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Town Hall Notes: Public hearing set on seaplane regulations for Oct. 4

The Southold Town Board has set a public hearing on legislation meant to strengthen seaplane regulations in Southold waters for Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. 

Right now, Southold town code prohibits seaplanes from landing, taking off or taxiing on or from any waterway under the jurisdiction of the town 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. 

At the time, town officials expressed concern that a loophole exists for planes to land in other parts of Peconic Bay not within Southold’s jurisdiction, with passengers then taxied by boat to their destination.

The proposed legislation would prohibit seaplanes from landing, taking off, taxiing, emplaning or deplaning on or from Town beaches and waterways, Trustee-regulated waters and beaches, town waters, town docks and/or floats.

CPF land purchase

After a public hearing last Tuesday, the Town Board approved a resolution to purchase three parcels comprising 43.6 acres for open space preservation at 705, 751 and 2425 Laurel Avenue in Southold. 

The town will purchase the parcels for $1.25 million plus acquisition costs, using the Community Preservation Fund. The acreage is part of a proposed clustered conservation subdivision currently before the Planning Board, involving the subdivision of around 50 acres into eight residential lots of around 35,000 square feet each in addition to the parcel to be purchased by the town. 

The parcel is listed on the town’s Community Preservation Project Plan as property that should be saved for open space preservation and the protection of wetlands, according to the resolution. Proposed uses for the property include a nature preserve and a passive recreational area with trails and limited parking. 

“The applicant chose to do a conservation subdivision instead of a full density standard subdivision,” said Melissa Spiro, Southold Town land preservation coordinator, at the hearing. “In this project, the preservation requirement is being accomplished by the town’s purchase.”

Pickleball courts

The town may add three new pickleball courts at Tasker Park. Supervisor Scott Russell suggested that the cost may total at least $75,000, to be taken from a dedicated fund for town parks and playgrounds. The hope is to complete the project by fall, he said, although the town may not be able to get contractors that quickly. 

“Hopefully no later than the spring,” Mr. Russell added.

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