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Town code addition would clarify limit on helicopters in residential districts

The Southold Town Board may consider additions to town code to make it clear that helicopter landings are not permitted in residential districts.

“We found according to our zoning code it wasn’t permitted to begin with,” said Councilman Bob Ghosio, who is the Town Board liaison to the helicopter noise steering committee.

Drafted language follows the reasoning that if landing helicopters in residential zones is not an allowed use in the code, it’s not an allowed use at all, town attorney Bill Duffy said at last Wednesday’s Town Board work session. It is also meant to show that no one can make the argument that doing so is accessory to an allowed principal use, Mr. Duffy said.

The helicopter committee also brought up the potential for problems with seaplanes, Mr. Ghosio said. Some real estate agents are advertising that seaplanes could be used to access waterfront homes, he said.

“You’ll start seeing applications come in for extra-long docks,” Supervisor Russell said. The Board of Trustees already received an application related to a seaplane, Mr. Duffy added.

“This is one instance where I think we can get in front of it,” Mr. Ghosio said.

Councilwoman Jill Doherty said she’d like to make sure the code specifies exceptions for landings currently allowed at helicopter pads in places under the town’s jurisdiction, such as Robins Island.

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