Pictured Above: A memory of a beautiful weekend Saturday at Mill Creek, Southold.

Nearly a decade in the making, Southold Town’s Comprehensive Plan is now available in its entirety for public review, and the town plans to hold several public forums in the upcoming weeks on its contents.

The plan is now available online here and paper copies will be available later this week at the Town Clerk’s office, Town Planning office, and all five libraries (Mattituck Laurel, Cutchogue New Suffolk, Southold, Floyd Memorial (Greenport), and Fishers Island).

The Southold Town Planning Board will hold a presentation about the plan, followed by a question and answer period, on Monday, July 29 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. All public comment received at that meeting will be entered into the formal public hearing record.

The Southold Town Board is planning public hearings on the plan in late summer and early fall, according to an email from Planning Director Heather Lanza, who announced the online availability of the plan late Friday afternoon.

The town will hold six informational meetings on the plan in August on the following dates and locations: Thursday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Peconic Lane Recreation Center; Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 11:45 a.m. at the Fishers Island Town Board Day at the Fishers Island School; Thursday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Mattituck Presbyterian Church; Saturday, Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. at the East Marion Firehouse; Tuesday, Aug. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Cutchogue Library, and Saturday, Aug. 31 at 9 a.m. at Poquatuck Hall in Orient.

Comprehensive plans provides the basis for zoning and other land
use regulations to be adopted as part of the town code.

According to the vision statement of the document, “future planning shall be compatible with existing community character while supporting and addressing the challenges of continued land preservation, maintaining a vibrant local economy, creating efficient transportation, promoting a diverse housing stock, expanding recreational opportunities and protecting natural resources.”

The 292-page document and 308 pages of appendices give an overview of the demographics and community character of the town, with chapters on infrastructure and transportation; natural resources and the environment; economic development; housing; agriculture; land preservation; human services; natural hazards and parks and recreation.

The land use and zoning chapter does not include specific recommendations for rezoning of properties, but does include a series of zoning-related goals to be implemented in the future.

“While no parcel-specific zone changes are proposed in these objectives, the types of zoning and circumstances that may be considered for future changes are identified,” according to the plan. “Any changes to specific zoning or parcels would happen after this plan is adopted, during the implementation phase of the plan. All potential changes would only be contemplated after considerable analyses and public discussion are conducted.”

Read the documents:

Southold Town Comprehensive Plan Executive Summary

Southold Town Comprehensive Plan

Southold Town Comprehensive Plan Appendices

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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