By: Progress for Westhampton Beach
As a matter of public interest: Lashley Beach access has been restored to both the parking lot and vehicle access to the beach as well. The contractors for the Army Corp. of Engineers have advanced their work west and there is no need for continued restrictions. Striper season continues until December 15th.
The Board of Trustees Meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. The first matter on the agenda was a public hearing concerning proposed uses for the Community Development Block Grant Funding. The Director of Hugs, Inc., Kym Laube, made a request for funding to support an after school program in the Middle School that is run by HUGS, Inc.
Ms. Laube provided the Trustees with a report detailing the success of the program in the preceding year. No one else wished to be heard and the hearing was closed.
The Board of Trustees directed that five public hearings be noticed to permit public comment on changes to the Village Code that:
- that increases the school zone speed limit on Mill Road from 15 mph to 20 mph. No new signs will be required because the zone has always been posted as a 20 mph zone
- will prohibit sleeping in any stationary motor vehicle between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. on any street, park, or parking area owned or controlled by the village.
- will now permit stopping and standing on both sides of Lilac Road to accommodate parents picking up and dropping off students at the high school. Parking is still prohibited during some hours.
- prohibits the operation of motor vehicles on the beach between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. from May 15th through Sept. 15th along with other restrictions concerning the operation of vehicles on the beach.
The Board of Trustees took further action on the special exception application submitted by CVS. The Village Attorney has advised the Trustees that the application for a special exception constitutes an “Unlisted” action under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and the Trustees Resolved that the Clerk is to provide notice to other involved agencies as required by state regulations. The attorney for CVS, John Bennett, Esq., interjected that he objected and said that he did not consider the action an Unlisted Action, but instead a Type II action that does not require any further review. The Board has determined that SEQRA review is required and will proceed. The Board of Trustees retained Community Land Use-Economics, at the expense of the applicant, to conduct a market and municipal impact study with respect to this application for a special exception.
Counsel for CVS had previously advanced his opinion that the Village’s Special Exception law is legally flawed insofar as it requires a market study to consider the effects on the local market including market share. The Board of Trustees retained the services of Nelson, Pope & Voorhis to examine the propriety of the criteria in the special exception law, and review whether the requirements for the special exception appropriately implement the existing Master Plan.
In the public comment portion of the meeting
Irina Richardson, a current member of the Architectural Review Board, stated that she had heard rumors that the Trustees might dissolve the police department. Ms. Richardson advised against it. Remarking on her background in law enforcement she endorsed hiring Lt. Trevor Gonce provisionally as the next Chief of Police for the Village. The Mayor told Ms. Richardson that the Trustees are working on it and the matter will be resolved soon.
Former Village Attorney Herman “Bo” Bishop asked why the Trustees were hiring Nelson, Pope & Voorhis to review the special exception law. Village Attorney, Anthony Pasca, Esq., explained that there has been a legal challenge advanced by counsel for CVS and that the review was prudent.