North Haven Board Hears More Complaints About Rentals, Seaplanes

A seaplane beached at North Haven Manor to offload passengers in August, 2018. File photo

Aside from complaints about a Blade seaplane coming too close to the beach and making two stops in one morning at Jimmy Buffet’s North Haven dock, Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the North Haven Village Board focused on the same problem raised at the July meeting by residents of the private North Haven Manor community: short-term rentals with no village rental permit and, in some cases, noisy tenants.

Some properties in the Manor have been turned into virtual hotels with short-term rentals, Manor resident Elizabeth Schmeelk told Mayor Jeff Sander and the two members of the Village Board who were present, James Laspesa and James Davis. “It’s blatant. I don’t know who’s living in what house,” she said. One day recently, “A man and a woman in a convertible asked me where the party house was. It’s out of control.”

As he did last month, Mayor Jeff Sander agreed the village’s rules need to be tightened and enforced. “We can pass all the laws in the world you have to get people to follow them,” he said.

North Haven Mayor Jeff Sander at Tuesday’s August meeting of the Village Board. Peter Boody photo

“To me,” he added, “it falls on the homeowners. They should tell people” about village regulations, whether it’s about seaplane landings, the requirement for rental permits, or leashing dogs. “We need to get tougher on homeowners,” he added.

“I agree with you 100 percent,” replied Actors Colony Road resident Jonathan McCann. “It’s only going to get worse.”

Anthony Coron, also of Actors Colony Road, raised the issue of seaplanes coming and going from his neighbor Jimmy Buffett’s dock; and Manor residents Meg Farrell and her waterfront neighbor Amy Rappaport complained that a Blade seaplane had made two noisy landings on Monday morning and taxied close to shore before landing at Mr. Buffett’s dock.

They noted the village had adopted a new restriction on seaplanes last year barring them from taxiing within 250 feet of shore. Because Mr. Buffett owns a Cessna Caravan on floats and a dock, the code allows residents with seaplanes and docks to obtain exemptions.

Mayor Sander told them that, when their complaints came in, Eileen Tuohy, the village clerk-treasurer, had contacted Mr. Buffett’s staff and learned his seaplane was down for maintenance so he had to hire Blade for his and his wife’s transportation.

“To me, it seems acceptable,” Mr. Sander said, admitting he didn’t recall “what the code reads.”

Mr. Coron disagreed, arguing that any private dock could become a landing point for an air taxi operation, allowing it to “grow into a community nuisance.” He said Monday’s flights were “an insult,” with touch-and-go landings and “aerobatics.”