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Town Board considers strengthening code to regulate seaplanes in local waters

The Southold Town Board may strengthen code regulating seaplanes in Southold waters, citing concern over taxiing from seaplanes.

“I think if we strengthen the language, it would at least keep any kind of commercial enterprise from opening up, advertising taxiing seaplanes,” said Councilwoman Sarah Nappa, presenting a request from the Aircraft Noise Steering Committee at a work session last Tuesday.  

Right now, Southold Town Code prohibits anyone to land, take off or taxi any seaplane on or from the waterways under the jurisdiction of the Town of Southold Board of Trustees.

The Aircraft Noise Steering Committee asked the town to review seaplane code in May, after the opening of a new hotel that marketed itself as reachable by car, boat or plane. The Shoals, located on Main Road in Southold, prominently advertised its accessibility by seaplane in promotional materials referenced in some media articles. 

Town officials at the time expressed concern that a loophole exists for planes to land in other parts of the Peconic Bay, with passengers then taxied by boat to their destination.

On Tuesday, Ms. Nappa suggested referring to East Hampton code, which also prohibits the emplaning and deplaning of any seaplane on or from town beaches and waterways, trustee waters and beaches, town waters, and town docks and floats. 

The board indicated support for setting a public hearing on language to be drafted by the town attorney’s office. 

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