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Nov 11, 2016 1:36 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village Board Considers Requiring Permits To Cut Down Trees On Residential Lots

SAVE committee members, pictured left to right: Linda Stabler-Talty, Roger Blaugh, Sue Dubner and Mackie Finnerty. BY GREG WEHNER
Nov 15, 2016 9:18 AM

Legislation meant to protect trees in Southampton Village—by requiring homeowners to obtain a permit from the village’s Building Department to cut down any tree with a trunk more than 7 inches in diameter—is being considered by the Village Board.

The Southampton Advocates for the Village Environment, or SAVE, a committee formed by Mayor Mark Epley, formulated the proposed legislation and presented it to the board at a meeting last Thursday.

“There are hundred-year-old trees being aggressively cut down, loss of our greenbelt to maximize building square footage, and not too much concern for the existing landscape, specifically trees,” committee member Linda Stabler-Talty told Village Board members.

Committee members including Ms. Stabler-Talty, Mackie Finnerty, Sue Dubner and Roger Blaugh put together the legislation after studying several municipalities on Long Island for more than a year.

“We came to understand how they handled clear-cutting, and then used their laws for a beginning template,” Ms. Stabler-Talty said.

Permits would not be needed in every instance, however.

“Anybody in the village could take down two trees without a permit on their own property,” Ms. Finnerty said. “We all know that some people have what they call a dirty tree where things just drop all over the sidewalk and your patio and everything. It annoys people and it’s dangerous. You would have the right to take that down.”

She also said homeowners would be able to remove a tree that is dying, without a permit. Other than that, a permit would be needed.

SAVE’s argument is that preserving and planting trees have a direct correlation to the health, safety and welfare of village residents.

“Trees and vegetation reduce noise, they provide shade, preserve oxygen in the air, help with drainage and they also filtrate to the water table,” Ms. Stabler-Talty said. “They also help to retain the bucolic rural atmosphere of our village.”

The purpose of the ordinance is “to regulate the loss of large trees, shrubs and associated vegetation which have been found to promote the goals of the Village Master Plan and the policy of the Village Board of Trustees,” according to the proposed legislation.

Trees would not be able to be cut down until a tree removal permit, building permit, site plan approval or final subdivision approval is received or until the Building Department grants the approval. In nonresidential areas being proposed for development or a subdivision, the amount of trees and vegetation being removed could not exceed 50 percent of the area of the lot.

Not complying could result in fines of up to $2,500 per large tree with a diameter of more than 7 inches, a stop-work order and the denial of a certificate of occupancy.

Applicants may also be required to replace any trees that are removed from the property in a timely fashion.

Village Trustee Richard Yastrzemski said he was not a tree hugger, but believes in common sense solutions. He said he is concerned not only with the clear-cutting of trees during construction, but also concerned about adding more legislative layers to the permitting process.

Board member Michael Irving told SAFE committee members that the board needed to look over the legislation and do some tweaking. He also told the board it has to weigh the rights of property owners before considering the legislation.

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Wow.
By Draggerman (930), Southampton on Nov 11, 16 1:39 PM
Dam, can we rake leaves... Permits, committees and variances. More and more and more regs...
By knitter (1846), Southampton on Nov 11, 16 4:00 PM
Dam, can we rake leaves... Permits, committees and variances. More and more and more regs...
By knitter (1846), Southampton on Nov 11, 16 4:00 PM
Wonder how much the permit will cost? What a joke.

By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on Nov 11, 16 5:33 PM
1 member liked this comment
And they wonder why Trump got elected.... Go away...its our property....no pun intended but LEAVE.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Nov 11, 16 5:58 PM
Jeez Mark , are you serious? Is this your last term?
By bigfresh (4534), north sea on Nov 11, 16 6:57 PM
Word on the street is that this IS his last term.....thank goodness!!!!
By toes in the water (881), southampton on Nov 12, 16 4:19 PM
Didn't people get the message with Tuesday's election? We don't want nanny government telling us how to run our lives, dictating everything we can and can't do.
By BillWillConn3 (179), Southampton on Nov 11, 16 7:33 PM
The Village "Fire Marshal", McNamara, has been squeeling to officials about this for years. Too many officials on payroll with too much time.
By Mouthampton (433), Southampton on Nov 11, 16 8:04 PM
2 members liked this comment
Wow look whos on the committee a bunch of liberal busy bodies.You wonder why Donald Trump was elected.
By chief1 (2765), southampton on Nov 11, 16 8:37 PM
I don't wonder ... I just read your comments and laugh. Anyone who resorts to name calling shouldn't be included in these comments.
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Nov 17, 16 11:36 AM
1 member liked this comment
''The Village Master Plan''.... If it walks like a socialist talks like a socialist. This is why the Village is a joke... They should look into why it takes 2 fat asses to brick an island the size of a smart car an entire week..
By sig9226 (2), water mill on Nov 11, 16 9:08 PM
Bring back the plastic bags!
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Nov 11, 16 10:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
Note to committee:

They may sound like they hate it now, but if you tell 'em that you'll use the $$ to clean the water they'll vote for it. Then you'll be able to use your tax like a slush fund too
By even flow (935), East Hampton on Nov 12, 16 6:11 AM
How about a committee on people encroaching on public property [meadow la]? Committee ???
By knitter (1846), Southampton on Nov 12, 16 9:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
How about just not developing land and building homes no one lives in!!!!
By jjml201 (1), Sag Harbor on Nov 12, 16 10:33 AM
Stay out of my yard, and stay out of my business. The same group of idiots did the plastic bag ban. I want to strangle them when my paper bags break open. lol. Please give these busy bodies job
By chief1 (2765), southampton on Nov 12, 16 2:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
Perhaps you should buy reusable one.

But you won't. You'd prefer to suffer and complain like a petulant child instead of being proactive.

Freedom is one thing. Anarchy is another.
By Mr. Z (11540), North Sea on Nov 23, 16 4:31 AM
Stay out of my yard, and stay out of my business. The same group of idiots did the plastic bag ban. I want to strangle them when my paper bags break open. lol. Please give these busy bodies job
By chief1 (2765), southampton on Nov 12, 16 2:35 PM
What will happen at the Latch??? Dead trees???
By knitter (1846), Southampton on Nov 12, 16 4:33 PM
1 member liked this comment
Its ok to overbuild the hell out of this area and clear out an immense amount of trees, vegetation an homes for the animals for unsold speck house and our fearless leader decides NOW that he cares about the trees in the Village ?! Seriously?! This guy is a joke!!! So relieved to hear our fearless leader will not be running next term .....nervous to hear he's looking to move to a higher political position ;0
By toes in the water (881), southampton on Nov 12, 16 4:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
What about something important like parking and traffic control in summer ad the fiasco of parking on Hampton rd.
By Obserever (40), Southnampton on Nov 12, 16 5:45 PM
Thank you and Agreed! How about ample parking for all the employees who work in the village ....so many struggle with finding adequate parking an face being late to work or taking a chance on getting a parking ticket .

The sardine can is gonna burst Mark. I think you are forgetting about the little people here !!! If you would remove the dollar bills that cover your eyes an looked around , you might see a whole diff pic .
By toes in the water (881), southampton on Nov 13, 16 8:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
We should encourage people to cut down all of the trees that they can before this proposed legislation is explained more!!
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (734), southampton on Nov 13, 16 8:47 AM
so you beat trees too ?
By Undocumented Democrat (2002), southampton on Nov 13, 16 10:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
LMAO!!!!!! She prob uses the small tree branches when she cant find the belt !!
By toes in the water (881), southampton on Nov 14, 16 7:20 AM
I suppose it was YOU suggested sucking the fumes out of a car's tailpipe before catalytic converters were required. Smart cookie.
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Nov 18, 16 9:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
"Weigh the rights of property owners"...

When has that mattered? Ask Mike White about this.
By Draggerman (930), Southampton on Nov 13, 16 9:08 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Draggerman (930), Southampton on Nov 13, 16 9:09 AM
Hope they pass the same law is passed town wide.
By watchdog1 (541), Southampton on Nov 13, 16 10:01 AM
Look at Scuttle Hole Road; the beautiful vista has luxury homes that no one can afford to live in. Please stop cutting trees. I understand we want freedom to do what we want on our property, but look around you this area is looking like Nassau County. Very sad.
By rvs (105), sag harbor on Nov 13, 16 11:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
Looks like some one needs more revenue. Lets just find another way to squeeze money from the people. Don't forget as far as the government cares it is not your property, you pay for the privilege to live there at their leisure.
By Preliator Lives (428), Obamavillie on Nov 14, 16 6:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
Funny the four stooges on the new board have no greenspace on their property.
By chief1 (2765), southampton on Nov 14, 16 2:29 PM
Don't worry Mark will be gone his daddy in law has no more ptojects in the pipeline.
By chief1 (2765), southampton on Nov 14, 16 3:14 PM
It's about time someone saved our greenbelt from up-island developers and the idiots on this page. This isn't Nassau or Western Suffolk. Southampton Village has mature trees dating over 100 years old through the village. SAVE THEM OR LOOSE THEM. You can't count on the people on this page to care or help, so find the stuff to get this done and on the books. I salute you!
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Nov 17, 16 11:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
What monumental hypocrisy!!! The stooges, starting with mayor-for-life Epley, who caused the loss of trees (and lawns) with their illegal and catastrophic Zoning Code of 2005 are now bemoaning the predictable results!
Why not just call (1) the loss of trees; (2) the loss of our Village character and
history; (3) the increase of choking traffic; (4) the eye-sore hulking Mc- Mansions the "unintended" consequence of greed, bad legislation and corruption, and go back to what the residents ...more
By ek616367 (14), Southampton on Nov 17, 16 11:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
Greenbelts? Really. The lots in question are half acre and less that are 99.9% built for decades. Do they know what a greenbelt is? Another example of 4 liberals with nothing better to do with no knowledge, and no regard for property rights. Trump!
By chief1 (2765), southampton on Nov 18, 16 10:27 PM
Some of these trees are well over a hundred years old. Others have been growing longer than that. They do not pop back up overnight.

As usual, your intellect is simply over the top.
By Mr. Z (11540), North Sea on Nov 20, 16 9:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
The law stipulates for sick of dying trees.

I've got oaks which survived not only Sandy and Irene without issue, but Gloria as well. Selling those for firewood would be simply stupid.

Struck out at the plate again...
By Mr. Z (11540), North Sea on Nov 22, 16 5:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
I have the feeling that Village board got bored and they don,t know what to do.Bring back the curb leaves pick up and forget about trees.They cost a fortune to be cut anyway and oaks are making the worst of all tress:pollen sap in spring,tones of acorns in fall,tons of leaves that we have to carry to dump or pay landscapers,dead branches all year.Terrible tree,good for fire though.
By dany (33), Water Mill on Nov 21, 16 7:00 PM
Future Stars, Fall programs, camps, kids,