The village held a meeting on Aug. 23, where a number of items were discussed and several resolutions were passed by the board. A public hearing was set to discuss the village opting out of cannabis legislation, and residents of the village also spoke about two issues of concern: environmental and noise pollution caused by commercial landscaping and speeding cars on residential roads.
A public hearing for the regulation of certain licensed home improvement contractors drew commentary from some residents. The proposal, which passed unanimously, will require landscapers and home improvement providers to be registered with the village and to be regulated, according to Bob Rosenberg, Bellport Village trustee, who researched the plan. The proposal also sets a time limit for work to be done, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday.
Some residents said the proposal doesn’t go far enough. Resident Janet Kraynak and others at the meeting want to see Bellport Village commit to being green when it comes to the tools commercial landscapers use in the village. Kraynak said that other villages have banned gas-powered landscaping equipment—and it’s becoming a national trend, such as in the case of Southampton Village, which in 2019, changed its code to ban gas-powered leaf blowers. Kraynak cited environmental studies on gas-powered lawn blowers and hedge clippers, as well as health impacts the machinery has to people who come close to it.
Kraynak and some of the other residents asked the board to act faster, but the board pushed back, stating that when it comes to this type of regulation, their plan is to act slowly.
“We want to make the change, but we want to do it in a way that we don’t have to go back and change it,” said Rosenberg.
No future events were scheduled, but the board called the regulation a first step.
Residents also spoke about speeding cars on residential streets. Thomas Schultz addressed the board, urging them to calm traffic in the village.
“It’s not only a safety issue, it’s also a quality-of-life issue,” he said.
Schultz referred to cars that speed down Country Club Road and other residential streets like Bellport Lane. Other residents took to the microphone to say that they, too, experienced speeding cars on their streets.
“I can hear a car speeding before it even gets near my house,” said Schultz.
Schultz spoke about a police study that was done for one hour on his road, but said the police officer was there during a time that was “off peak” and that the worst speeding happens at different times. Either way, Schultz said that the officer found that 44 percent of cars that travelled down Country Club Road were speeding.
Bellport Village mayor Raymond Fell said a new radar sign may provide at least part of a solution. Later in the meeting, the board passed a resolution allowing for a $10,360 radar sign to be purchased. The sign can record the time and the speed a car is traveling; however, it doesn’t record the car’s license plate number. The radar sign is on a trailer, so it can be moved to different parts of the village.
For Bellport Village board member Mike Ferrigno, the radar sign is at least a start to figure out where traffic and speed issues exist.
“We can only get the police down there at certain times,” he said, in regard to requesting police presence on residential streets.
Ferrigno added that the new reader will allow the village to record times and speeds when and where they need to.
Later in the meeting, a public hearing to opt out of cannabis legislation was scheduled for Sept. 27.
“This is a state law, whether you opt in or opt out,” said Fell.
Opting out means that cannabis can’t be sold in the village’s business district. Fell also pointed out that if the village opts out, they’ll be able to change their mind down the road; but if they opt in, it’s a done deal and they won’t be able to opt out in the future.
“The village is being cautious and intends to opt out,” said Fell.
Also, the village is approved to put its 1977 Thomas Marine DPW workboat up for sale. Lastly, the village accepted a donation of $18,000 from the Bellport Village Program Fund for a slide and merry-go-round that will go up in Mother’s Park.