Good News...New Zoning
Plum Island itself is in the Town of Southold.
Because it is currently federal property, it has no
local zoning restrictions. However, once it leaves
federal hands it will revert to Southold Town property.
This allows Southold to zone Plum Island to ensure that
fragile habitats are protected from future development.
Town officials recognize the environmental and
recreational importance of Plum Island and will
establish the following zoning districts on the island:
- Plum Island Conservation District (PIC)
to preserve the integrity of the regionally
significant natural, scenic and historic resources
of Plum Island for the benefit of the residents of
the Town of Southold; and
- Plum Island Research District (PIR)
to encourage the use of land for research and
education opportunities, provide employment
opportunities and to preserve the island’s
significant natural, historic, scenic and cultural
The creation of these districts would limit what Plum
Island can and cannot be used for and therefore prevent
inappropriate development that could damage wildlife
habitat and water quality. The proposal lists acceptable
uses of the island that include a nature preserve,
public park for passive recreation, educational
facility, and museums.
The Preserve Plum Island Coalition supports the new
zoning on the property in that it will forbid any
traditional residential, commercial, or industrial
development, only permitting research and conservation
uses, thereby ensuring that the critical natural and
cultural resources of the Island will be preserved.