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Oct 28, 2009 10:32 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Board member wants police to monitor mobile food vendors in Westhampton Beach

Oct 28, 2009 10:32 AM

Westhampton Beach Village Police officers should check with the operators of mobile food vendors to see if they have the proper permits to sell food in the village, according to Village Board Member Jim Kametler.

Police Chief Ray Dean said during the Village Board’s work session last Wednesday, October 21, that he has assigned officers to check on the food vendor trucks and advise their owners to secure permits from the village—if they have not done so already.

The mobile vendors need permits if they sell food in the village. Kathy McGinnis, the village clerk, said the municipality does not currently charge vendors for obtaining the permits, though that policy is subject to change.

Mr. Kametler said the trucks often stop by construction sites and, as a result, are taking away business from local establishments.

“These guys are really putting a hurt on these delis,” he said. “We’ve got a small village. We have to protect it.

Village Board member Toni-Jo Birk said she has heard that some construction companies like it when the mobile operators come by because workers do not have to go too far when on a lunch break.

Mr. Kametler suggested setting the fee for such a permit at $5,000, though Village Attorney Bo Bishop said that the law would prohibit the village from setting such a high fee.

“The fees have to be reasonable,” Mr. Bishop said, adding that the village cannot outlaw such vendors, citing a New York State Supreme Court case.

Mr. Bishop said he is going to research the laws regarding mobile street vendors, and what restrictions the village can and cannot impose on them.

Also at last week’s meeting, the Village Board discussed raising building fees and making applicants pay in advance for professional services. A public hearing for those topics has not yet been set.

The fees for building permits have not been changed since 2001, Mr. Bishop said during last week’s meeting. The charge for a building permit depends on the square footage of the proposed structure, explained Westhampton Beach Building and Zoning Administrator Paul Houlihan.

The fees will increase about 15 percent, if the board signs off on the changes.

Mr. Houlihan said the fee schedule in Westhampton Beach is now less than what is charged in Quogue and Southampton villages, though it is higher than what is charged by Southampton Town.

“We’re still similar to surrounding communities,” he said.

The board is also discussing making applicants pay up front for professional fees when they propose a large project, like a condominium complex, in the village. The payment would cover the cost of professional services, such as site plan reviews or appraisals, Mr. Houlihan said.

Currently, the village foots the bills for those professional services and the applicants reimburse the village once they obtain a building permit.

The proposal suggests that the board get an estimation of those the fees, and the applicant put that amount into an escrow account, Mr. Bishop said. The Village Board will not give a project approval until all the fees are paid. If the developers withdraw an application, they will get their money back.

The village has been stuck with such fees before. Mr. Houlihan said an applicant received approval for a project but then never followed through on the work. Mr. Houlihan declined to identify the applicant and did not say how much the developer owed the village.

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So now they're going after the Roach Coaches ? Gimme a break !
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Oct 27, 09 7:38 PM
all the roach coaches should refuse to do business in WHB, soon thereafter the contractors will complain(heavy campaign contributors) and the harassment will cease. politics 101
By politcal pawn (121), Flanders on Oct 27, 09 9:13 PM
stupid goverment regulation. Its a pain to drive and line up at delis when youre on a job site-- its a waste of time and gasoline. If WH Beach was serious about being "Green" , they wouldnt do this
By nicole (96), Hampton Bays on Oct 28, 09 7:05 PM
Some of the deli's in our village deliver, they deliver to businesses any day anyone wants a delivery, they can deliver to these sites as well, so why is there a problem .Go Yankees !!!!
By shock (70), whb on Oct 28, 09 8:05 PM
Whatever happened to free enterprise? Competition is healthy....and maybe the delis will lower their exorbitant prices to attract more business......furthermore, if permits are required, then enforce it......end of story.....
By MaryMac (43), Riverhead on Oct 30, 09 9:40 AM
Ok kids no more lemonade stands, no more bake sales to raise money for things - Lets' monitor everything we can so we can continue to live in the land of the FREE
By lo-cal (78), southampton on Nov 4, 09 7:09 PM
Get serious. $5,000 for a permit to run a "roach coach". What about your illegal B&B Kametler. Been doing any target practice in your backyard lately? Opening a deli or part owner of one? You guys are pathetic!
By sayitaintsojoe (100), Westhampton on Nov 5, 09 3:07 PM
who has their hand in your pocket Mr. Kametler.You guys make me sick.The roach coaches have familys also.
By johnjudy (1), ridge on Nov 6, 09 3:59 PM