Orient residents to vote on nine recommendations for their hamlet

Orient Association president Bob Hanlon presenting the Orient Plan in May. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

The “Orient Plan” is ready for public feedback.

The policy report, which was prepared by the Orient Association to complement Southold Town’s comprehensive plan, was sent to Orient residents and landowners last week with votes on the different parts of the plan scheduled this month, said civic president Robert Hanlon. 

The plan is not legally binding, Mr. Hanlon noted; the Town won’t be required to adopt any of the nine recommendations.

But Mr. Hanlon said he hopes to use the results of the straw poll to inform Town Board members about what steps local residents overwhelmingly support.

“We think these particular issues that we’re raising need to be addressed specifically with regard to Orient,” he said. “The hamlets aren’t all the same. The issues of commerce in Mattituck are very different than in Orient.”

The so-called Orient Plan features nine different propositions:

• Ban construction work that would result in a house that is “out of scale” with existing housing in the neighborhood.

• Bar changes in scope or use of properties along Main Road in Orient that would increase traffic.

• Require that all new construction, substantial renovations or expansions must include an installation of an “enhanced septic system.”

• Development rights purchases must include an agreement to preserve “historic viewsheds” and either continue active farming to dedicate the land for public use.

• Ban fencing around or along Main Road and the Orient causeway.

• Implement a plan to prevent stormwater runoff.

• Establish an Orient Pest Control District.

• Develop a “traffic calming plan” for the areas around Village Lane and the Cross Sound Ferry.

• Ban increasing land use density on the basis of available public water or sewer services.

Although the civic will present all vote tallies to the Town Board for review, it will only ask the Town Board to consider the measures which receive overwhelming community support from residents, Mr. Hanlon said.

“That’s why we’re taking a position that things that have overwhelming support should be enacted now,” he said. Mr. Hanlon hopes the Town Board will adopt the propositions as board policy before enacting them as law, based on samples the civic association plans to draft.

A mailing about the plan and how to vote was sent out Friday to all postal patrons in the hamlet. More than 400 people on the Orient Civic Association’s distribution list who own or rent property in Orient but don’t keep a postal address were also contacted.

Emails were also sent, Mr. Hanlon added, and other civic groups had agreed to share the information around.

“We expect to hit about 1,000 people total,” he said. Meetings to discuss the plan will be held on Oct. 15 and 19, he said.

Caption: Orient Association president Bob Hanlon presenting the Orient Plan in May. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

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