Parcels on Fishers Island may now be included in Southold Town Hamlet Density Residential District.
Following a public hearing, the Town Board voted Tuesday to amend Chapter 280 of the zoning code. Currently, Article V states that the purpose of the Hamlet Density Residential District is to permit a mix of housing types and a level of residential density appropriate to areas in and around the major hamlet centers, “particularly” Mattituck, Cutchogue, Southold, Orient, the Village of Greenport and, now, Fishers Island.
Prior to this, according to Southold Supervisor Scott Russell, owners of property in the Fishers Island hamlet center could not apply for a change of zone. “The amendment cleaned up a glitch in the code,” Mr. Russell said.
According to town code, permitted uses in HD Districts, all of which are subject to site plan approval, are one- and two-family detached dwellings, town homes and row and attached dwellings.
Tom Siebens, director of the Fishers Island Utility Company, traveled to Southold from the island to speak in favor of the change during the public hearing.
“We’re not focused on more seasonal housing. What we need is more year-round housing,” Mr. Siebens said, adding that the utility company would likely submit a petition to the Town Board in an effort to provide housing to employees who live on the island year-round.
“That [the utility company] wanted the change to create year-round housing made it an easy decision for the board,” Mr. Russell said.
The code change was the first of three agenda items pertaining to Fishers Island that passed Tuesday night. The board also approved a bond resolution authorizing sidewalk improvements there, estimated to cost around $620,000.
In addition, a public hearing was set for Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m. regarding Ferry District improvements. According to a public hearing notice, the cost of replacing engines on the MV Munnatawket is estimated at $150,000 and expenses for dredging Silver Eel Channel are expected to total $140,000.
Photo caption: Fishers Island. (Cyndi Murray, file photo)