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Controversial fence in Cutchogue partially removed after town intervenes

A portion of a controversial fence bordering the Old Town Arts & Crafts Guild property in Cutchogue has been removed.

The fence was installed in November by the owners of an adjacent retail center and has since been a focus of concern among guild members and officials.

Guild president Bob Kuhne said a member of the Terp family, which owns the parking lot property where the fence sits and leases it to Southold Town, told him in early April that they would take down the part of the fence that obstructed access to the guild’s parking lot. That section of the fence has since been removed.

“That alleviates a lot of safety issues for us,” said Mr. Kuhne, adding that he appreciates the gesture.

After the fence was extended in March, he said, the guild was concerned that its parking area was too small to permit emergency vehicles to turn around and that visitors needed a second exit from the property, as well as more convenient access to a handicapped ramp.

Mr. Kuhne said previously that he believes the barrier was erected as retaliation for the guild’s opposition to a proposed expansion of the shopping center.

The neighbors faced a possible town code violation for conducting site work on the shopping center property without Planning Board permission. They received summonses for the violation, Southold Town attorney Bill Duffy said in March.

The guild still hopes the rest of the fence will also be removed, but Mr. Kuhne said “we’ll deal with it as time goes on,” adding that the group is “pretty satisfied” at this point.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said at an April 25 Town Board meeting that he was glad the issue between neighbors had been resolved.

Photo caption: The fence pictured in late March. (Credit: Kelly Zegers, file)

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