The Shoals says it’s accessible by seaplane, but Southold Town begs to defer
The opening of a new hotel that advertises itself as accessible by car, boat or plane has prompted Southold Town’s aircraft noise steering committee to ask the town council to review its seaplane code.
While seaplanes are banned from Southold waters, town officials fear there is a loophole for planes to land in other parts of Peconic Bay, with passengers then ferried by boat to their destination.
“[The code] prohibit landings anywhere we have jurisdiction,” Assistant City Attorney John Burke said during a city council business session on Tuesday. “But the areas where we have jurisdiction in Peconic Bay are slipping and there could be a loophole.”
The question arose following articles about The Shoals in Northforker magazine and Patch.com, both of which mentioned the hotel’s accessibility by seaplane, a feature highlighted in press materials published by The Shoals. ‘company.
The Shoals also mentions this method of arrival on their website.
“Guests can arrive by train, seaplane or boat, which uniquely positions the hotel as both a destination for guests and a social hub for locals,” the company’s website says.
Councilwoman Sarah Nappa, the city council’s liaison to the aircraft noise steering committee, asked if the city could send a letter to the hotel, asking it to no longer promote this feature. Mr. Burke said the city had already discussed this with them and that they would no longer run advertisements promoting air arrivals.
In an email Tuesday, a spokesperson for The Shoals said the hotel does not provide any of its own transportation services and that guests arriving by seaplane should ensure they board and land within legal areas.
Mr Burke said the city will have to “protect itself” from planes landing in other areas and guests being transported by boat. He said the city should first map the bay to see which areas allow seaplanes to land or take off to better understand where they might be coming from.
The towns of Riverhead and East Hampton have banned seaplanes from local waters. Southampton has banned it in Mecox Bay, but allows landings in city waters over 1,000 feet from shore. Shelter Island has no restrictions, so there are pockets of the bay in two towns where planes can land directly beside the waters of Southold Town.
The potential future closure of East Hampton Town airport, which could make seaplanes a more desirable means of transport to the East End, and the lack of monetary penalties for violating the part of town, aggravate potentially the problem, Ms. Nappa noted. aircraft code.
“Do we want to maybe add some sort of fine structure?” Ms Nappa asked her fellow board members on Tuesday.
City Supervisor Scott Russell said the seaplane ban at least prevents the planes themselves from being flown directly to shore.
“We control the keys to this kingdom,” Mr. Russell said.
The Southold Town Aircraft Noise Steering Committee was formed in 2014 to address quality of life issues related to aircraft noise. The seaplane ban, which exempts military and emergency aircraft, was implemented in 2018.
The Shoals is owned by a group led by developer Jonathan Tibbett, which also owns North Fork Table & Inn, Southold General and upcoming Southold Social and The Enclaves, all located in the hamlet of Southold.