Government Briefs 08.14.14

East Hampton Town

Helicopter Traffic Soars

Traffic at the East Hampton Airport has increased this year, Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez reported recently. In particular, the number of helicopters landing and taking off from the airport went up sharply, according to end-of-July figures — a 40-percent increase over year-to-date figures last year. The airport had logged 12,677 “operations” overall — takeoffs or landings — in 2014 as of two weeks ago, the councilwoman reported, versus a total of 10,577 during the same period last year. Both the town and airport noise abatement groups have been urging residents affected by aircraft noise to make reports to an airport noise hotline, particularly important this summer as consultants are compiling noise data the town could use to seek airport use restrictions. Ms. Burke-Gonzalez said an online noise complaint form can now be found on the home page of the town’s website, Noise complaints this year totaled 10,158 at the end of July, compared to 2,798 last year. They came from 373 diffent households, while last year 174 households called in complaints.

Long-Range PSEG Plan to Be Aired Here

An information session and hearing on PSEG Long Island’s long-range plan to meet energy needs, called Utility 2.0, will be held at East Hampton Village’s Emergency Services Building on Cedar Street on Aug. 26. It will begin with a presentation at 5 p.m., followed by an opportunity for the public to comment beginning at 6. East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell and East Hampton Village Mayor Paul Rickenbach had asked the utility, which held its required public session on the future plan in Stony Brook, to schedule a local session. A negative public response to PSEG’s installation of high-voltage lines along a six-mile route from the village to a substation in Amagansett has led to concern over what other projects the company may have planned. Mr. Cantwell, along with New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., has criticized the Utility 2.0 plan for a lack of specifics.

Affordable Apartments Rule Expanded

In response to comments at a public hearing last week, the town board agreed Tuesday that the town code should allow two affordable apartments in buildings located in the town’s limited business districts rather than one, provided other criteria are met. A proposed change to the existing law, providing the ability to create an apartment in that zoning district, had limited it to one.


Taxi Drivers Cited for Violations

Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell announced this week that enforcement of East Hampton’s taxi regulations, which require all drivers to be fingerprinted and undergo a background check, has resulted so far in the issuance of 115 summonses. Fifty-five of those were for violations of the town code, and 60 were for Vehicle and Traffic Law violations.