Town Hall Notes: Garbage permit hearing set

03/31/2011 7:11 AM |

Southold’s much-discussed new permit for garbage carters will be up for public hearing on April 26 at 4:30 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room.

The proposed law was drafted after the town learned that a new carter, Go-Green Sanitation, was not requiring residents to separate recyclables from the garbage they leave at the curb. Though Go-Green’s owner maintains that he brings the unseparated garbage to a licensed sorting facility in Yaphank, town law requires all garbage left out for pickup must be separated, with recyclable materials placed in a separate container.

The proposed law reinforces that requirement and further creates a new local carter permit process. Permit applications would be inspected by officials of the town’s Solid Waste District and the zoning inspector to ensure that carters are adhering to the law. A permit would cost just $5.

Carters would also be required to provide lists of the number and types of clients they have and update those lists every three months. Violations would bring either a civil penalty or the permit’s revocation.

More Building Inspections?

During Tuesday’s Town Board work session, town building inspectors met with the board members to discuss the request that they embark on an informational campaign to visit code violators.

Supervisor Scott Russell said he recently attended a public forum at which many Mattituck residents complained about the proliferation of sandwich boards, neon signs and large flags in front of businesses. He added that there’s a perception that the town targets certain people for code violations while ignoring others.

Building inspector Gary Fish told board members that while he does talk to property owners every day about code violations, many of the most flagrant violators have already been informed but have refused to cooperate.

“The outstanding issues are in the process of being prosecuted,” he said. “Once someone goes to court, it has a life of its own. A person’s either going to comply or dig in and fight. Most people comply.”

Mr. Fish added that Southold Town has never dedicated an employee for ordinance inspections and may need to consider doing that.

Mr. Russell also said the town code limits the number of neon signs in store windows but makes no mention of LED lights. That needs to be addressed when the code is updated, he said.

Another common problem the inspectors identified is large flags that look like windsurfer sails at the entrances to wineries throughout town.

“Nobody’s making money now, so they’re putting out more signs,” said chief building inspector Mike Verity. “If you tell them they can’t, they’re going to say it’s the price of doing business.”

Cutting Extension Fees
The Town Board is also planning to change its renewal fee structure for building permits. At present, the cost of renewing a building permit is the same getting the original. If the changes are adopted, the town will charge 50 percent of the original fee for the extension. That’s if the applicant started but didn’t finish construction or didn’t obtain a certificate of occupancy before the original permit expired.

No Rest for Playing Fields
Southold Town’s athletic fields see nonstop use from early spring until the first snowflakes fly, and it’s taking a toll on the grass there. Town public works director Jim McMahon and deputy directory Jeff Standish told the board Tuesday that they need to give the grass a chance to grow.

“This time of year, you’re indirectly roto-tilling these fields” by playing on them, said Mr. Standish, who added that he spent $400 on grass seed last fall that may have been wasted because the grass didn’t have time to grow.

Town Board members plan to look into purchasing a farm field through the Community Preservation Fund to use for sports, and to work with local schools to determine whether their fields are being used to full capacity.
noise plan coming

With the summer season soon to be upon us, Southold Town has still not established the noise ordinance that was promised at the end of last summer.

The Town Board will likely meet with a vendor to discuss how to use the noise meters it will purchase in two weeks, according to Mr. Russell.

When a draft of the proposed noise ordinance was first presented to the public last fall, many were concerned that the decibel levels it allowed were too restrictive.

The law would have permitted town code enforcement officers to cite violators if noise at their property lines exceeded 65 decibels during the day and 50 decibels at night. After a public hearing in October, Town Board members agreed to buy noise meters and measure the levels for themselves.

Town Attorney Martin Finnegan said he believes the noise meter demonstration will likely take place within the next 30 days, after which the proposed law will be revised, sent to the town’s code committee for final review, and then be put up for another public hearing.

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3,903 Comment

  • We are all for recycling but does this truly include the Southold Board? I see no resolution to this issue in this news story to individuals’ avoidance of recycling through the use of personal dumpsters, a major point of discussion and anger at the recent special meeting dealing with Southold refuse carters. If the law is to be repaired, let us truly fix all of it once and for all.

  • Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write on my blog something like that. Can I take a portion of your post to my site?

  • By choosing the HEADLINE “Garbage permit hearing set” the Suffolk Times is assisting a Southold Town Board motivated by partisan politics to characterize this issue.

    Southold Town no longer has a dump. “Garbage” is what intelligent Southolders have been trying to minimize for the past ten years. Eliminating the requirement of yellow bags for commercial carters while continuing the requirement of yellow bags for self haulers will agravate the problem. The proposed reporting of numbers of customers is obviously a completely ineffective way to monitor compliance with recycling law.

    I don’t know anyone who likes yellow bags, but yellow bags have succesfully supported public awareness and participation in recycling.

    There are reasonable alternatives to yellow bags. I have a proposal I call the Red Tag system. I have not mentioned it yet because the meetings on this issue have been distorted and directed by persons afflicted with antisocial personality disorder.

    The Southold Town Board resolution to establish a “garbage permit” for “garbage carters” is a farce. The real point of the new law is to placate the garbage people. Garbage people have no respect for the environment and no respect for people who do respect the environment.

    Who will be heard at the public hearing on Tuesday, April 26 in the Town Hall meeting room?

  • I applaud you. A Primary example of Garbage in, Garbage out!

  • And I implore you, as the famous Chakonoton the Cozovex Dossi Fossi Sini Tomentilla Coronilla Polentilla Battledore & Shuttlecock Derry down Derry Dumps suggests, tis good to use a runcible spoon to dine on mince and quince.

  • Thank you for proving my point Benja. Garbage in. Garbage out.

  • This is not a solution to the carting question. If true as it reads it’s not even a step in the right direction. A permit decided on by civil servants? Let’s let the monkeys run the zoo.

  • And I Thank you Orwell for proving my point. You obviously can’t tell the difference between intelligent reasoning and nonsense.

  • Reasonable Intelligence would be the prerequisite for Intelligent Reasoning and sadly you have not shown “Reasonable” Intelligence to be one of your strong points.

  • How ironic that you chose the name Orwell. Your circular reasoning is reminiscent of the kind of manipulative concepts inimical to a free society that the great Orwell fought passionately against (see )

  • WHO is Mr. Fish fooling? I have made repeated complaints to the Supervisor’s office and have given them HARD evidence that this guy is hanging out at home, with his town truck, when he is supposed to be working. There are years of allegations of “ignoring” violations for some, while coming down hard on others… and drinking on the job? Smell his breath after noon. Expose the truth people…

  • How about his yearly trips to the Philippines? He is completely open about what he does there… and we the taxpayers are footing the bill! Do a search for prostitution in the Philippines and tell me what you come up with. 😉

    He’s a real stand-up guy!