Town Board poised to OK participation in deer cull program

The Town Board is slated to vote Tuesday night on a code change that would permit freestanding cellphone towers in historic districts. (file photo)

The Town Board is set to vote tonight on a resolution that recommends Southold Town contribute $25,000 to the Long Island Farm Bureau to participate in a regional federal sharpshooter program to cull the number of deer within town lines.

The town has determined the program, which involves the use of agricultural parcels, would not have significant adverse impacts on the environment.

The board will also vote on an amendment to its cellphone tower code that’s been likened to “painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa” by critics.

A plan to install a cellphone tower behind Southold Town Hall — and amend the town code to permit that — has drawn heat from residents and town’s Landmarks Preservation Commission who fear more towers would threaten the area’s small-town charm and present potential health risks.

As it stands, wireless communication facilities located within a designated historic district must be concealed within or behind an existing building, such as a church steeple, so that the tower is not visible to the public, according to the draft law.

The proposed code change would permit freestanding wireless towers on vacant, commercially zoned land, regardless of the parcel’s landmark status or designation as a historic district.

The revision comes after communications giant AT&T submitted an application requesting to construct a freestanding, 100-foot cellphone tower on a vacant lot behind Town Hall on Traveler Street. In addition to the tower, the application also calls for the construction of a small equipment storage shed on the site.

Two weeks ago, the board table a decision on the code change amid objection from the community. Robert Harper of the town’s Historic Preservation Commission voiced his opposition to it at a public hearing last month and compared it to “painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa.”

The board is expected to make a decision tonight at its 7:30 p.m. meeting.

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