Comprehensive Plan

This Comprehensive Plan is the official public document to be used to guide the development of our community. In New York State, the comprehensive plan provides the basis for the zoning and other land use regulations found in the Town Code ... The newly revised Comprehensive Plan is designed to shape future updates to the Town Code and policy decisions regarding the appropriate use of the Town’s resources.

2020 Southold Town Comprehensive Plan


Vision Statement

From Chapter 1: Vision Statement & Introduction

The Town of Southold is a community of extraordinary history and beauty. Residents and visitors benefit from its diverse hamlets surrounded by pastoral landscapes and expansive natural resources. Our citizens cherish Southold’s small-town quality of life and wish to preserve what we currently value while planning for a productive and viable future.Future planning shall be compatible with existing community character while supporting and addressing the challenges of continued land preservation, maintaining a vibrant local economy, creating efficient transportation, promoting a diverse housing stock, expanding recreational opportunities and protecting natural resources.


From Chapter 3: Land Use & Zoning

Most of these Town-wide goals are also applicable to individual hamlets. The first 3 goals have specific objectives that relate directly to land use and zoning. Goals 4 through 13 are broad. Each has an entire chapter in the Comprehensive Plan plan dedicated to that topic with specific goals and objectives.

Goal 1: Update the Town Code

Revise the Town Code, particularly the Zoning
Chapter and other Land-Use-related chapters, to
be easier to use.

Goal 2: Review and Update
Zoning Town-Wide

Ensure that the existing zoning is appropriately
located, uses are of the appropriate scale and
intensity for the location, and all are consistent
with the other goals of this plan.

Goal 3: Enforce the Town Code

Southold Town will continue to enhance its ability toenforce its regulations.

Goal 4: Improve Traffic Safety & Congestion

Ensure infrastructure supports Town residents
and businesses.

Goal 5: Protect the Town Character

Southold retains much of its small-town charm.

Goal 6: Protect and Enhance
the Town’s Natural Resources
and Environment

The importance of managing and preserving
Southold’s natural resources while promoting
responsible user experiences is paramount in
maintaining the quality of life within the Town.

Goal 7: Economic Prosperity

Facilitate the growth of existing businesses,
and encourage new businesses for stable and
sustainable employment.

Goal 8: Enable the Creation of
Attainable Homes

The Town must take steps to facilitate the creation
of attainable housing in Southold.

Goal 9: Retain and Advance the
Business of Agriculture

Agricultural uses occur on 30 percent of the land
area in Southold Town, are important to the
economy, and represent vital elements of the
community’s character.

Goal 10: Continue to Preserve
Farmland and Open Space

Southold’s character is created in large part by its open spaces, including farmland, natural lands, and parks.

Goal 11: Continue to Provide
Quality Human Services

To meet the needs of its citizens, the Town should
continue to fund its rich array of programs and
resources for people as well as seek to improve
their lives through additional resources.

Goal 12: Prepare the Town for
Natural Hazards

Southold Town is subject to natural hazards,
including hurricanes, flooding, and sea level rise,
which can imperil human lives, property, and
the environment.

Goal 13: Provide Quality Parks
and Recreation Opportunities in the Town

Southold offers a diversity of recreational
opportunities, from public tennis courts and
playing fields, to nature trails and beaches.