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Village Pitches Tent Permit Fee

Tent permit applications will soon cost $100 in East Hampton Village.

If you want to put up a tent, it's going to cost you.

East Hampton Village Board agreed at work session on Thursday to include in its code a $100 fee for tent permit applications, a practice widely used in neighboring towns and villages. The board already amended it code allowing for a permitting fee at its March 15 meeting. 

Kenneth Collum, the village fire marshal, suggested the fee as a way to offset the amount of time his office spends on reviewing such permits. Each year, he said, the village handles 65 to 75 tent permits under the New York State Fire Prevention law.

Some are large scale tents for extravagant events. Collum said some even sit on scaffolding and require engineering plans. "This would offset some of the time and energy we put into this effort," he said.

Collum proposed a $100 fee for each permit, the same amount the Town of East Hampton charges. The Village of Southampton and the Village of Sagaponack charge $100, as well.

The Town of Southampton charges a range — from $45 for a tent less than 1,000 square feet to $350 for a tent greater than 15,000 square feet on residential properties. Commercial fees range from $200 to $350. Applicants are also charged for each additional tent, depending on its size, between $60 to $100.

The board also agreed to include an exemption for non-profit organizations holding an event for itself on its own property, a suggestion Deputy Mayor Barbara Borsack made, although Mayor Paul Rickenbach said he felt the fee was no so great that it non-profits couldn't come up with it. Borsack said that she knows churches hold events that are free to attend, and she would hate to see the church have to put up the fee.

The exemption would not apply, though, to residential property owners or business owners who are holding a fundraiser for a non-profit organization.

Borsack said the village can try it this way first and if it becomes too complicated to delineate what events are for, they could always change it.

"I don't think it's going to be hard to figure out what they are doing," Collum said. Last year, there were only about five tent permits for events at non-profit organizations.

The village board is expected to adopt a resolution for the permit fee at its next regular board meeting, according to Village Administrator Larry Cantwell. 

Do you think the tent permit fee is a good idea? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Lady L April 05, 2013 at 12:33 PM
All they're doing is driving the merchants to other areas. These merchants that set up summer craft and art shows don't make enough money to put out an extra $100, on top of the regular fee they must pay to participate, to make it worth their while.
Chelsea April 05, 2013 at 03:09 PM
would LVIS have to pay $100 for each of the tents they put up for the fair in the summer?
Chelsea April 05, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Both of your comments are ridiculous. Grow up. Do your immature bickering somewhere else.
Sharon Marie Buckler April 05, 2013 at 08:16 PM
@Chelsea, from what I read the non for profits would be exempt. Most towns and village make the non for profits exempt. Suffolk Country does it for food permits.

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