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Firefighters’ concerns prompt Town Board to review proposed rental permit law

The Southold Town Board will review a proposed rental permit law that came about in response to local fire departments’ concerns about encountering unexpected floor plans when entering homes during emergencies, according to assistant town attorney Damon Hagan.

The proposed law would help provide guidance with regard to layouts in rental homes so emergency responders don’t find “surprise walls when they go through the front door,” Mr. Hagan said at Tuesday’s Town Board work session. The law would require rental property owners to obtain permits. The permit application process would require an owner to ensure their property complies fully with town codes and has not been physically altered in any way, except in conformance with a valid building permit, and that it adheres to state fire prevention and building codes, according to the draft legislation.

Councilman Bill Ruland said this is a way to address the needs of people who have expressed concern and that, from a health and safety standpoint, “these are the basic minimum things that need to be in place.”

Legislation review will also require meetings with the town’s code committee, Supervisor Scott Russell said.

Photo credit: Kelly Zegers

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