Government Briefs 03.20.14

East Hampton Town

Eye Federal Dollars for Lazy Point

Federal grant money made available through the Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resources Conservation Service after Hurricane Sandy could be used to purchase property in the floodplain area of Lazy Point on Napeague, Randy Parsons of the Nature Conservancy told the East Hampton Town Board on Tuesday. The goals of the program, to protect wetlands and habitats and reduce development in flood-prone areas, are compatible with the town’s land-acquisition goals, Mr. Parsons said.

The program would allow the purchase of properties from willing sellers, a number of whom have already indicated interest, Mr. Parsons said. The town would own the underlying land, while the federal government would hold the development rights on purchased properties. Funding could be provided for removing buildings and restoring sites.

Board members agreed that Mr. Parsons should continue to work with town staffers to submit an application for the federal money.

 

Seeking Hearing on Light Trucks

Town Councilman Fred Overton has proposed holding a hearing on the insertion of a definition of “light truck” into the town code, to clarify just what type of vehicles are permitted to be parked overnight on residential lots. The code currently allows only cars and “light trucks,” but does not define that term.

It is difficult, therefore, for ordinance enforcement officers and the town court to cite people who violate the intent of the code, which is to prevent residential properties from becoming parking areas for large commercial vehicles or from being used as business sites. Residents, particularly of Springs, have made numerous complaints to town officials about work trucks on neighborhood properties.

Under the proposal, outlined by Mr. Overton at a town board work session on Tuesday, trucks up to 14,000 pounds would be allowed, and larger trucks, as well as box trucks of any size or weight, would be prohibited. Mr. Overton suggested instituting an appeals process, or delaying the effective date of a new law, to accommodate small-business owners who could be affected by the restrictions. The final details of the law could be adjusted by the board based on public comment, Mr. Overton said.