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Southold Town adopts new agricultural definitions

The Southold Town Board approved a resolution Tuesday to adopt new and modified agricultural definitions with the intent that issues or tweaks can be resolved while use regulations for agriculture are established.

“This has been a very long collaborative process to better identify what is agriculture in the Town of Southold, not to invent new agriculture, but just what is there today,” said Chris Baiz, chairman of the agricultural advisory committee, before the unanimous vote. The definitions are “part one” in the process, he said; “part two” will be determining how the definitions will be applied, as well as defining the word “farm.”

After voting “yes” on the resolution, Mr. Dinizio said he wished agricultural definitions could remain at the three that currently exist in the town code: “farm,” “farm building” and “farm stand.”

“My personal view is the more words we have, the more words can be misunderstood by people,” he said, adding that he trusts the committee, “which has worked extremely hard on this.”

Southold Supervisor Scott Russell said the code needs language that is enforceable, not ambiguous, and that enforcement requires cooperation from the agricultural community.

“I think we’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said. “I think it’s very difficult to think that all of agriculture can be put under one umbrella of definitions … I’ll adopt these, but I really think we need to sit down and add a whole bunch more.”

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