Southold Town Board              53095 Main Road

                            Southold, NY  11971

              Regular Meeting              www.southoldtownny.gov

 

              ~ Minutes ~              Elizabeth A. Neville

                            (631) 765 - 1800

 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017              7:30 PM              Meeting Hall

 

Call to Order

7:30 PM Meeting called to order on April 11, 2017 at Meeting Hall, 53095 Route 25, Southold, NY.

 

Attendee Name

Organization

Title

Status

Arrived

James Dinizio Jr

Town of Southold

Councilman

Present

 

William P. Ruland

Town of Southold

Councilman

Present

 

Jill Doherty

Town of Southold

Councilwoman

Present

 

Robert Ghosio

Town of Southold

Councilman

Present

 

Louisa P. Evans

Town of Southold

Justice

Present

 

Scott A. Russell

Town of Southold

Supervisor

Present

 

Elizabeth A. Neville

Town of Southold

Town Clerk

Present

 

William M Duffy

Town of Southold

town Attorney

Present

 

I. Reports

1.              Judge Hughes Monthly Report

2.              Judge Price Monthly Report

3.              Judge Evans Monthly Report

4.              ZBA Monthly Report

II. Public Notice

III. Communications

IV. Discussion

1.              9:00 Am - Tom O’Neil, President of the Fishers Island Community Board, Lucinda Herrick

2.              9:30 Am - Neb Brashich, Chair of the Southold Town Transportation Commission, Heather Lanza, Planning Director

3.              10:00 Am - Councilman Ruland with Jamie Richter

4.              10:15 Am - Ed Caufield with Bob Hanlon

5.              Alcohol Farm Products Working Group

6.              10:30 Am - Janet Douglass, Recreation Supervisor

7.              Code Amendment – Proposed Changes to 280-122- Reconstruction of a Damaged Non-Conforming Building

8.              10:45 Am - Suffolk County Girl Scout Troop #1575

 

9.              Motion To:              Motion to Enter Executive

RESOLVED that the Town Board of the Town of Southold hereby Enter into Executive Session at 11:29 AM for the purpose of discussing the following matters:

 

Potential Property Acquisition(S), Publicity of Which Would Substantially Affect the Value Thereof

1:00 am - Damon Hagan, ATA

11:15 am - Councilman Ghosio with Melissa Spiro, Tim Caufield, Sam McCullough

 

Labor - Matters Involving Employment of Particular Person(S)

 

Potential Litigation:

Action against Owners of SCTM #1000-86-01-10.011

Action against Owners of SCTM #1000-38-07-7.1

Action against Owners of SCTM#1000-117-7-30

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

10.              EXECUTIVE SESSION - Potential Property Acquisition(S), Publicity of Which Would Substantially Affect the Value Thereof

11.              EXECUTIVE SESSION - Labor - Matters Involving Employment of Particular Person(S)

12.              EXECUTIVE SESSION - Potential Litigation

 

13.              Motion To:              Motion to Exit Executive

RESOLVED that the Town Board of the Town of Southold hereby Exit/Recess from this Executive Session at  1:35PM.

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

 

14.              Motion To:              Recess 9:00 AM meeting

RESOLVED that the Town Board of the Town of Southold hereby Recess this 9:00 AM meeting of the Town Board until the Regular7:30PM Meeting of the Southold Town Board.

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

SECONDER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

Pledge to the Flag

 

              Motion To:              Reconvenes 9:00 AM meeting

RESOLVED that the Town Board of the Town of Southold hereby reconvenes the 9:00 AM meeting of the Southold Town Board at this 7:30PM Regular Meeting of the Southold Town Board.

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Scott A. Russell, Supervisor

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

Opening Comments

              Supervisor Scott A. Russell

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Please rise and join in the pledge to the flag.  Thank you.  Okay, we have a public hearing and we will take comments on that when we open the hearing.  In the meantime, if anyone would like to comment on any of the agenda items, please feel free. Chris? 

              Chris Baiz, Southold

CHRIS BAIZ:  Chris Baiz, local agriculture, there are two other agenda items that deal with the category, alcohol farm working group.  Could you just explain that for a minute or two? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  What it is, we have had a lot of changes at the state level over the last few years, the town code is going to be looking at those changes and looking at the current code to determine whether it is sufficient or where it’s not sufficient to help us charter path on developing new code.  Ultimately, the role of that group is to bring consensus, it is well rounded, it represents just about every industry and the public.  The goal is to keep it as objective as we can, look at it honestly and to figure out what changes need to be made. 

 

MR. BAIZ:  Thank you very much. 

              Adam Suprenant, Southold

ADAM SUPRENANT:  Hi, Adam Suprenant, also Southold.  Just want to follow up on Chris’ question, will those working group sessions be open to the public and is there currently, are you going to post agendas or are there goals or objectives of the group that we as the public can get our hands on. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Yes, as a matter of law, meetings are open to the public.  They are noticed as least 10 days in advance usually, as many as 30 if we can.  I think the law requires 5 but we go at least 10.  What we are going to do is produce a rough draft of the mission statement and I want to present it to that group because they need to have the final, they need the authorship of developing that mission statement. From there, yes, they will be doing an agenda that will go to the Town Clerk along with the scheduled next meeting as part of the notice. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  Thank you. 

              Supervisor Russell

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Would anyone else like to address the Town Board on the agenda items?  (No response)

V. Resolutions

1.              Resolution 2017-314

Approve Audit

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

2.              Resolution 2017-315

Next Town Board Meeting

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

3.              Resolution 2017-316

Police Department-Training Request

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              James Dinizio Jr, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

4.              Resolution 2017-317

Police Department-Budget Modification

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

5.              Resolution 2017-318

Accept Resignation of Debra Riva

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

6.              Resolution 2017-319

BOAR Training

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

7.              Resolution 2017-320

Training

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

8.              Resolution 2017-321

Police Department-Budget Modification

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              James Dinizio Jr, Councilman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

9.              Resolution 2017-322

Appoint Xavier Jones Full Time Deckhand

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

10.              Resolution 2017-323

Appoint Kevin Norton Full Time Deckhand

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

11.              Resolution 2017-324

Appoint James Chianese Part Time Deckhand

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

12.              Resolution 2017-325

Appoint  Sean Healy Part Time Deckhand

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

13.              Resolution 2017-326

Appoint Steven Kamm Part Time Deckhand

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              James Dinizio Jr, Councilman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

14.              Resolution 2017-327

Purchase Truck

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

15.              Resolution 2017-328

Appoint Patrick Rose Seasonal Laborer

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

16.              Resolution 2017-329

Increase Salary of Gordon S. Murphy Jr.

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

17.              Resolution 2017-330

Appoint Robert A. McCaffery Construction Equipment Operator

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

18.              Resolution 2017-331

Accounting & Finance Department Conduent WebEx Training

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              James Dinizio Jr, Councilman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

19.              Resolution 2017-332

Budget Modification for WebEx Training

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

20.              Resolution 2017-333

Ad for Pump Out Boat Operators

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

21.              Resolution 2017-334

Grant FMLA Leave to a Town Employee

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

SECONDER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

22.              Resolution 2017-335

Grant Permission to the Orient Fire Department to Hold Its Annual Memorial Day Parade

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

23.              Resolution 2017-336

Police Department - Training

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              James Dinizio Jr, Councilman

SECONDER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

24.              Resolution 2017-337

FIFD - Blackbird VII, LLC

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

25.              Resolution 2017-338

FIFD - Lamb & Barnosky, LLP

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

26.              Resolution 2017-339

Beach Dependent Species Management

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

27.              Resolution 2017-340

Accept Site Plan Bond Estimate - Heritage at Cutchogue

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

SECONDER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

28.              Resolution 2017-341

Accept Site Plan Performance Bond Heritage at Cutchogue

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              James Dinizio Jr, Councilman

SECONDER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

29.              Resolution 2017-342

Change Order #2 W/ICE Electric - Highway Maintenance Building

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

30.              Resolution 2017-343

Amend Resolution 2017-261/ZBA Appointment

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

31.              Resolution 2017-344

FI Sewer District - LK McLean Agreement

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

32.              Resolution 2017-345

FISD Control Systems of Connecticut Inc. Agreement

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

33.              Resolution 2017-346

Accepts Resignation of Jude Petroski

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              James Dinizio Jr, Councilman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

34.              Resolution 2017-347

Earth Day Celebration

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

35.              Resolution 2017-348

Tractor Ride for a Cause

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

36.              Resolution 2017-349

Transfer Employee # 3862

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

37.              Resolution 2017-350

Create Alcohol Farm Products Working Group

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

38.              Resolution 2017-351

Appoint Members to Alcohol Farm Products Working Group

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              James Dinizio Jr, Councilman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

39.              Resolution 2017-352

Property at 2350 Wells Road, Peconic

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Jill Doherty, Councilwoman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

40.              Resolution 2017-353

Property at 2835 Shipyard Lane, East Marion

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

41.              Resolution 2017-354

Claim - M Duffy

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

42.              Resolution 2017-355

Special Counsel Devitt Spellman Barrett, LLP

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Robert Ghosio, Councilman

SECONDER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

43.              Resolution 2017-356

Michael Collins - FISD

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              James Dinizio Jr, Councilman

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

44.              Resolution 2017-357

Enact LL - Chapter 280-4 Agriculture

RESULT:              TABLED [UNANIMOUS]              Next: 4/25/2017 4:30 PM

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

 

45.              Motion To:              Motion to recess to Public Hearing

RESOLVED that this meeting of the Southold Town Board be and hereby is declared Recessed at 7:50 PM in order to hold a public hearing.

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

VI. Public Hearings

1.              PH 4/11 7:31 PM  LL Regarding Chapter 280-4

This Public Hearing was declared closed at 9:02 P.M.

RESULT:              CLOSED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell

              Councilman Robert Ghosio, Jr.

COUNCILMAN GHOSIO:  NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN there has been presented to the Town Board of the Town of Southold, Suffolk County, New York, on the 28th day of February, 2017, a Local Law entitled “A Local Law in relation to Amendments to Chapter 280-4, Agriculture.” and

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY FURTHER GIVEN that the Town Board of the Town of Southold will hold a public hearing on the aforesaid Local Law at the Southold Town Hall, 53095 Main Road, Southold, New York, on the 11th day of April, 2017 at 7:31 p.m. at which time all interested persons will be given an opportunity to be heard.

 

The proposed Local Law entitled, “A Local Law in relation to Amendments to Chapter 280-4, Agriculture” reads as follows:

LOCAL LAW NO.      2017

 

A Local Law entitled, “A Local Law in relation to Amendments to Chapter 280-4, Agriculture”.

 

BE IT ENACTED by the Town Board of the Town of Southold as follows:

 

§280-4.  Definitions.

 

AGRICULTURE - The production, keeping or maintenance, for sale, lease or personal use, of plants and animals useful to man, including but not limited to forages and sod crops; grains and seed crops; dairy animals and dairy products; poultry and poultry products; livestock, including beef cattle, sheep, swine, horses, ponies, mules or goats or any mutation of hybrids thereof, including the breeding and grazing of any or all of such animals; bees and apiary products; fur animals; fruits of all kinds, including grapes, nuts and berries, vegetables; floral, ornamental and greenhouse products; or lands devoted to a soil conservation or forestry management program.

 

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION - For the purposes of this Chapter, Agricultural Production shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

 

1.              A Farm Operation engaged in the production for sale of crops, livestock or livestock

              products, by a bona fide farm operation, or bona fide aquaculture/Mariculture farm

              operation, both as defined herein, which shall include but not be limited to:

 

              a.              Field crops, for example corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, hay, potatoes and

                            dry beans;

              b.              Fruits, for example apples, peaches, grapes, cherries, tomatoes and berries;

              c.              Vegetables, for example snap beans, cabbage, carrots, beets and onions;

              d.              Horticultural specialties, for example nursery stock, ornamental shrubs,

                            ornamental trees and flowers;

              e.              Livestock and livestock products, for example cattle, sheep, hogs, goats,

                            horses, poultry, ratites, such as ostriches, emus, rheas and kiwis, farmed deer,

                            farmed buffalo, fur-bearing animals, milk, eggs and furs;

              f.              Maple sap;

              g.              Christmas trees derived from a managed Christmas tree operation whether

                            dug for transplanting or cut from the stump;

              h.              Aquaculture and Mariculture as defined herein;

              i.              Biomass, which means crops raised for bioenergy, and shall include, but is

                            not limited to, farm woodland, switch grass, giant reed, and miscanthus.

              j.              Apiary, including the cultivation of bee colonies, bee honey, beeswax, and

                            related products;

 

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION BUILDING - An on farm operation building, or part of a

building, primarily useful or necessary for crops in their harvested state in the conduct of              

Agricultural production, including but not limited to barns, silos, storage of mechanical equipment,

storage of harvested crops, spaces, accessory alternative energy structures, animal pens, and other

shelters.

 

AGRICULTURAL PROCESSING - The on-farm processing of agricultural products at and

from a single farm operation located within the Town of Southold, which has been converted from

its original (raw) state into a processed or prepared product through applications of cooking,

distilling, fermenting, crushing, or straining, etc.  Such processed agriculture products include,

but are not limited to, jams, jellies, cheeses, potato chips, jerkies, meats, fowl, fish, breads, and

baked goods, beer, wine and distilled alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

 

AGRICULTURAL PROCESSING BUILDING - An on farm operation building, or part of a

building, used for processing and storage of agricultural products of a single farm operation into

processed agricultural products as defined herein.

 

PROCESSED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT - Agricultural product which has been

converted from its original state into a distinct product by techniques such as cooking, distillation, fermentation, crushing and straining.  Examples of processed agricultural product include,

without limitation, jams, jellies, cheeses, potato chips, meats, fowl, fish, wine and other alcoholic

beverages.  Simple washing, cleaning, arranging or packaging of agricultural products shall not

cause the product to be considered “processed” under this definition.

 

ON FARM OPERATION DIRECT MARKETING - The sale of raw or processed agricultural

products that are produced by a bona fide farm operation or a bona fide aquaculture/Mariculture

farm operation directly to consumers.

 

ON FARM DIRECT MARKETING BUILDING - An on farm building, or part of a building,

used for the direct farm marketing of agricultural products and agricultural processed products

from a single farm operation.

 

FARM A site or series of adjoining parcels under single ownership or management devoted to agricultural use.

 

FARM BUILDINGS All structures useful or necessary for the conduct of agricultural activities, including but not limited to barns, silos, mechanical equipment storage sheds, animal pens or other shelters.

 

FARM STAND Any structure open to the weather on at least one side, used for the sole purpose

of retail sale of produce grown by the owner of the stand on farm acreage within the Town of

Southold. Such structure may be one-story or less, roofed or have partial walls and flooring but

may not be completely enclosed except when the business is closed. A farm stand may not be

insulated or mechanically heated or cooled by permanent equipment. A truck bed or trailer on

wheels, with areas in excess of 20 square feet displaying produce, shall be considered a farm

stand. [Added 5-13-1997 by L.L. No. 8-1997]

 

FARM OPERATION - Means the land, including underwater lands used in aquaculture and Mariculture, buildings used in agricultural production, on-farm agricultural processing buildings, on farm direct marketing buildings, equipment, manure processing and handling facilities, and practices which contribute to the cultivation, production, preparation, processing and marketing of crops, livestock and livestock products, freshwater or marine water products, including fish, fish products,  and/or water plants and shellfish, as a commercial enterprise.  The farm operation may consist of one or more parcels of owned or rented land, which parcels may be contiguous or noncontiguous to each other.

 

 

BONA FIDE FARM OPERATION - Indicators of a bona fide farm operation include, a farm

operation, as defined herein, that: 

1.              Is located on land with not less than seven acres of land used as a farm operation

              in the preceding two years for the production or sale of crops, livestock or livestock

              products, of an average gross sales value of $10,000 or more, or

2.              Is located on land of seven acres or less used as a farm operation in the preceding

              two years for the production or sale of crops, livestock or livestock products of an

              average gross sales value of $50,000 or more, or

3.              Has been issued a farm stand operator permit.

 

FARMHOUSE - A principal dwelling on a Farm Operation used exclusively by a farmer/owner/

operator who is in full time residence and actively engaged in farming the lands of the farm operation,

or as housing for the Farm Operation’s workers, or occupied by key employee(s) of the Farm Operation.

 

AQUACULTURE - The breeding, cultivation, planting, containment, or and harvesting of products organisms that are naturally produced occurring in freshwater or marine environments, for example including finfish; ,shellfish mollusks such as snails and clams; crustaceans such as shrimp and

crayfish; and seaweed aquatic plants. The term “aquaculture” is also commonly used to include

marine water, or Maricultured, species such as oysters, bay scallops, lobsters , and sugar kelp.

 

LAND-BASED AQUACULTURE - The cultivation of marine and freshwaters organisms in a man-made structure, such as an on-land building or pond.  Any form of aquaculture that does not take place in a natural body of water or marine environment.

 

MARICULTURE - The cultivation of marine organisms in saltwater, for example finfish;

mollusks such as snails, oysters, and clams; crustaceans such as shrimp, crabs, and lobsters;

and marine plants such as sugar kelp.

 

BONA FIDE AQUACULTURE/MARICULTURE FARM OPERATION - Indicators of a

bona fide aquaculture/Mariculture farm operation include, a farm operation, as defined herein,

engaged in aquaculture and/or Mariculture that:

 

1.              Has obtained all commercial cultivation and harvest permits required by the New

              York State Department of Environmental Conservation Law and a permit from either

              the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets or the Suffolk County

              Department of Health Services when the farm stand offers on-premises consumption,

              and

2.              Has access to underwater land, including, but not limited to, a lease, riparian rights,

              a grant, fee title to underwater land, or a franchise within the Peconic Bay Estuary or

              Town waters, or has land-based cultivation infrastructure.

 

ROADSIDE FARM STAND or AGRICULTURAL STAND - A booth, stall or display area

exceeding 50 less than 100 50 square feet in area located on a farm parcel on from which

agricultural products home grown fruits, vegetables or plants are home grown and sold to the

general public.

 

III.               SEVERABILITY

If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section, or part of this Local Law shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the judgment shall not affect the validity of this law as a whole or any part thereof other than the part so decided to be unconstitutional or invalid.

 

IV.               EFFECTIVE DATE

This Local Law shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State as provided by law.

 

I do have here an affidavit that this hearing has been advertised in the Suffolk Times.  I also have an affidavit that this has been noticed on the Town Clerk’s bulletin board.  I have a memorandum from the Planning Board office with comments associated to this.  it is several pages long.  It is part of the public record and available for anybody to see in the file.  I have a letter from the SC Department of Economic Development and Planning that the application is considered to be a matter of local determination as there is no apparent significant county-wide or inter-community impact.  A decision of local determination should not be construed as either an approval or disapproval.  In fact, there are two letters here with the same determination.  I do have a memorandum from the LWRP coordinator stating that this is a type II action and therefore, not subject to SEQRA review.  I have another memorandum from the LWRP coordinator that this action is consistent with the LWRP policy standards and therefore, is consistent with the LWRP.  That’s all I have. 

              Supervisor Russell

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  I would invite anybody that would like to comment on this particular local law to please feel free?  Just remember to state your name and your hamlet. 

              Chris Baiz

CHRIS BAIZ: Good evening, I am Chris Baiz, from Southold.  I am in local agriculture here.  I would like to just briefly comment on the development of this legislation.  Number one, this has been going on for several years vis a vis the Southold 2020 project and in conjunction with that, the Agricultural Advisory committee has met with the Town Board in work sessions on a number of occasions and also code committee so we could come up with a viable list of meaningful definitions for agriculture in the Town of Southold and a viable list in terms of what are the common day to day practices in this time.  when we looked at the zoning code, a couple of years back, we counted over 210 definitions of which at that time, there were three that involved agriculture and sometime later the Town Attorney’s office determined that agriculture really is a land use situation and not a chapter 72 over on the side where we had the old farmstand code of 2007 and the even older farmstand code that is still in chapter 280 as a definition.  I think it’s important to realize that we have a number of families here in town who are the agricultural nucleus for the town.  I see that a lot of the older folks are here but not the younger folks because they are probably too exhausted already and have gone to bed.  But, important for all of us is to make sure that agriculture in our community which is now operating according the United States Department of Agriculture in the highest cost farmlands in the United States.  When asked, they could say that only a few places in the Hawaiian islands were land as expensive, farmlands as expensive as they are here.  And so we have a cost structure that is built in with that, not only just in the land cost but in our operating costs, our utility costs, our tax costs and as well, our mortgage costs.  So when people in agriculture try to operate in this environment, they not only have to cover their costs for the operation on a day to day basis and a seasonal basis, they also have to cover their costs for the mortgage and the taxes and you all are aware from prior work sessions, if you have a $100,000 acre of land and you put down 20 or 25%, the remaining outstanding for loan financing is around $7,200 a year.  An acre of potatoes might bring you $3,500 a year.  So, on a raw crop basis, that doesn’t work anymore.  The paradigm has shifted here in the Town of Southold.  And so we are sort of taking a leadership role from the development over the last 40 years of the vineyard industry and it’s incumbent wine product that has allowed a better cash flow to the acres of physical planted crops so that we cannot only pay for the operation day to day through the season but we can pay the mortgage on that land, we can pay the taxes and then we can begin to pay the family operator who has to go home and finance his mortgage from what his earnings are and support his family, provide health insurance for that family, as well as retirement savings and educational savings for the children.  I want my granddaughters to be able to do anything they want so long as they come home here by age 23 and start running the farm for me.  So with that, we have developed these definitions and I think everybody should be aware that this is sort of only the first or part 1, the second part which is to follow on after this is properly vetted to the permitted uses regulation of chapter 280 and so as an example when we get into the definitions you might find as an example under bona fide farm operation, point number three has been issued a farm stand operator permit which we don’t know anything about in the definitions other than that one point but we will find it when we get to the permitted use regulations.  So, on that point alone and the just defining bona fide farm operation and bona fide aquaculture operation, we  have certain minimum standards of permitting, of production, of dollar volume levels so that we know Southold Town farmlands are being used by that operation.  The other point is that what is missing in the permitted use regulations is also a requirement in terms of sales at each farm operation is what we had originally determined the 60/40 ratio of dollar value of product sales sold out of the retail sales facility or the on farm direct marketing building as opposed to some extraneous extra products that we might bring in whether it’s t-shirts or other finished agricultural products.  So to that end, we come back to the definitions and I think everything is in order but I would like to make a point on three definitions, I forgot the word primarily when it comes the, and the rest of the phrase is from a single farm operation in three definitions.  That of agricultural processing, that of agricultural processing building and on-farm direct marketing building and I think if we just got to that point where we understood that primarily means primarily, the bulk of your product is coming off of your own farm operation and that is supported by the definitions of bona fide farm operation and bona fide aquaculture operation as well as in the permitted uses the 60/40 rule.  So my suggestion here is, with that exception to those three definitions, I would recommend that the Board pass this legislation at its earliest possibility.  Thank you. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thanks Chris.  Who else would like to address the Board on this local law?  Yes. 

              Sam McCullough

SAM MCCULLOUGH:  Good evening, Sam McCullough, I live in Cutchogue.  Been out here since the early 1970’s and a couple of years after that I got my first job working on a farm and I grow grapes for a local winery now.  I fully support the modernization of these definitions and codes.  Agriculture in our neighborhood has evolved in a way that I think nobody could have ever imagined when these codes were first imagined.  Some changes are positive, some less so.  But agriculture clearly affects everybody in town, so updating the codes and definitions is quite important.  Primarily what I see here that does need some tuning up is, as Chris said, in the definition of agricultural processing, agricultural processing building and on-farm direct marketing building, just to quote from agricultural processing “the on-farm processing of agricultural products at and from a single farm operation located within the Town of Southold” and then it goes on to describe the changes and so forth.  That phrase of from a single operation will have an effect on farmers in the town who are not actually in the direct marketing business but maybe market their products wholesale to other farmers who may process or retail.  Hence, by doing this, if it is strictly from a single operation, you will be closing that market to other farmers.  There are people around who grow sweet corn and sell it to other farm stands, grow strawberries and sell to other farm stands and so forth.  And I don’t believe that we should be limiting that.  so by altering that to read the on-farm processing of agricultural product at and primarily from a single farm operation located within the Town of Southold would solve that problem.  and maybe your pleasure to define primarily but the idea being that you can’t open a commercial operation that’s trucking things out from markets in the city, call it a farm stand but really it’s just a store.  Or you can’t have a winery that’s bringing grapes from California and it’s basically a factory.  At least not on farmland.  So adding primarily to those three definitions would solve that problem.  And I think that pretty well covers what I had to say.  Thank you. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thank you.  Who else would like to address the Town Board? 

 

              Jessica Anson, PR L.I. Farm Bureau

JESSICA ANSON:  Good evening.  Jessica Anson, public policy director Long Island Farm Bureau.  Long Island Farm Bureau’s is a member association of over 3,500 farmers, fishermen, agri-business professionals and individuals interested in a rural quality of life.  Southold has a rich history of supporting agriculture in the town, evidenced by the fact that agriculture continues to be a leading economic driver in the Town of Southold and provides scenic background for your rural quality of life.  We support the efforts put forth by the Agricultural Advisory Committee to establish definitions about agriculture in the town code.  Changes and updates to the code are necessary to clarify the terminology used to describe the types of farm operations, the current agricultural production activities and ensure that farm operations are selling local products.  However, we are concerned about recent overly restrictive language added in three of the proposed definitions as seen in the Suffolk Times.  The disruptive changes are in the definitions of agricultural processing, agricultural processing building and on-farm direct marketing building.  The final draft of definitions that was presented by the Agricultural Advisory Committee is not the same draft that was presented to the public in the press.  This language does not correlate to the current agriculture practices in Southold Town and when the permitted uses section of the code is passed, could put many pre-existing bona fide farm operations in violation of town code.  Farmers sell the majority of what they grow, but it is standard practice for them to supplement with other products from other local growers.  A definition that states farmers can only sell products at their farm stand “from a single farm operation”, is overly restrictive.  In order for agriculture to survive, it is critical that farming remains economically viable.  The proposed farm code should acknowledge how agriculture continues to evolve and move towards direct farm marketing such as on farm processing and value added products.  As farmers generate better returns on their crops from these retail sales, it is imperative we provide avenues to operate their businesses in the most profitable ways.  We are very concerned if this code passes as written with these new changes in place.  Long Island Farm Bureau recommends that the definitions be reverted to the recommendations of the Ag Advisory Committee or include the word primarily as suggested by the previous two speakers or have this tabled until these definitions are fixed. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  The issue is the current code doesn’t have these definitions, we are actually adding uses to the code or adding definitions with the intent of adding uses to the farm, so I don’t know how that becomes overly restrictive.  Because we are moving the line, under the current code but for wineries, processing isn’t allowed.  So we are saying we are going to allow it when we get into the uses side, that is why we are defining it.  So I don’t know how that is overly restrictive, it’s quite the opposite.  It’s being more permissive. 

 

MS. ANSON:  It is overly restrictive because it’s not correlating with what the practices are right now and in the uses section, there is the 60/40 rule but these definitions directly contradict that so they don’t make sense, especially if we are only passing a first part and then a second part afterwards. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL: The 60/40 rule only applies to farm stands.  And it’s 60 % of the products grown in their harvested state on site.  It allows 40 % processed products or accessory items. That doesn’t contradict what’s taking place or what’s, because processing isn’t allowed right now.  So it’s not contradicting what’s taking place on the farms because it’s not allowed on the farms. What we are saying is we are going to allow it and if it’s happening, that’s outside of what the code would permit.  I mean, until we change the code to allow it. 

 

MS. ANSON:  But saying it’s only allowed from a single operation is going to contradict what was going to be put into place afterwards, so to say that you can only process, people are processing from more than a single operation.  We are just trying to say that it needs to have the word primarily.  Because we are both looking for more clarity for agriculture in the town code and unfortunately with these new language changes it leaves it up to be, it’s too easy to interpret this differently. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  I would submit the opposite.  It is clear and it’s emphatic, primarily is a nebulous term of (inaudible), that’s impossible to define.  Sole is a lot easier to define.  That’s where clarity comes in. 

 

MS. ANSON:  Okay.  I would like to submit these comments.  Thank you for your time. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thank you. Albert? 

 

              Albert J. Krupski, Jr.,Cutchogue

ALBERT KRUPSKI:  Good evening, Al Krupski, Cutchogue.  I would like to first thank the Town Board for taking this on, I don’t have to explain to anyone up there how important agriculture is to this community and to all of Long Island, so this is really important to take this very complicated matter and also I would like to thank the members of the Ag Advisory Committee.  They did a lot of hard work on this and it certainly shows.  I only had a couple of comments.  Under the definition of ag production building, would it be better to add greenhouses?  Just to include them.  Under on-farm operation direct marketing, there’s a lot of businesses that are going to open in the next week selling melons, tomatoes, strawberries and probably bananas, so I was wondering if you could add something saying you can’t open until products are growing and being harvested locally, to lend some clarity to that.  And then under roadside stand, if you could add at the very end of that, fruits, vegetables, plants are grown on-site to be sold to the general public.  I think that would add clarity to that too, and I wonder if there is any provision for enforcement on that or is it just the regular town enforcement. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Well, we just hired a new code enforcement officer, so now we have a total of 2 ½ because one is part-time but we would, in town, like any other aspect of the code, put an enforcement component in place.  But I think when people focus on enforcement, they are cynical because generally when we pass new code, we get substantial compliance from the community and there’s just a few outliers which lets us focus our resources on those. 

 

MR. KRUPSKI:  Thanks for all the hard work on this. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thanks, Albert. 

              Laura Kahlre, Beekeeper

LAURA KLAHRE:  Hi, my name is Laura Klahre, I am a beekeeper, Blossom Meadow Farm. I incorporated my farm in 2009 but finally was able to buy a two acre parcel in 2015.  Since land is so expensive out here, to me, all farming and farmers should be embraced and in this vein, the financial threshold for a bona fide farm operations should be $10,000 no matter what the size of the parcel.  It just seems off.  Also while the definition says indicators, there should be more indicators listed.  Because people are going, it is likely going to be interpreted in the future that these are the only indicators by which things will be compared.  Farming is an allowable use on R-80 and by using this definition of land of seven acres or less having to have a gross sales value of $50,000, you are actually restricting the use of that R-80 land if it’s just two acres.  Also, since in this bona fide farm operation definition, you have to be in production for two years.  It doesn’t seem to make sense to me because you need to go to the ZBA to get a deer fence and I know from experience, the ZBA, not only does it cost money to submit your application but also the surveys and everything else.  Everything adds up.  Thank you. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thank you, Laura.  Let me just clarify, the bona fide ag operation, the  dollar amounts and the acreage amounts are actually defined by NYS, not Southold Town. 

 

MS. KLARHE:  It doesn’t really matter to me that ag and markets has it that way, that I think Town of Southold, because of our high land cost, should embrace a larger definition. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thank you. 

              Chris Baiz

MR. BAIZ: May I make a comment to that point? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Sure, Chris. 

 

MR. BAIZ:  On the 10,000 and $50,000 issue, first of all, in some simplicity, Ag and markets doesn’t really understand how we operate down here in a high cost land structure and while my generation in the room, that’s 90 and over, where familiar with the old Ag prices in the $3,000 and $4,000 range, the generation that’s going to replace us is the first generation that will have full on the high cost of these lands, to incorporate into their business plans for agriculture.  And to Laura’s point, that’s why in bona fide farm operation, there is point #3, or has obtained a farm operators blah, blah, blah permit (I don’t have it to memory here) anyway, within the paragraphs of the permitted use regulations associated with these definitions, we do allow for a startup agriculture operation to come to the ag advisory committee, bring your business plan, show us your land holdings, what you are planning to do.  Show us your checking account, that you can do it and we will grant you a farm stand operators permit, so you can go ahead and sell, even though you haven’t met the two year hurdle.  It’s as simple as that. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thank you.  And incidentally, blah, blah, blah does appear in the language.  Can I just have people that haven’t gone yet? 

 

              Karen  Rivara

KAREN RIVARA:  Good evening, my name is Karen Rivara, I am a resident of Greenport and I have a shellfish farm in Southold.  I would like to thank the Board for giving me the opportunity to work on the Agricultural Advisory Committee, representing aquaculture and mariculture interests and for the opportunity to work on this code.  We have been working on this for about five years, I’ve got a pretty thick file of drafts and I think we are pretty close.  I support the definitions here but I am concerned about the language that other folks have brought up with ag processing, ag processing building and on-farm direct marketing building and the words from a single farm.  The concern is, it is common practice for a farmer in Southold to sell some of their product through another farmers farm stand.  And as a matter of fact, aquaculture, because we can’t set up a farm stand on our farm without people drowning getting to it, we don’t have an opportunity in the current code to sell our product at a farm stand but we can sell it to, through another farmer, land based farmer’s farm stand.  And some of us currently do that.  As long as you follow DEC regulations, you can do that.  So with the on-farm direct marketing building, selling product from a single farm, if that single farm doesn’t include the aquaculture operation, then that would eliminate that opportunity.  At least that’s one way to interpret it.  We had originally had in our ag advisory committee, we had from the farm operation.  I think the concern is, and I think all of us share this concern, we don’t want to see somebody bringing product from outside of the town saying it’s local and selling it either processed or in a raw state but we want to maintain the ability to, you know, to have some flexibility and sell other people’s product from the Town of Southold.  So I am thinking maybe if we can work in those issues in the uses because we are just dealing with the definitions right now and we don’t want to have the uses we come up with or even the current code uses conflict with the definitions, for instance the 60/40 rule, if we could work on that when we work on the uses, when the ag advisory committee and our work with the town in code committee, that would perhaps be a solution to our concern.  So I know we need clarity for the town employees when they process permits and the people who are coming into agriculture in the town, what they can and can’t do but I am concerned about the language in those three definitions. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thank you, Karen.  I do want to point out that selling oysters to farm stands is still permitted because the farm stand code allows that farm stand to carry up to 40% of products from other operators, processed or accessory items.  So this, these definitions, wouldn’t stop that in either way.

 

MS. RIVARA:  Okay.  I guess when I read and I am just thinking of somebody who doesn’t work for the town now, somebody five years down the line but they have to look at the permit and they see the words from a single farm operation, they may say well, your farm operation obviously doesn’t do aquaculture so how is that you are selling aquacultured product at your farm operation because it isn’t from your single farm.  I think that’s where the concern is.  So I know we are trying to fix interpretation but we would like to do it in a way that doesn’t hurt anybody and can keep aquaculture and agriculture thriving in the Town of Southold.  Thank you. 

 

              Adam Suprenant

ADAM SUPRENANT:  Adam Suprenant, from Southold here.  I would like to read a statement and then I have some questions for the Board.  Almost 20 years ago, in this very hall, I don’t know, it predates me by a year but Southold town Board passed the farmers bill of rights, okay, which in my mind is the over-riding passage in the code, that we as farmers, we have the right to do something in this town.  Now, when you look at the zoning code, you don’t have the right to build a pool or a pool house but we have the right and this is, I feel very strongly about this, we have the right to build farm buildings okay, we have the right to spray our crops and protect our crops with deer fencing, okay.  We also have the right and I am quoting, for processing and marketing of our agricultural produce, okay.  So there has been language in the town code which gives us the right to process and market on our land, okay.  Now I agree with most of these speakers here and I really, I have been sitting in on a lot of ag advisory committee meetings and I would just like to thank and commend Bill Ruland and Chris and the rest of the ag advisory committee.  Change is hard and it doesn’t, and I agree not all of us will be happy with the changes, with every single one of the changes but change is essential. So that is my statement.  I have got a few questions on the process on how all this takes place in terms of legislatively.  So for example, when this Board passes 284, in the same legislative act, does it rescind chapter 72? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  No. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  Okay, so 284 and 72 will be on the books at the same time, for how long? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Bill?  284 and 72…

 

TOWN ATTORNEY DUFFY: Well, it’s 280-4 (inaudible) we are still going to have chapter 72 until we come up with the in the code. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT: Okay, so they would be on the code at the same time? 

 

MR. BAIZ:  Inaudible. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  Got it.  In 280-9, okay, in the right to farm code, there are definitions in that section that are different, not hugely different but they are different from what would go into 280-4, are there plans to modify the right to farm code to accommodate that? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  The right to farm code is a policy that was adopted by the Town Board.  You had mentioned before that you have the right to process under the current code.  We agree. Under the current code, you don’t.  So we are adding that as a definition so we can add that as a use.  The current code is silent on the issue of processing and I think that’s the problem and I am getting a little confused because we are saying, let’s define this and start allowing it because the  current code doesn’t and somehow we developed code that’s overly restrictive despite the fact that it’s becoming more permissible. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  Well, what I am reading in 280-99, that farmers have the right and I don’t really want to get stuck on this because I don’t think it’s the major point of why we are here but what I read in 280-99 that processing and marketing of produce is within our rights as farmers…

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Yeah, but…

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  That’s in the code. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  That’s exactly what this does.  I am sorry but these are the definitions.  When we get to the uses section, that’s exactly what we intend to do because we think it’s right, that you should process, that you should sell on-site. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  Okay, but…

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  We agree with that. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:   My only point here, Supervisor, is that there are now going to be two sets of definitions, one in 280-99 and one in 280-4 and I just asked the simple question about whether in, that it may be brought up to date in the efforts of clarity because one of the reasons we are modifying this code is to add clarity to the code and if we look into different sections, if we have agriculture defined differently in 280-99 as in 280-4 then that adds, it’s less than clear what’s going on in the code. 

 

TOWN ATTORNEY DUFFY:  Can I add…

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Yes. 

 

TOWN ATTORNEY DUFFY:  The definitions are in 280-98, of right to farm, and they only include one definition.  The definition of crops, livestock and livestock products which is almost near as the proposed agricultural production definition of what crops, livestock and livestock products are. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  Yes, but I am just saying that agriculture isn’t in here.  The definitions don’t match.  It’s not a major point, but what I am just saying is that….

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL: The issue of definitions, processing isn’t defined in that.  280-99.  Is it?  it simply conveys that as a right but I am unaware of defining processing. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  The current proposed definition modification and I apologize for taking up all this time on this, there are definitions of what is agriculture?  Okay? and they are going to be different to the proposed changes to 280-4 than they currently are in 280-98.  So I am just wondering if that is going to be, it just seems like a simple change.  You either strike out one of them or add a couple more to the other, I don’t know.  I was just wondering whether those definitions are going to be uniform? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  A very good point.  We have to look at it. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  Thank you.  I am almost done.  Well, there has been a lot of, well, first of all, I support this process and I want to see it go to completIon..  I think the code as written is largely good code. It is very  neutral but I think one of the things and I agree with several of the other speakers, I really think for the term, if we want to be approach this and give more flexibility to agriculture producers, the word primarily needs to be inserted in front of the single operation.  I also would like to point out that under the zoning code, 280-13, subsection 4, it does state that the winery shall be a place or premise on which wine made from primarily Long Island grapes is produced and sold.  So this kind of language has already been included in the town code and if we don’t rescind or change the winery definition in here, then your proposed definition changes are going to be in conflict with what is already in the town code.  So I would highly recommend that you adopt the work primarily, it’s just a minor tinkering and I don’t know, I mean, what is the intent of that language from a sole operations?  Can you make a statement?  What is that looking to accomplish? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  I think the concept was the processing is currently not allowed, it moves into a use that hadn’t been anticipated originally and we want to allow that use but that use goes to that farmer and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say you can process your harvested products on your site but you need to make a commitment to grow them.  I don’t think that’s unreasonable. I  think that that winery definition is wholly inadequate and that primarily Long Island grapes isn’t sufficient.  I think you say, you can have a winery but you have to grow the grapes.  It is no different if you are processing or potato chips or any other thing. I mean, quite honestly…

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  That would be 100 percent…grown on site? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Under the current code, the winery definition hasn’t changed yet.  That’s what it says. But yes, I don’t think the incidental inclusion of other farm operators is something anybody would ever raise but when you use words like primarily, define what you mean.  Because lord knows, it’s very ambiguous. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  But I think if you use the word solely or sole that, I think the Board should tell us what the intent of that statement, are you going to limit agricultural operations that are allowed all over the state? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  No, we are going to permit processing which currently isn’t permitted. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT: In the town code. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  That’s what we are trying to do. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  My question is, that farmers buy and sell commodities among each other all the time, okay, and so to me it seems reasonable to allow flexibility of business operations, the maximum flexibility should be the goal of writing this code and that’s how I feel. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thank you.  Would anybody else like to address the Town Board?  Doug? 

 

              Doug Cooper, Mattituck

DOUG COOPER:  Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  Thank you for indulging us.  There has been a lot of good comments here tonight.  I agree with the vast majority of them.  I am more concerned about delaying this and it can be changed in the future.  We have another part of this which is going to be the uses and when we, you, we pass that, we can make the changes that we feel we need to.  So I would encourage that we approve this. I am concerned about the language that was mentioned here.  Direct marketing building, where it says agricultural products from a single farm operation, as Mr. Krupski said, a lot of us have bought and sold produce that we sell on our farm stands.  I have sold tomatoes and melons and asparagus to a lot of other farm stands and it’s an important part of our business.  And the lady that spoke about the amount of money to be a bona fide farmer, I agree with her.  The $50,000 on a small piece of property is a lot harder to make than $10,000 on a larger property.  So that’s another change I can easily see.  But I would strongly encourage that we approve it as it is, unless any of these changes are minor and let’s fix it.  Thank you. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thank you, Doug.  Please. 

 

              Ira Haspel, Southold

IRA HASPEL:  Ira Haspel, Southold.  I want to thank the Board and ag committee for their hard work and I agree with most of the speakers and I agree with the changes that are being proposed.  I was just wondering if there might be some more clarity on this bona fide farm operation definition, particularly young or new farmers.  They won’t fit definition one possibly, or two, let alone three.  So, it might be difficult for them to get started and unless the third definition which is about farm stand operation permit has a little more clarity, they may be just shy of attempting to start.  So I just, maybe that can be considered.  Thank you. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thank you.  Would anyone else like to address the Board?  Did you want to go again? 

 

              Sam McCullough

MR. MCCULLOUGH:  Just to go back to the little debate that got started with Jessica’s comments.  I felt that we were also taking a shortcut by going to directly to agricultural processing where that from a single operation first started but if we go on down to on-farm direct marketing building which could be construed as a farm stand perhaps, we get to the issue of local farmers trading amongst themselves in commodities and it does seem overly restrictive in that regard and yes, I agree with you that where processing has not be allowed previously by town code, it couldn’t possibly be overly restrictive since it’s a new permitted use under these definitions but certainly under the definition of on-farm direct marketing building, it would be overly restrictive.  And as an example, I actually have a farm but it’s in Riverhead, the town of Jamesport, I grow wine grapes.  I don’t process into wine, I don’t sell anything direct market but what I do sell is all my grapes to local wineries.  A few tons here, a few tons there.  a little bit to about eight different producers.  If they weren’t allowed to use my grapes, I wouldn’t have anyplace local to sell them.  And that’s just my personal situation but there are other farmers growing other commodities who would have the same restrictions on their operations.  So it is worth considering.  And if primarily is too vague, we could throw in another vague term and say locally produced agricultural products primarily from a single operation.  At least I think it sticks with the intent of keeping what’s being processed and retailed here locally produced.  It’s in support of local agriculture as opposed to just trucking in product for commercial purposes.  Thank you. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thank you.  Can I just ask, would somebody please define the word primarily for me?  Because the idea is to convey uses to a bona fide operation and to be candid, someone shouldn’t be able to build a processing building on a farm when most of their processed products are coming from other area farms.  I recognize the cross promotion and all of that but you need to define, where’s the threshold where you can actually move into processing. 

 

MR. MCCULLOUGH:  Okay, I would want to come out and propose but I would be perfectly happy to.  The 60/40 farm stand rule might be a good place to start.  51 % I think would technically be primarily but you know, the majority of more than half, if you wanted to make it 75%?  Or just anything that’s not 100 %, anything less than 100%.  But certainly more than half. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thank you. Yes, Chris. 

              Chris Baiz

MR. BAIZ:  My daughter loves to cook and every fall she drives by Al Krupski’s pumpkin farm and sees all the extra pumpkins that aren’t going to New York City and she wants to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and sell it at our place.  Would she be allowed to do that under these definitions? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Yes, I believe you are, aren’t you? 

 

MR. BAIZ:  I don’t know.  Show me the pathway.  That’s what I am asking. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Okay, we will take the issue up.  But don’t forget, you helped us draft this issue up. 

 

MR. BAIZ:  I know.  And look, I took the blame for not including the word primarily in there and if it’s 75 %, we will do it.  If it’s 80%, we will do it.  Thank you. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  That’s an issue we will have to talk about.  I know a lot of people like to cull from the farm stand code when it suits an argument or when it suits a purpose but the farm stand code is far more restrictive than any other aspect of the ag code.  I don’t think people understand that. 

 

MR. BAIZ:  We don’t want that.  We are in support of Town of Southold agriculture because we are the last guys, we are the rail head out here.  When I rode into New York City this morning and came back this afternoon, we have got to go past everything else before people can get to us.  so we are at the tail end and we need all the help we can get. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL: Thank you. 

 

              Benja Schwartz, Cutchogue

BENJA SCHWARTZ:  Benja Schwartz, Cutchogue.  A lot of questions here today, so I will start out with one, too.  Did the agricultural advisory committee look into the definitions of the viticulture areas that define what percentage of grapes that are required to use, to label a wine as from the north fork, the south fork or from Long Island. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  I don’t know the level of research they did but I do know that all of that is spoken to by New York State.  That’s a lay law, if I am not mistaken. 

 

MR. BAIZ: And the federal government. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  And the federal government. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  So I believe there are already some rules out there and that many of the local vineyards do import grapes and use them for their wine. I am all for that, you know, in proportion.  I am not going to use a precise term like primarily but you know, I grew up out here and I worked at the Hargrave’s, growing grapes and making the wine.  I design websites and I worked to start community supported agricultural programs.  I worked in the wholesale nursery industry out here but I think that we are hearing a lot from farmers and we need to also have some input into this process from other people including lawyers.  Certainly there has to be some limits to the right to farm and indeed there is in the right to farm, the presumption is that farming activities are allowed but if it is shown that they are harmful that is right in their right to farm that they should not be allowed and when you get vineyards like Vineyard 48 running disco parties and putting citrus fruit into the wine, selling sangria, advertising the sexiest parties on Long Island, I don’t think anybody wants that.  I don’t’ think this proposal here is really ready for public comment or for legislative consideration.  There’s some basic elements missing, specifically let’s start with the statement of legislative intent.  It’s very nice to hear at the meeting tonight, we’ve had people speak of what the intent is of these so-called definitions but there was no way for me to know what that intent was by reading the proposed law when it was noticed and there should have been and that’s an important part of the legislative process which becomes part of the law and helps to define and interpret the law in the future.  When a statement of legislative intent is produced and it’s not just stated that whereas, where is it in here?  Oh, whereas there has been presented a law and then resolved there has been presented a law, it’s like repeating the same thing.  This proposal here talks about chapter 280-4, agriculture.  There is no such thing in our code.  Chapter 280 is the zoning code.  It also includes the right to farm, by the way.  Section 4 is the definitions code.  These are not all the definitions.  This is not the way I am accustomed to see proposal for legislative changes made where the existing law is clearly what is existing and what is changed.  Integrations with another sections of law are also very weak here.  In addition to the Vineyard 48, I think we should remember what happened when the taxpayers hired attorneys and sued the Edson’s Christmas store.  Which sells retail products manufactured in China at a so-called farm stand.  Taxpayers of the Town of Southold sued that business, closed it down.  The judge said the Southold was right and the business was closed.  And the business was reopened as a farmstand.  Members of the Agricultural Advisory, certain members of the Agricultural Advisory Committee said, oh, the 60/40 rule.  That only applies to what’s on display not to what is sold, so if you have a warehouse full of plastic Santas or those little statues, whatever, things made in China, as long as you only put 40% of the items on display, as long as you have 50% of Christmas trees, it’s okay if you don’t sell a single Christmas tree, you can just sell plastic Christmas trees.  And we don’t need a site plan, we don’t have, you know, traffic safety is not looked into because it is just a farm stand.  So I want to support the agricultural industry but I see here that the first definition here, I am not sure why it’s here because there is no change and the indication in the code says that it was, this definition was created in 1973 of what is agriculture.  I think we should have a group with some people that think out of the box, come back and talk about what agriculture is today and in the future and will be, of the agricultural production process, the processing process, the marketing.  Maybe we need to take all the laws pertaining to agriculture and create a section of the code specifically for agriculture.  I am not sure.  This is, like  I say, there is not enough here and to hear people describe the legislative intent of the law tonight, orally, that doesn’t give me the ability to study it.  Which is what legislation, the legislative process is supposed to be about.  Studying what’s happening today, the potential for what is going to happen tomorrow.  And any farmer who gets up here and says I want it now doesn’t seem to me to be a very appropriate attitude for a farmer.  There are types of agriculture, I think the town should be supporting things such as community supported agriculture, which is more than a marketing, it’s a financing means for agriculture.  Very successful financing means, the organic label which has been defined by the federal government has become a very successful marketing angle.  I am not sure that it is protecting the environment.  Approximately 50% of the local wine growers here have created their own standard.  They have an organization called Long Island Sustainable Wine Growing which promotes sustainability which they have defined themselves.  Certain rules to protect the environment, rules to protect the community, the social environment of the winery and the people that work at the winery and also the economic interests of the farmers.  I think all of those are very important.  I think we could do a lot better job of creating a law.  May I ask a question?  This farm stand permit, do people have farm stand operating permits now?  What standards, is that based on….

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  The first and  I know someone mentioned, I think it was Albert, there’s actually two farm stands, several farm stands that had already been CO’d under the old code, so they are permitted to live under the rules of the old code which is a little more permissive.  The new code, which is the 60/40 code, the new operations that you see, Lavender Farm, Eight hands farm, they were all issued building permits and CO’s based on the new code. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  so in other words a farm stand operator permit that’s referred to here is the certificate of occupancy for a farm stand? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  What we are trying to do is create an avenue for people, it was mentioned before about bona fide agriculture.  What we tried to do is we are trying to define something to provide an avenue down the road so people that are smaller or upstart operations can get a foothold in the agriculture market.  The problem is you need to be able to, again, bona fide.  I don’tthink you can be so broad that anybody can open up a farm stand.  That is why there is going to be a vetting with the Ag Advisory Committee.  We have some, we have a little bit of work to do on that, no doubt, but we figured we have to get something done. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ: Well, I think you need to clarify things like the farm stand operator permit and you are not going to require all, are you going to require all farm stands to have certificate of occupancies? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  That’s an issue we are going to have to discuss. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  You know, I don’t think this is ready for consideration, for enactment yet. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL: Thank you. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  That’s all. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL: Thank you, Benja. Adam? 

 

              Adam Suprenant

MR. SUPRENANT:  Just a quick question.  On the uses part of this code modification, is there a timetable for that and are we close, Chris?  Can we, are we able to move on that?  Because it seems to me to have definitions kind of hanging in the wind and I think this speaks to the last speakers point, just  hanging in the wind without actual, you know, he rightly kind of points out there is a definition for a farm stand operators permit that is proposed legislation in another round of code modification and so then, you know, something happens and that doesn’t get done, it just seems to me, I am just trying to figure out why this got handled as two separate pieces and not as one package. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Because they serve two separate functions.  You just mentioned, hanging in the wind, I think it’s the exact opposite.  Definitions, the whole purpose of definitions is to make sure we are all speaking the same language.  Once we agree on the language,what we do is we go into the uses component.  The definitions are the essential component to any code.  The whole purpose of this is so things aren’t hanging in the wind.  We look at definitions, we all know who we are talking about when we say ag building, ag processing, not in the current code.  We need to change that. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  Yeah, but I guess my point is if we just are enacting definitions and then we have no motivation to actually get to the uses or it happens, the code changes happen at a glacial pace, what use is having definitions on the books if we are not, I asked if there was a timetable, if there’s legislation almost finished that’s ready to be enacted.

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  The Ag Advisory Committee has been working very hard on the uses component, I know we have already had some meetings, code committee meetings.  That’s a work in progress.  That’s going to be completed but they take time. You are talking about substantial, fundamental changes to the code with the idea of updating the code because there are so many rapid changes and I know Benja before said we really should have a group together that defines agriculture.  They have to meet every six months and redefine it because it changes that quickly.  The idea of the code is to say you know what?  The old way isn’t working, let’s move in a new direction, let’s expand these uses.  Let’s do these things. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT;  But it’s my understanding that the definitions and the uses, that code was developed simultaneously by the Ag Advisory Committee and for some reason, a decision was made to separate that out and I mean, I would just think you would pass the definitions and the uses when they are both ready. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL: I don’t believe that the uses are ready.  On top of that, you can’t really discuss uses until you agree on the terms and the definitions.  The whole purpose here is to lock down the definitions and then get into the uses section.  We can talk about uses, we can talk about processing as a use allowed on the farm but unless we are all in agreement or unless there is a definitive understanding of what processing means, the uses component becomes jumble.  I think that’s the problem in the past.  That’s why we have farm stand code in what seems to be about 50 different sections of the code.  The whole purpose is to do away with that and the contradictions and the ambiguity.  Definitions is how you start with any good code, should start with definitions. 

 

MR. SUPRENANT:  Thank you. 

 

              Benja Schwartz

MR. SCHWARTZ: Scott, you know I love you, that’s why I always come here to join you at the meetings but I don’t understand what you are talking about with this definitions create the, we can’t, yeah, we need to understand the words but when we use the words, we redefine them.  The context of their use will redefine those words.  We should be looking at the whole pictures, not part by part by part.  I mean, I know we have at least one attorney on the Board, have they seen the legislative intent? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  It has been reviewed. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ: It has been reviewed but it hasn’t been revealed. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  This is the problem when you use definitions that aren’t clear, that aren’t concise.  You know, we have had a lot of problems historically and I haven’t made it a secret that the town code isn’t adequate anymore for wineries and when he read a definition before, it’s so broad.  Is that what we really envision a winery to be?  The whole purpose is to create definitions so that there is a clear understanding when we get into the uses section and we say processing is a permitted use, we know what processing is.  That’s the basis of every code…

 

MR. SCHWARTZ: Well, you know you have got a little conflict when you say the definition of agriculture is going to change every two weeks.  We are involved in the legislative process  here and we have a definition of agriculture that’s almost 40 years old. I don’t think that the entire field of agriculture is changing every two weeks.  There’s certain principles and I think we can do better in defining certain types of agriculture and if we can, if we can incorporate certain standards that are already out there, whether it be viticulturals or organic definition from the federal government or local organizations that have imposed, self-imposed rules on themselves and I think deserve some recognition and appreciation of that and maybe the rules should be a little different for people who participate in such organizations.  Maybe the town should look at the rules that they, the farmers themselves are creating and see if the legislation could mirror that and possibly help guide the other 50% of the grape growers that are not imposing the rules on themselves.  Thank you. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  I appreciate that.  but sustainability, goals like that, they are the way they chose to run their operation.  I don’t think we should mingle in their affairs, that’s what they want to do.  also, everybody throws that word sustainable farming out there, I have got to be candid, everybody has been, well, most people have been farming in sustainable fashion for years.  I don’t know that, you know, when you…

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  That’s a very common (inaudible).  Are you familiar…

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Yes, I am Richard Olson Harbinger, I believe pursued that, it’s very good.  It’s very noble.  But I think that…

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  Inaudible. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  A lot of farmers have been good stewards whether they have that moniker or not. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  I am not saying they are not.  Never said anything towards that point.  What I am saying is if they have a certified sustainable program, that there’s some resemblance to a legislated regulatory program and that maybe the purposes, can you tell me what the purposes of the sustainable certifications are? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  I read about it and it’s very interesting, reduction of pesticides and all those things. It’s very compelling but I don’t know  how I  embody that in the code. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  Well, the…

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  I don’t know that we should be. 

 

              Chris Baiz

MR. BAIZ:  It’s a matter for the DEC. 

              Doug Cooper

MR. COOPER: We are getting off topic.

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Yes.

 

              Benja Schwartz

MR. SCHWARTZ:  I don't think so. 

              Robert Van Bourgondien

BOB VANBOURGONDIEN: Bob VanBourgondien, Peconic.  I want to thank the Board for finally moving forward on some of the definitions and hopefully we move forward at a faster pace on the uses.  I do have a problem which was stated a number of times, the words single use three times.  We need to finesse that a little bit, single means stand alone.  Agriculture can’t stand alone.  So we have to finesse that a little bit unless when we get to the uses, we work around that word of single.  That’s one of the biggest things.  Agriculture is moving at a quicker pace than ever before.  We have reinvented ourselves five or six times.  A couple of members have visited us, we were on Channel 12, that’s the latest crop we have been growing.  I don’t know what the latest crop in two or three years is going to be but it took five years to get to this point, well, in five years, I will be five years retired.  So I would like to see things move a little bit faster.  Thank you. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL: Anybody else?  Please. 

              Michael Harkin

MICHAEL HARKIN:  Michael Harkin, my question is to bona fide, because I am a start up farm and I am trying to get a farm stand through the building department but the problem they are having with me is I don’t have that $50,000 threshold but I am still plowing, I am still planting.  I am doing everything that would constitute a farm except for a number.  So if you just, if you just go and you say to yourself, you have got some students in school that are making A’s, some B’s and some are failing, but they are all students.  So what qualifies the word bona fide?  Is it a monetary figure or is it actions? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  What defines bona fide, well, at least seven acres and $10,000 in gross sales or under seven acres, $50,000 in gross sales. 

 

MR. HARKIN: So you are splitting it into two things?

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  You are still allowed to farm.

 

MR. HARKIN:  Can you have one without the other? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  No. 

 

MR. HARKIN:  Okay, but you are still allowed to farm but you, so what is the benefit of having a $50,000 farm with a 5 acre grounds?

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  NYS used to require at least 10 acres and at least 10 acres in gross sales.  That was the one standard for bona fide.  NYS reduced it to seven acres, they allow actually exemptions on smaller parcels.  The reason they clicked it up to $50,000 was they are trying to accommodate the high production facilities that need less land.  Greenhouse operations, maybe aquaculture if it ever gets built here, those types of deal.  high value crops but on less land.  Originally they wouldn't qualify for exemptions but now they do because of that new language.

 

MR. HARKIN:  what if you don't, you understand there are the thresholds of the monetary figures, but what if you don’t ask for the exemptions. What if you are not asking for exemptions but you are looking through the building department to get your project in order so you can get it up and running but he wants to call it a residential when it's a 200 year old farm? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL::  I can appreciate that but there needs to be again a tipping point.  You need to have an operation, an agricultural operation to start moving through those retailing uses.  There needs to be a tipping point.  The reason we use the $10,000 and seven or the under seven and $50,000 because it was a basis at least for,  through the real property tax exemption, through NYS.  There was a basis for that .  We looked at how the state defined it and we thought, you know, there needs to be a point where you are not allowed to have a stand yet until you produce enough crops.  And that was where that came from , you are allowed to have a roadside stand.  In order to get to a farm stand, you have to meet a threshold.  We can't have people growing and building  farm stands everywhere and start defining it so liberally that anybody and everybody can have one, I don't think that's good for agriculture or the community .  So there needs to be somewhere, a threshold.  We choose that as a standard because it had already been established. 

 

MR. HARKIN:  Okay but you can have a roadside...

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Roadside stand.  Would anyone else like to address the Town Board? 

 

              Councilman William P.Ruland

COUNCILMAN RULAND:   I would.  A lot of people put a lot of time into developing the proposal.  one of the things that intrigues me and bothers me at the same time is a process like this which is,  somewhat of the culmination of it is tonight where we have a public hearing and you get input from everyone who wants to speak, is that much of the input that you are getting tonight would have been greatly appreciated somewhere previous tonight in developing language in the code.  It would probably help eliminate some ambiguity.  But that is not the way the process works.  The process works the other way where we are developing, developing, developing to a point where we are here tonight.  And now people have raised a number of questions and rightfully so.  I think that’s the part of dialogue is what's on your mind, tell us what you think, tell us how it may or may not affect you and many people have said that.  I think that taking all that what has been said tonight, for me, how do i decide going forward, what is it we going to do?  Are we going to adopt it the way it is?  taking some of the comments tonight and say they are valid points, maybe we will have to make the changes and of course, if the changes are major, if they are not minor, then we will back here at another time, we will back with another hearing to rehear what's developed for the second time around.  I appreciate everyone that took the time to come tonight, i appreciate the comments that were made because people are really telling us form their point of view how they view this and to me, that's very important.  Thank you. 

              Supervisor Russell

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Would anyone else like to comment?  (No response)

 

Closing Statements

              Supervisor Russell

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  That concludes the business of the agenda.  Would anyone like to address the Town Board on any issue? 

              Chris Baiz

MR. BAIZ:  Are there any questions you have for us? 

 

COUNCILMAN RULAND:   We'll get back to you on that. 

              Benja Schwartz

BENJA SCHWARTZ:  I am seeing that last night the Planning Board, I know you don't want to hear about it but we are going to talk about the Heritage at Cutchogue.  Not the Heritage of Cutchogue, the Heritage at Cutchogue.  Did you all hear what happened at the planning board last night?

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Yes. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  I want to express my disappointment again that we are going back again to, without a final site approval, they are going to allow them to start clearing the land.  I think we should have a final site plan approval like everybody else does.  Why are they special?  Well, you can't answer for the Planning board but again, it also involves the consent order that you were party to and I can't believe that we are continuing to give that project special consideration. Exempt them from following our laws.  In the same article, I didn't make it to the Planning Board meeting but apparently there is another development that is almost as big as the Heritage but instead of 124 units, they are putting 12 units so that seemed very reasonable to me but then I read on and I understood that the board waived the requirement to build 20% of the total number of units as moderate income family dwelling units.  Well, 20% of 12 would be 2 plus, so in return the developer is going to make a $420,000 payment to the Southold Town Housing Fund.  now, I mean that would be reasonable if the Southold Town Housing Committee had a program that they could take the $420,000 and build two affordable units, even though it still might be a violation of state law or it might be federal law that requires an integration of affordable housing into open market houses and indeed, that's what we have in the older neighborhoods where most of us live. But if they are building a new project with 12 houses, I don't understand exactly the details of how they came up with that number or what the process was but the appearance of it was very disturbing.  Apparently the Planning Board had the authority to make that decision but that was because of the legislation that is a matter of this Board's authority.  So I think that this Board should be very observant of this and if you are serious about providing affordable housing, we should stop giving breaks to developers to build luxury housing developments such as apparently the Estates at Royalton don't want anyone with moderate income living next to them and certainly the Heritage at Cutchogue is certainly not going to be affordable for anybody with a moderate income and in that case also, there was a monetary exchange where the monies are going into some funds somewhere, hopefully, they are earmarked for affordable housing promotion but it's not happening and  I don’t know....

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  I agree and the housing commission, now that money is becoming available, is going to sit down and develop plans and policies and then come back to the Town Board for the use of the funds but I will say in the instance of the Heritage, we had no choice because the carrying charges to each unit, would have moved it beyond affordability, we wouldn't have been able to comply with our own code in terms of the cost, the purchase price.  You have to factor in the common charges and I think if you know, I assume you do, by NYS. You can't, a condo board can't give special dispensation on the carrying charges.  Everybody has a share in that.  You can't create condo board exemptions for some of the people or allow them to escape what is basically a common obligation on the part of all the owners.  And if you start hitting that $300, $400, $500 a month in additional common charges, the carrying charges on the whole unit would blow it out of affordability.  So we provided a buyout provision.  The more pragmatic approach. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  Well, I don't know if the buyout is sufficient  to replace the loss and I don't like the fact that it was a condominium, it's not only going to provide more houses for rich people in town, it's going to jack up the prices, the taxes,  for the rest of us that are not in condominium associations.  So I think we need to get a handle on that, too.  What's going on with the parking, wasn't there something on the agenda this morning about parking in town? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Yes, Heather Lanza had put together  along with the Transportation Commission has put together almost a scope of work that needs to be done addressing with a broad range of parking issues.  I will defer to Bill for the rest of the explanation because he is the liaison to the transportation commission. 

 

COUNCILMAN RULAND:  what would you like to know? 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  Well, was the Town of Southold rented parking lot in Cutchogue mentioned? 

 

COUNCILMAN RULAND:  Was it rented? 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  Was it mentioned this morning? 

 

COUNCILMAN RULAND:  Not specifically.  The discussion centered around the inventory of parking available throughout the town, throughout the hamlets and also a very small amount of discussion because at yesterday’s transportation meeting the Village of Greenport was present and they were sharing with the Commission some of the pitfalls that the Village is facing, also they shared with the Transportation Commission their success in regulating parking to date ie: where you can't park  and where you cannot and a hefty parking ticket if you park where you shouldn't.  It was my understanding that it was not well received in the beginning but it's now provided the Village with more revenue than necessary to pay their traffic control officer and at the same time has given them some degree of regulating the parking they have there.  The discussion going forward is we have a number of major parking areas in town, we also have a number of businesses that front on town roads, state highway, county roads.  In their final chapter of the comprehensive plan which is the transportation chapter, there's going to be a discussion about infrastructure, about the inventory of parking and where it is and hamlet based meetings to discuss hamlet based suggestions or solutions on what people might think.  In the meantime, there is also, we have agreed to have an intern in the Planning Department to help gather information regarding the same situation that has been, are you running away?  That has been faced by other municipalities within New York State.  That's kind of it in a nutshell.  This is something that is going to evolve over time.  I think there is no question about the fact that the future, which will be changed, the future is going to involve some type of model which is going to include paid parking, the amount of time you can park in a certain parking area, overnight parking is going to have to be addressed. Wintertime parking is going to have to be addressed.  a whole lot of things that for many, many years you could get by.  We just can't get by anymore.

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  So what about the parking lot in Cutchogue? The parking in Cutchogue?

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  I think the goal of that group is to include, I think the goal of that group is to look at parking collectively.  That would include Cutchogue, that would include the two municipal lots in Mattituck, that would include what is essentially the lack of parking in Southold hamlet.  It is a broad view of everything, including road ends and beach stickers and all of those things.  Parking is as difficult an issue now to get out in front of as much of traffic,  there's a lot of traffic on the roads.  Some of them are parking, some of them are driving and we are trying to get a handle on it all. 

 

COUNCILMAN GHOSIO:  Inaudible. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Right. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  I understand that the lease between the Town of Southold and Mr. Terp is about halfway done.  It was a 20 year lease and we are approximately 10 years into it.  But this fence that was put up, why do you think he put it up? 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Knowing Al, I can't speak to motives.  All I know is the Town does not have the authority to remove the fence or to make the property owner remove the fence. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  How do you know that?

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Based on the advice of counsel and the review of the lease. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  Well, I reviewed the lease and I am an attorney and I believe the town does have the right to remove that fence and I also believe that the reason the fence was put up was that it blocks a right of way that was there for over 50 years, since I came here which was over 50 years ago and I believe, I will be speaking with the adjacent landowner who enjoys the benefit of that easement but I would hope that the town would support an easement which is pertinent to a public property which provides access and safe transportation for people including a local non-profit organization, long established and their customers.  And I would ask if you would review that statute again and if you feel that you have advice from an attorney that says that you can't do that, maybe you could make that advice public so that other people could look at it and if there's any flaws in the reasoning or if there's another legal theory  that might apply, that might be more conducive to the public interest, that could be applied.  Okay, I thank you very much for your time this evening.  In closing, I would just like to make a shout out to the Highway Department for their hard work and remind everybody that yesterday they started the annual branch and leaf pickup starting from Orient and moving throughout the town.  So if you have seen all the piles on the road, it's time to put out anything you want. 

 

COUNCILMAN RULAND:  Not exactly. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  I put a refrigerator out and painted it the color bark and they just drove right past it. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  Well, you know, there are laws or rules in here that commercial landscape companies or tree removal companies are not permitted but they are doing it.  They are putting out large loads of branches.  They have the trucks that could take their large loads to the dump.  In addition, the town could make its job easier and I think assist the public, save some money on paper bags etc. and I might talk to the highway department, they are very receptive to suggestions but if the suggestion was made that people use say a leaf vacuum that chops up the leaves and takes 10 bags of leaves and puts it in one bag, depending on the vacuum, between five and ten bags per bag, also accelerates the decomposition process but again, I would like to thank the highway department for the good job they are doing and also the transfer station which is taking those leaves and using them to produce excellent compost which is even being used on organically certified farms in the town and now is a good time to spread it around. In addition to being good for your plants, it also is good for the water table and the public interest. 

 

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Thank you. 

 

MR. SCHWARTZ:  Thank you. 

              Supervisor Russell

SUPERVISOR RUSSELL:  Would anyone else like to address the Town Board?  (No reply)  Motion to adjourn? 

 

              Motion To:              Adjourn Town Board Meeting

RESOLVED that this meeting of the Southold Town Board be and hereby is declared adjourned at 9:20P.M.

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                                                                                             Elizabeth A. Neville

                                                                                             Southold Town Clerk

RESULT:              ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Louisa P. Evans, Justice

SECONDER:              William P. Ruland, Councilman

AYES:              Dinizio Jr, Ruland, Doherty, Ghosio, Evans, Russell