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Town Board to update regulations for special events

The Riverhead Town Board will hold a special meeting Tuesday aimed at setting a public hearing on a set of new regulations regarding special events.
The Town Board had originally adopted a new special events chapter in its code last December, but many organizations were told they missed the new deadline for paying application fees.
Officials said the new rules were created in part because applicants in the past were regularly filing event permits late.
The change last year aimed to establish more guidelines and strict deadlines. It had no exceptions and did not allow for an appeal for an application that was filed after the deadline, according to Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith.
Ms. Jens-Smith said at that time that “many applications were being made that were either untimely or incomplete.”
Both businesses and town officials appeared to be satisfied with the change following a two-and-a-half hour work session discussion Thursday.
“We had 50 applications all came at once last year when we changed the date,” the supervisor said. “People got it in on time because the fees changed at the end of February, so they all got their applications in by the end of February.”
Several others did not meet the deadline, including Chicken Kidz children’s consignment sale, which flooded the board with letters and filled a Town Board meeting with angry parents after the board rejected their plea for leniency.
It was at that meeting in March that the board agreed to extend the deadline to revamp the special permits section of the code to June 18, a move that allowed Chicken Kidz to host its April event.
When June 18 came, the board had not made any progress on the new code, and extended the deadline to Dec. 18. Now, it plans to adopt new regulations by that date.
“I think the main areas of concern was for the deadline for submissions of the applications and deadlines for the last day that an application could be submitted,” Ms. Jens-Smith said.
The original plan required all event permits to be submitted 40 days before the event, and was the same for all events, she said.
Under the new plan, “there a specific timelines depending on the size of the event. There’s a late fee and there’s a cut off date where if you don’t submit by then, depending on the size of the event, that the application will not be accepted,” the supervisor said.
The special Town Board meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
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