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Southold officials look at tighter regulations for locating B&Bs

The Southold Town Board and the town Zoning

The Southold Town Board and the town Zoning Board of Appeals take up the issue again on Dec. 5, 2017. Credit: Randee Daddona

The proper location for where bed-and-breakfast lodging should be allowed in Southold is to be discussed by town officials in the coming weeks.

Zoning board of appeals members met with the Southold Town Board at its regular meeting last Tuesday to consider what they said was a series of issues with applications to open bed-and-breakfast inns and lodging.

In some situations, applicants have sought to open on private roads that don’t meet town rules for emergency access or would be “significantly compromised” by excessive traffic that a bed-and-breakfast may cause, zoning board chairwoman Leslie Weisman said.

“We want them to consider where it’s appropriate to locate B&Bs moving forward,” Weisman said.

She suggested bed-and-breakfasts should be operated only in hamlet shopping centers, along main roads such as Route 25 or HALO zones — areas previously identified for growth in the town’s eight hamlets.

Additionally, zoning officials are planning to develop a map for the board, identifying existing B&Bs in Southold to see if there are any areas saturated by the number of inns. If so, officials would look to limit the locations, either at the town board or zoning level.

The zoning board also is suggesting the town look at better ways to ensure applicants are complying with town residency requirements and Southold’s short-term rental law that prohibits residential rentals of fewer than 14 days.

“It isn’t to deprive compliant existing homeowners that are operating B&Bs. But moving forward, we want to make sure that the town develops in a way that the entire neighborhood is happy,” Weisman said.

Town Supervisor Scott Russell said the town board and zoning officials will take up the issue again at a work session on Dec. 5.

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