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Southold passes coastal contractor license law

Stock photo: Fotolia

Beginning Jan. 1, contractors who undertake coastal construction work in the Town of Southold will be required to hold a license from the town, pursuant to a new law adopted Wednesday by the Southold Town Board.

The law aims to ensure better compliance with the requirements of the “Wetlands and Shorelines” and “Coastal Erosion Hazard Areas” chapters of the town code.

The license requirement applies to contractors who construct, repair, replace or modify structures such as bulkheads, docks, jetties, stairways and decks — as well as the design, installation and maintenance of landscaping, lawns, hedges and other plantings and landscape architecture, including in-ground irrigation systems, patios, decks and retaining walls in and around wetland areas and requiring a permit pursuant to either of those chapters of the town code.

The new law adopted last week also increased fines and penalties for failure to comply with the requirements of the “Wetlands and Shorelines” and “Coastal Erosion Hazard Areas” chapters of the town code.

Southold Town Trustees advocated for the law and worked on its development because “repeat offenders” who are willing to absorb fines that are not adequate to deter violations.

“We have a new class of customers overloading our office with violations,” Trustees President Mike Domino told the town board during an Oct. 24 public hearing on the proposed local law. Trustee John Bredemeyer also spoke in favor of its adoption at the hearing.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.