “one or more persons occupying a dwelling unit as a single nonprofit housekeeping unit. More than five persons, exclusive of domestic servants, not related by blood, marriage or adoption do not constitute a family,” according to the existing code.

The proposed changes comes after the board adopted a new rental regulations law over the summer that defines a family as two or more persons related by blood and up to five persons not related by blood occupying a dwelling and living together as a traditional family.

Greenport isn’t the first village in Suffolk to hone its definition of “family” recently. Port Jefferson Village passed a measure in August, according to the Times Beacon Record, defining family “by criteria including members’ relationship to one another, whether they cook together and share household expenses and whether ‘the group is permanent and stable.'”

Before Greenport’s rental law was enacted, local landlords have protested the village’s definition of family, repeatedly calling the plan racist during public hearings.

In July, owner of the Ludlum Place development in Greenport Robert Jarosak said the Village’s narrow definition of a family is discriminates against Latinos.

Ludlum Place is home to 16 rental units Mr. Jarosak said he has typically leased to Latino families during his seven years as the property owner.

“I can tell you as far as the Latino population, sometimes the family consists of three close-knit couples,” he said. “So if I lease to six people in a three bedroom apartment now I am a criminal.”

In the Mayor’s absence Monday, Deputy Mayor George Hubbard said the proposed change was to keep the code consistent with the new law. He would not comment on the allegations on discrimination, saying that it would be best to wait for the public to weigh in.

Members of the public will have their chance at the board’s next regular meeting on Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. at the Third Street Firehouse.

09/23/13 10:00pm
09/23/2013 10:00 PM

CYNDI MURRAY FILE PHOTO | The village adopted its rental law by a 3-2 vote Monday night.

Greenport Village Board members narrowly passed a controversial rental regulation law during its regular session Monday night.

Following a public hearing at which the legislation was called unconstitutional by critics, board members voted 3-2 in favor of the law — with trustees George Hubbard and Mary Bess Phillips voting in opposition.

“It seems like the common comment is that the village needs to enforce the code already on the books,” Mr. Hubbard said before the vote.

The village took up the bill more than four years ago, Mayor David Nyce said. Village officials have said the code would help eliminate illegal apartments, which can lead to excessive traffic, parking problems, a strain on municipal services and general public health and safety concerns.

Under the proposal, a family is defined as two or more persons related by blood and up to five persons not related by blood occupying a dwelling and living together as a traditional family.

At previous public hearings, critics called the law cruel, unjust and over the top. Furthermore, many argued the constitutionality of a provision in the law permitting the village to search rental properties it deems in violation.

Tanya Palmore of the North Fork Housing Alliance said the policy makes tenants “prisoners” at the property they rent.

“Not everyone can afford to be a homeowner,” she said. “They shouldn’t be treated differently.”

Her sentiments were echoed in a letter submitted during the public hearing from Long Island Housing Services, a Bohemia-based affordable housing advocacy group, which questioned the criteria used to determine occupancy such as the number of beds, vehicles and even satellite dishes outside the residence.

Village attorney Joe Prokop said he believes Long Island Housing Services misunderstood the local law.

Speakers weren’t swayed by Mr. Prokop’s analysis. Residents voiced concerns about the establishment of a licensing review board, a five-member committee appointed by the Mayor, and approved by the village board. The new committee will be charged with monitoring rental issues, according to the law.

“Is this going to be a diverse committee or a committee of your friends?” asked Linnet Street resident Barry Latney.

While no speaker favored the law, Mayor Nyce supported the legislation.

“It think it is well written,” he said. “If the laws on the books worked, we wouldn’t need this. All this is looking to do is keep rental properties safe.”

Violators of the law will be fined up to $5,000, according to the bill.

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08/26/13 2:30pm
08/26/2013 2:30 PM

FILE PHOTO | Village board members are set to vote on power plant improvements.

Greenport Village Board members are set to vote on a resolution paving the way for additional upgrades at the power plant on Moores Lane during its regular session Monday evening.

The measure authorizes a $1 million bond to pay for a second phase of the  improvement and reconstruction of the electrical generating and distribution facilities, according to the resolution.

The changes include the removal and replacement of switchgear panels and the installation of two new feeder relays that transport current. The construction would not impact the performance of the plant, according to the resolution.

Phase I of the power plant upgrades began in 2010 when the village added a second transformer and installed new switch gear. The project ran into several delays, mostly due to difficulty finding specialty parts, according to Trustee George Hubbard.

Three years later it has yet to be complete.

“It’s 95 percent done,” he said Monday. “It should be complete by next month, but we’ve been hearing that since last June.”

Mr. Hubbard said he does not expect the second phase to drag on like the first.

Greenport Village will also discuss electric cost increases during the meeting tonight.

Starting this month village residents will see their bill increase between $7.75 and $10.69 per month. Businesses will see an increase between $25.12 and $37.77 per month, according to a notice posted on the village website.

The increased fees will be used to cover a hike in the 28-month agreement the village signed with NYPA in January, a deal the mayor said will stabilize rates for the foreseeable future.

Retired village utilities director and former trustee William Swiskey objected to the manner in which the village informed the public about the hikes. He argues that a public hearing should be held.

He later filed a complaint with NYPA, likening the village’s move to an “unapproved electric rate hike.”

Another discussion will be held tonight regarding the village’s proposed rental regulation law for residential properties. The board closed the public hearing on the issue last month, but has not yet scheduled a date to vote on the draft law. During the first hearing in June, critics called the policy “cruel,” “unjust” and “over the top.”

Village officials have said the code would help eliminate illegal apartments, which can lead to excessive traffic, parking problems, a strain on municipal services and general public health and safety concerns.

Tonight’s meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at the Third Street fire station.

[email protected]