Government

Town Hall Notes: Section of house-size law could be eliminated; votes upcoming on zone changes in Cutchogue, East Marion

Community concerns over a small but consequential section of a new law regulating house sizes in Southold may force the Town Board to call for a do-over, members agreed Tuesday.

The one-sentence section referred to as the “pyramid law” mandates that any building built within residential zoning districts “must be within the sky plane.” Town Board members said they received many complaints from residents that this might lead developers to build more modern-style houses with flat roofs to squeeze in extra house space and still fit under the maximum allowable square footage.

“We can inadvertently change the character of our town with having modern houses all over,” Councilwoman Jill Doherty said during a work session Tuesday.

“Which is the exact opposite of what we’re trying to do,” responded Councilman Greg Doroski.

The Town Board later voted to table a resolution approving the new law. Members agreed to meet with a consultant to discuss elimination of the pyramid law.

Acting town attorney John Burke said removing that section of the overall bill would necessitate a new public hearing.

It’s likely the Town Board will vote down the house size law and set a new public hearing in the coming weeks for a bill that no longer includes that language.

VOTES IMMINENT

The Town Board is a step closer to voting on much-discussed zone changes in Cutchogue and East Marion.

The board concluded an hours long public hearing on a zone change to allow for the Cutchogue Woods affordable housing proposal on Route 48. It then tabled a vote on that resolution and another for a change of zone on a property at the end of Shipyard Lane in East Marion where a recent proposal calls for the construction of condos and a marina on site.

Both bills could be voted on at the board’s next meeting at 4:30 p.m. July 19.

NEW BIKE RACKS

A group calling itself Bike North Fork has been working with the Southold Town Transportation Commission to bring 10 new bike racks to town properties, Councilwoman Sarah Nappa reported.

The modern loop racks are estimated to cost about $1,000 each but that could be lowered if that town’s department of public works installs them, she said.

The group has raised about $3,000 toward the initiative and was seeking additional funding from the town. Board members intend to do outreach to community groups that may have funding available for the project before committing funds from its budget.

Some of the locations discussed for the racks include the parks and beaches at Goose Creek, Gull Pond and New Suffolk. Two parks along Peconic Lane, the Town Hall annex and a municipal lot in Southold are among other spots being considered.

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