The Town Board wants to clarify part of the town code related to helicopters and seaplanes in advance of a July 31 public hearing on the proposed amendments.
The proposed language changes discussed at Tuesday’s work session are intended to clearly define permitted uses for helicopters that are already on the books. For example, it is currently illegal for helicopters to land or take off anywhere in town under the zoning code — and that wouldn’t change under the new legislation.
Members discussed spelling out the permitted accessory uses of helicopters for agricultural operations, which are limited to spraying crops, surveying fields and transporting employees — all of which are allowed by a special exception granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Medical or police emergency necessities, as well as the agricultural uses defined above, are an exception to this rule, the code reads. This rule also doesn’t apply at Mattituck Airfield, Elizabeth Airfield on Fishers Island, Gardiners Island and Rose Airfield in Orient.
Seaplanes are also not allowed to land or take off from waterways under the jurisdiction of Southold’s Board of Trustees.
“We had an instance with a helicopter landing at a winery, so we needed to make it more specific so that people understood and it was spelled out,” Councilman Bob Ghosio, who serves as Town Board liaison to the helicopter noise steering committee, said after the meeting. “We’re trying to make it clear and address the future and take the consideration the current business owners that operate.”