June 1, 2012
Contact: Councilman Chris Nuzzi
Nuzzi Proposes Project Development Council
Streamlined Land Use Process Would Help Residents, Businesses
As residents and businesses continue to endure the difficulties of an unstable economy, Southampton Town Councilman Chris Nuzzi is aiming to streamline their dealings with Town Hall. In an initiative to help navigate through regulatory processes associated with land use applications, excluding change of zone and Planned Development District applications, Nuzzi presented legislation at today’s Work Session that seeks to formalize a group of Town division and department heads into a Project Development Council. Comprised of representatives from the Land Management, Building and Zoning, Planning, Environmental, Engineering, Highway, Transportation, and Town Attorney’s offices, the Council would serve as a central contact for those seeking development opportunities within the Town.
“I hear continuing concerns from citizens and local businesses about the complexity and timeliness of getting through the application process,” said Nuzzi. “Particularly during these difficult economic times, everyone should be entitled to an expeditious and fair review. With small business accounting for the majority of jobs created on the East End, it is essential the application process be smooth for those who want to start, expand, or relocate a business in Southampton Town.”
Because some applications require approvals and permits from various entities, including the Town’s Building Department, Planning and Zoning Boards, as well as the County and State, the process often becomes a cumbersome undertaking. The Council would coordinate among the departments to offer applicants consistent information, direction, and guidance, to ensure the process is as predictable as possible. In essence, it would provide “one stop shopping” for individuals and businesses pursuing projects within the Town.
The councilman sought input from various groups including the local chambers of commerce while crafting the objectives of the Council. “We’re in total support,” said Jane Held, who spoke on behalf of the Town’s Business Advisory Council at the Work Session. “The integration of the various departments into a centralized source will make the process more effective and efficient for the Town and the applicants, and enhance business growth and development in the community.”
Although applicants would not be required to meet with the Council, doing so could provide assistance with troubleshooting, identifying potential problems at the outset, and in obtaining required information that is lacking in a particular request. The Council may also provide status updates to the Town Board on various applications, requests, and larger development applications, and make policy recommendations on how to improve the application process.
Nuzzi said he plans to submit the resolution to form the Project Development Council for inclusion on the June 12 Town Board meeting agenda.
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