Village of Dering Harbor
September 8th, 2018, 9am
Betsy Morgan, Karen Kelsey, Ari Benacerraf, Clora Kelly, Patrick Parcells, Mary & Ken Walker, Tim Hogue’s Stenographer, Susan for the Shelter Island Reporter, Bob Ruttenberg, Kate Davidson (new Village Clerk)
II. Meeting called to order 9:02am
III. Approval of the minutes from the August 18 th meeting
Motion to approve minutes of August 18 th meeting passed.
Motion to approve Kate Davidson as Village Clerk passed.
IV. Move to open old business Motion to open old business passed.
V. Ways and Means
A. Invoices for review and approval
-Invoices to be paid-Motion approved
2 additional invoices added: PSEG and Ben Jenkins Jr. 40 hours @ $20/hr.
-Water tank project bill payment approved but put on hold until funds confirmed in account from wired deposit.
B. State audit status
State Auditors have been working almost daily on site for the last month on risk assessment portion; they have met with Betsy, Clora, and Patrick. No major red flags at this point. The audit process should be completed by end of November, then the report will be sent to Albany for review. Report should be finished by end of May.
VI. Water update from Patrick and MS4 update; bay health
New water tank installed and filled. Water pressure may increase. Bacteria levels were tested and acceptable. Health Dept. to give final ok to switch to new tank this week once bacteria levels reviewed. The old tank will be demolished and removed shortly.
Wells-Usage very high at average of 50,000 gallons a day, should be closer to 20,000 gallons a day at most in high season. Meters will resolve this issue by locating any problems. Chloride levels in wells are still too high and a concern. Next season new wells should be installed. Suffolk County Water Authority to monitor and service the new system.
Fire hydrants need to be reviewed and some may need to be replaced. SCWA will oversee this process.
Betsy expressed need to curb excess water usage and suggested that we think about ways to discourage/prevent over usage once the meters are in place. Patrick stated that we can put tiered fees in place that will make over use of Village water for those who may be using it for irrigation, etc. impractical.
MS4- Notice of violation and threatened fine: The Village recently received a letter saying that we failed to file a MS4 report in the Spring and that if it wasn’t submitted by Sept 15 th the Village could incur fines of up to $37,500/day from the DEC, which is a self-funded agency that relies on fines to exist. Patrick has been working with the appropriate agency people to make sure this doesn’t happen and has finished a rough draft. The final report will be sent early next week. Another letter from the DEC was received also threatening fines and requiring a plan to address the elevated chloride levels. SCWA has responded and Patrick has put in multiple calls to the woman who sent the letter. All fines will be avoided. Patrick made the point that the fact that we are being pressed to come up with a plan to address our high chloride levels should help us to get expedited timing on the new well permits we will need.
Office was very backlogged before, which contributed to the fact that we have been scrambling to catch up on reports, etc. Now that most of the items have been sorted and organized, business will be streamlined and we shouldn’t find ourselves in this situation again.
It was suggested that Kate create a master list/spreadsheet calendar of all filing/report requirements and due dates and that this be posted to a wall in the office for all to see.
Clora raised concern over run-off into harbor from yards and boats. No current process in effect for boats, discussion of shared pump-out boat. Patrick stated that currently there are no village violations from pipes into bay. All have been corrected. Outflow contained. Management of water run-off responsibility of Village, not the landowner as zoning codes dictate placement of pipes/wells. Betsy said she will reach out to John Colby to follow up on his work to get a pump out boat as she knows he did a lot of work on that.
VII. Village Roads and Maintenance Report
Corazzini to repave Dina Rock Road next week, starting Monday. Should take one day. Karen expressed concern that GBCC was not aware paving was going to start, lack of communication between Corizzini and GBCC grounds crew. Road to be raised one foot with appropriate grading to allow run off, minimize pooling on road.
Apparently Jay Card suggested dry well and grading; as of now only road being fixed. There is 10’-25’ on the road side to add dry well and manage run-off if needed later. But Clora stated that East End Asphalt did not feel a dry well was needed, so hopefully raising the road alone will solve the problem.
VIII. Reminder that with Richie’s retirement on Oct. 15 trash removal stops
Richie will offer private pick up at roughly $12.50 per pick up. Off island company will do pick-up that doesn’t require town bag or sorting. Up to landowner to contact/hire. Survey shows village does not want trash pick required and included in annual taxes, tax to be reduced to not include trash pick-up services. Pick up at the owner’s expense and request. Cutting fee out of budget for all Village members.
All residents notified, Betsy will send follow-up email notifying villagers of Richie’s contact information and the contact info for the alternative company so residents can continue to have trash picked up privately if they would like to do so.
IX. Renaming of Shore Road—Resolution to change the name to Harbor Lane
Wayne advised that village can legally change the name. Betsy mentioned that a truck looking for Sunset Beach was stopped outside just the other day. Map sources need to be notified immediately of change- 911 of most importance . Betsy said she would work with Arthur Bloom to make sure everyone is aware when the name change is implemented. The street posts can be updated easily with new letters, and Clora agreed to acquire letters. Mary Walker asked how long takes GPS to correct road name, need to look into. Start with Google Maps-Committee to be formed to make all the contact changes. Wayne will prepare the resolution. Motion made to entertain name change by Betsy, all in favor.
X. New Business
A. Construction law revision to include non-permitted repair work, noisy landscaping
Betsy asked Wayne to modify the existing construction law so that noisy construction work and landscaping that did not require a building permit would also be prohibited during specific times. The local law currently defines construction work as work requiring a permit. Code should be expanded to include work that creates noise/nuisance. The new definition will include any work of construction, alteration, lawn work, that creates nuisance. Patrick expressed concern on whether or not law change is really needed, Betsy explained that she received many complaints from residents over the Summer about noisy landscaping and repair work that did not require a building permit that was happening on the weekend and after hours on week days. The new revisions will state that work cannot be done on weekends and holidays by anyone, including homeowners. A public hearing will be scheduled for October 13th. Purpose of hearing is to make any changes before law passed. Resolution to move forward and schedule a public hearing on these proposed amendments.
B. Hunting law revision
Deer culling- Clora set up meeting with Beau Payne regarding Village deer issue as many Village residents are experiencing deer problems and would like humane culling. Beau explained that last year 53 deer killed were culled in the environs of Hay Beach and Dering Harbor, the number of deer were reduced by 42 the year prior, and that while hunting has occurred in the Village it is technically done illegally, as Village law states no hunting is allowed. Betsy stressed importance of changing law to allow hunting for deer culling as she doesn’t feel comfortable violating a Village law and won’t sign off on any permits to hunt until the law is changed. Wayne explained that hunting is heavily and primarily regulated on the state level, and that there are limitations for hunting with fire arms, bow and arrows, and crossbows, and that the state requires the written permission of land owners. Hunters cannot use firearms less than 500’ from residence, crossbows less than 250’, and bow and arrow less than 150’. The proposed change to the hunting law would allow culling of deer under DEC Nuisance permits on properties of 5 acres or more. All standards on set-backs still apply. Betsy said that the Deutsch’s have a property just over 3 acres and they have deer on their property at all times and would like the law to allow hunting on properties 3 acres or more, but she stated that Tim Hogue’s property is over 3 acres and the idea of someone hunting there makes her uncomfortable. Mary Walker spoke in favor of 5 acre minimum. Patrick stated that hunters could hunt from his property into the Deutch’s. Clora stated that the town has strict guidelines regarding properties where culling will occur and stressed that all culling will be carried out in a professional and humane way through the Town Deer Reduction Program under the auspices of the Town of Shelter Island Police. Public meeting on law change suggested for Oct 13 th Trustees’ Meeting. Resolution for public notice to be made announcing a public hearing on the revised hunting law (with a 5 acre minimum) approved.
C. Zoning violation fees revision
Betsy stated that fines for code violations are extremely outdated as they have not changed since 1970. They are so low that they are ineffective. Wayne suggested changes to fines and penalties in line with other villages. Ari asked questions about photo shoots and if they constitute commercial activity and Betsy suggested we table that discussion in the interest of time and focus on the issue of fines, and come back to a discussion of photoshoots another time. Wayne went over his suggested changes to strengthen and update the fees, explaining that a judge ultimately will decide the amount of any penalties and that the building inspector has authority to enforce. A resolution to schedule a public hearing for the revision of law on 10/13 was approved. *Wayne noted that this law must be referred to Suffolk County Planning Commission once it is passed at the Village level.
D. Set back discussion
Betsy stated that she had been asked to look into revising the set back laws for outdoor recreational spaces, pools, etc. She suggested changing the requirements from 75’ of setback for everything except tennis courts, to 25’. It was noted that the current requirements were put in place in 2000, and it was pointed out that there is some discrepancy/contradiction in the code. Betsy said that a few years ago she requested a building permit to extend her porch and was denied because of this law so she would recuse herself from the discussion.
There was a discussion of what constitutes a front yard in the Village and how we should define different terms and questions about the current conditions of properties in the Village. Patrick stated that currently of 27 properties in Zone B, 21 have a pool and only a few comply with zoning requirements. Clora noting the inconsistencies in the current zoning code questioned whether the 75ft setback law should be repealed reverting to the original intent of the 1984 Zoning Code which stated that pool and accessory structures share same set back rules as primary buildings or if we should amend the setback to 25ft.
Ken Walker offered to bring a copy of setback requirements from Palm Beach as a guide and noted that landowners should not expect changes in setbacks after a property is purchased and said that the more space between properties the better. Ken also spoke in favor of repealing the 75ft setbacks to revert to the original intent of the zoning code. Wayne suggested waiting to schedule a public hearing for further discussion.
E. Codification program for laws
Karen and Wayne spoke about how a current, complete Village code is not available on the Village website. Wayne explained that it’s obvious that in order to enforce our laws we need to know what they are, and that he contacted the state of NY recently to get copies of laws that the Village did not have but that have been filed with the state in the past. At this point we feel confident that copies of code and all amendments have been acquired from Secretary of State, but we need to digitize them and make them available to everyone. Karen has found a service that will review all code and amendments and create on online, searchable code book at the estimated cost of $8,000-$11,000. The service will review code, including any amendments, identify any errors in the code, digitize, update it regularly, and put it online so that it’s searchable. This company started in NY but now services municipalities all over the country. They are very reputable and a leader in the field. Karen mentioned that they have already invested a good deal of time to learn enough about our laws to give us this estimate, and that they don’t want to do more until we can indicate that their estimate is within a ball park that we feel comfortable with. The Trustees resolved unanimously to move forward in exploring our options with this company and Wayne said he would let them know.
Ken Walker suggested that in reviewing our codes we start by asking ourselves some questions:
What do you want this Village to be? What is the purpose of the zoning code? Best to have idea on what village structure ultimately should be.
Ken Walker asked for an update on all pending lawsuits, Wayne advised of current status.
XI. A Resolution to go into Executive Session to discuss litigation matters and personnel matters passed unanimously.
XII. Upon return from Executive Session, the Board unanimously passed three Resolutions:
• A Resolution to hold a public hearing on October 13 th regarding a proposed accessory structure setback law passed unanimously.
• A Resolution authorizing Mayor Morgan to hire a contract worker(s) to do landscaping, road repairs and general maintenance work for the Village after October 15 th passed unanimously.
• A Resolution authorizing Patrick Parcells to prepare and publish two notices for RFPs (one for an annual contract for snow plowing, and another for lawn/parkland maintenance services. [SIC] Trustee
XIII. Date for Next Meeting – Saturday, October 13 th 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
XIV. Motion to Adjourn – passed unanimously. KK moved, Patrick 2nd
XV. Date for Next Meeting – Saturday, October 13 th 2018 at 9:00 a.m.