Hearings will be held tonight by the East Hampton Town Board on two additions to the town code that are designed to help officials better enforce the law against running businesses in a residential zone.
The first would regulate the parking of commercial vehicles on residential properties. According to the proposed law, two commercially registered vehicles, each with a gross vehicle weight of 14,000 pounds or less (excluding fuel trucks) would be allowed to regularly park on a residential lot.
Until now, the code has only allowed “light trucks,” seeming to exclude large commercial vehicles, but, as the code lacked a definition of “light truck,” it has been difficult to enforce, Pat Gunn, the head of the town’s Division of Public Safety, has repeatedly told the town board. Mr. Gunn has been encouraging the board to revise the code for some time.
However, according to some residents who have been complaining to the board about properties used to park work vehicles, the proposed revision would allow homeowners to park trucks that are too large for residential areas on their properties.
In numerous discussions of the issue, town board members have talked about the effect of a limitation on small business owners and what alternatives exist for those who have relied on their residential properties as a business site.
To prevent people from simply parking their commercial vehicles on the residential streets rather than on their lots, the board is also holding a hearing on a law that would prohibit the parking of all commercially registered vehicles on residential streets between midnight and 6 a.m.
A hearing will also be held tonight on the assignment of the town’s lease of land at 77 Industrial Road in Wainscott, in the town industrial park, on which the privately owned East Hampton Studios building sits, to a new building occupant. Michael Wudyka, the owner of East Hampton Studios, has told the board that the film production business he had hoped to develop there has foundered, and asked to be allowed to turn his lease over to a storage company that wants to use the building. The East Hampton Storage Corporation has requested a new lease agreement.
Also the subject of a hearing at tonight’s meeting will be a proposal to relax the rules regarding shoreline fencing, or sand fencing. At present, only wooden posts are allowed to be used. If the code is changed as proposed, use of metal or other materials for posts would be allowed in individual cases, with permission from the East Hampton Town Trustees or other officials.
Shorefront property owners in Montauk, who install the fencing to catch sand that helps rebuild the beach, have complained that the wooden posts are impossible to place into hard surfaces underneath the sand. If metal or plastic posts are used, according to the proposed new law, they would have to be tagged to identify the installer, who would be held responsible for them should they come out of the sand.