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Nov 9, 2011 11:30 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Postpones Two Of Three Hearings During Short Meeting

Nov 9, 2011 11:42 AM

November’s Westhampton Beach Village Board meeting lasted about 20 minutes, as trustees last Thursday night pushed back two of three scheduled public hearings until December 7.

Board members held a hearing regarding changes to the village code that will apply to those utility companies that inadvertently damage village streets and sidewalks while completing repairs. The revised code, which was approved 4-0, now requires the utilities to put up a bond—enough money to cover repairs to streets and sidewalks—should they damage either while removing sewer caps. Under the old code, the village was responsible for paying for the repairs.

No one from the public addressed the board during the hearing.

Two other public hearings—one about potential amendments to the village code relating to building construction and fire prevention, and the second about solar energy systems—were adjourned until next month.

The first item seeks to consolidate all rules and regulations pertaining to fire safety and prevention into a single section of code. Officials said that consolidating the sections of code will make it easier to update regulations and fees.

The second hearing was supposed to be held to discuss whether the village was interested in standardizing the permit application process for those property owners who are interested in installing solar-powered systems on their homes and businesses. The hearing was pushed back after the village sent a draft of its proposal to the Long Island Power Authority for review. At LIPA’s suggestion, the village elected to make some minor changes to the proposal prior to submitting it to Suffolk County.

The village must file the application if it is interested in joining the Long Island Unified Solar Permitting Initiative. If it is one of the first 10 villages in the county to join the program, Westhampton Beach will receive $5,000 from LIPA, money that will be used to streamline the permit process.

During the public comments portion of last week’s meeting, Andrew Mendelson, a developer who’s looking to build a supermarket in Westhampton Beach, inquired about his request for a public meeting to discuss his project. He wants to build an estimated 40,000-square-foot supermarket on 4 acres that he owns on the west side of Old Riverhead Road, just south of the railroad tracks. The land is now zoned Business-3, which does not permit supermarkets.

Mayor Conrad Teller told Mr. Mendelson that his request will be discussed later this month and that trustees should have a date to offer by their next meeting in December.

At the same meeting, trustees agreed to repeal the village’s electrical inspection fee schedule. Officials explained that Southampton Town conducts all of the village’s electrical inspections of homes and businesses, and has its own set of fees.

Finally, the board signed off on a request that the annual East End Hospice Tree of Lights Memorial be held on the Village Green, located on the corner of Main Street and Mill Road, on Sunday, December 4.

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