North Haven Limits Rentals; Takes Step to Allow Village to Pierce 2% Tax Cap

The North Haven Village Board on March 10: Deputy clerk Ed Deyermond; Trustee Dianne Skilbred; Mayor Jeff Sander; Trustees David Saskas.

The North Haven Village Board this week adopted a new law that bars renting any property more often than once every two weeks and agreed to set a public hearing on a proposed law to allow the village to pierce the state’s 2-percent limit on annual property tax increases.

A draft budget proposal released at the board’s regular monthly meeting on March 10 calls for $1,856,750 in expenditures for the coming fiscal year, an increase of 14 percent over the current year’s budget, which totals $1,628,641.

The draft includes an 11-percent jump in the amount charged for fire and ambulance protection by the village of Sag Harbor to $651,000, 35 percent of the budget total. Employee benefits, the second largest expense, are expected to rise 7 percent to $171,000. The third highest, animal control, is expected to nearly double from $75,000 to $146,000. The category “weeds/leaf/snow” would rise from $91,920.94 to $109,000, up 18 percent.

The step to allow the village to pierce the state’s 2-percent tax cap “is in anticipation that we may have a problem when we adopt the budget,” Mayor Jeff Sander explained just before a 3-0 vote, with Trustee James Laspesa absent, to set a hearing on the measure for 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14. “This is a precaution in case we do” have to pierce the cap because of higher expenses, he said.

A budget proposal must be subject to a hearing by April 15 and adopted by May 1.

The proposed rental code, in the works for months, was passed by a 3-0 vote after a public hearing at which two residents asked questions and no one spoke in opposition. In an historic step, the village will enforce it and other nuisance and quality-of-life codes for the first time in memory by hiring the Town of Southampton’s code enforcement department to handle complaints and issue warnings and summonses to town Justice Court, Mayor Jeff Sander said.

In addition to setting the two-week week maximum frequency of rentals, the new code requires landlords to obtain permits year-round; the previous code required them only in the summer season.

To be issued only after a code and safety inspection by the building inspector, or certification by a licensed architect, rental permits will be good for two years and cost $400 if the building inspector conducts the property inspection, $250 if the property owner submits certified proof of compliance. Owners who fail to obtain a permit and are warned to obtain one will have 30 days to comply and must pay an extra $200 for the permit.

Also on Tuesday, the board voted 3-0 to limit the duration of a dock construction permit to one year and, by the same vote, renewed its annual agreement with Cablevision allowing it to use village rights-of-way for its network. The board renewed the agreement after a brief public hearing at which resident Anthony Coron objected to Cablevision’s monopoly on broadcasting public access programming. Southampton-s SEA-TV and East Hampton’s LTV programming can be streamed online, a representative of the cable company who attended the hearing pointed out.

The board started its meeting with a moment of silence for Village Trustee James Davis, who died in late February after battling pancreatic cancer. “He will be missed,” Mayor Jeff Sander commented.