Archive for the ‘2010 Meetings’ Category


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Discussion with Trustee Havemeyer concerning access to the Sagaponack Beach from the Eastern end of Surfside Drive. Jeff Mansfield

Mr. Havemeyer related the history of Trustee ownership and governance of the bay and pond properties and beach access. He said that in the latter part of the 20th century responsibility for governance had passed to the Town Board of Southampton. In the case of this particular access, the original owners of property bordering Surfside  Drive had decided not to cede ownership of the road to the Town. Thus access to the beach at the east end remained with the property owners. The most eastern plot on Surfside drive is owned by the Town; however, the access to the beach is not controlld by the town in the opinion of adjacent landowner(s). As a result barriers have been erected and plantings installed which inhibit access to the beach at this location. Legal proceedings that challenge the basis for public access have not been defended by the Town. The CAC suggested that Jeff Mansfield , a CAC member, and Peter Larkin , a longtime Surfside property owner, try to work out  a limited access arrangement among the totality of property owners along this route. Mr. Havemeyer offered his assistance on behalf of the Trustees.

Twin Eagle Nursery Change of Use Application Opposition  Kathi Locovare and Daniel West , neighbors..Attorney Eric Bregman

Twin Eagle Nursery located at 489 Lumber Lane has applied for relief from present regulations limiting outdoor storage of equipment and preventing conducting a compost processing  business on the premises of  the Tree Farm located at this address. The neighbors protest the extended use of this property in that it creates undue disturbance to those residing nearby and is indeed the basis for an illegal use of the property. The CAC is awaiting comment from the neighbors’ attorney, Eric Bragman.

A Resolution and Covering Letter from The Bridgheampton CAC  regarding 2010 budget negotiations and resulting decisions by the Town Board

FROM: The members of the Bridgehampton CAC

TO: The Members of the Southampton Town Board 116 Hampton Road Southampton, NY 11968

November 28, 2010

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen;

The Bridgehampton CAC is fortunate to have three of our members  invited by the Southampton Town Board to be on the Financial Advisory Committee to the Town Board. We have been delighted by the reception and courtesy that all members of the Town Board, as well as those who are members of the Financial Services Department,  have shown the Advisory Committee  in their  interactions with the  Town.  In addition we are grateful for the warm and instructive discussions that we have had with members of the Town Board and Department leaders and their staffs over the past year at our monthly CAC meetings. . It helps us greatly to have these interchanges with all of you, and we hope we are constructive in our reactions.

To that end, we hope that you will accept the enclosed resolution, passed unanimously at our CAC meeting on November 22, 2010. Its content is offered as a plea for  more worthy budget procedures, free from the hasty decisions made during the 2010 process. We all know that “this is the way it has been done in the past,” but it is an awful way to present and consider a budget, and it smacks of partisan considerations that are helpful to nobody. Indeed the process easily leads to potential, costly policy errors

We respect and are understanding of the enormous  strains on all of you; we are aghast at your workloads , and we truly are admiring of each of you. There is no questioning in our minds that you all have the best interests of the citizens of our town at heart; therefore we hope you will accept the criticism we offer in the constructive spirit that  is our intent.













E. Report by CAC member Peter Wilson on Town of Southampton PDD Task Force Committee Meeting on Nov 17, 2010

The purpose of the meeting was to broaden the base of the Committee to include CAC and other community groups to have input on the PDD law modifications being currently undertaken. There were about (15) persons in attendance and the meeting was chaired by Frank Zappone, Assistant Town Supervisor. Also present of note was Dennis Finnerty of the Planning Board, Jeff Murphree of the Land Management Department, representatives from other Town departments, and various CAC committees.

A copy of the revised law was distributed by Jenifer Garvey of the Supervisor’s office and Frank Zappone opened by stating that the purpose of the meeting was to solicit community comments to a draft document that was prepared by the various “expert”staff people, and to invite input from the lay group. He also stated that the overall conceptual purpose of revising the law itself was to make the process more sensitive to public input in the initial stages of the process, to manage the application time frame more clearly and predictably for the applicants, to examine the implications of development density impact as a planning issue, and to clarify the definition of “community benefit” as it affects each hamlet area of the Town.

Following are a summary of the comments and some responses:

1. Shouldn’t some areas of the Town, where there are particular sensitivities to some particular land-uses (such as low-income housing), be ear-marked as off-limit to the use of PDD’s?

This would presumably be taken care of in the section that restricts PDD applications to hamlet-driven priorities. Perhaps some attention could be given to development of a “community priority threshold”  that would reflect particular hamlet concerns.

2. The use of Pine Barren credits should be restricted in some areas. ( all of the Pine Barrens are located in the west side of the Town and are a preserve area where development is strictly limited- the idea is to permit increased sewage loading density as a trade-off in other less restricted areas, by purchasing these credits )

Pine Barren credits and applications are mandated by State code and are mainly restricted to Board of Health (sanitary loading ) criteria, but the Town  can make their application guidelines more strict than these guidelines if it chooses to.3.  More emphasis should be placed on the public notice section in order to increase public awareness of meetings, etc.

This issue of notification was discussed at some length and appears to be a very sensitive one for the group. The Town Planning Board currently places a meeting announcement  in the Legal Notices section of the newspaper and has the applicant do a certified mailing only to adjacent landowners and neighbors across the street or within 100  feet of the subject  property. This is pretty inadequate, especially given   the scale of  most of the PDD proposals. The staff have suggested a large newspaper  add by the applicant  and the group suggested increasing the notification period (prior to public hearing )to (14) calendar days, as well increasing the radius of the  mailings to 500 feet or  more. It was also suggested that the time of the hearings be  considered (day v.s. night ) when trying to increase participation.

The staff feels that the area CAC’s and other interested community groups should play a more pro-active role in increasing public awareness and participation in the hearing process, particularly at the early stages of these projects. The Town can play an important role by maintaining application info on their website and the CAC should develop and maintain it’s own local email list to alert neighbors about these applications.

5. Some areas of the Town, particularly Hampton Bays and Flanders, are in favor of taking affordable housing off the “community benefit” list entirely, or at least in their hamlets, since they seem to be disproportionately targeted for this type of use. It is felt that this decision should be up to the hamlet, rather than left to the discretion of the Town Board and planners. This seemed to be a lightning rod issue for several membersthe group.

No one seems to want to accommodate  affordable housing, so it is a very tough  issue to deal with. Typically, neighborhoods and planning boards that haverejected projects have found themselves facing tenacious developers in the courtsand  have had a difficult time maintaining their positions. Some ratio of build-outin particular areas should be established in order for neighborhoods to resistgetting more than their share. Rather than develop this issue in detail under thePDD law, it should be cross-referenced to the Town Code sections that deal withaffordable housing.

6. Traffic impact is an issue that developers tend to minimize in their studies bymanipulating data . Can’t something be done to force a more balanced evaluation of this and made a more important criteria for considering these proposals?

7. Developers narrative descriptions seem to be inadequate when presenting proposals. Could staff intervene more or provide interpretations in this part of the application process in order to get more clarity for the public?

The responsibility of  the staff is limited to recommending actions to the Planning Board and applicants. Only the Boards can make“determinations” and they do not always agree with staff. These narratives are frequently limited to one page descriptions of the project. The burden for requesting additional information from applicants is up to the discretion of the Boards, not staff.

8.  If the Town Board declines to take action on a proposal within the required time frame, does this mean the project can proceed to the next review step, or does it  utomatically become a “no” vote. The project cannot proceed forward without a positive decision from the Town Board.


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Supervisor Throne Holst presented to the CAC a summary of the  goals and intentions of the 2011 Tentative Town budget.

The report had as its basis a document entitled  “2011 Tentative Budget”and the supervisor based her comments upon the content of this document. Copies of the document are available from the Supervisor’s office or from the Town Clerk’s office. The detailed tentative budget can mostly be found on the Town’s website. The response from the CAC was in the main favorable and enthusiastic about the efforts made by the Supervisor’s office and the affected Town Departments in developing this budget . The CAC felt the budget proposed goes a long way towards addressing the financial distresses of the past few years while maintaining a disciplined approach to the revenues anticipated and the acknowledged expenditures the Town faces for the next two years.  The CAC supported the efforts by the Supervisor in her program to control growth in the municipal departments, and efforts to define  practical reductions in the town employee numbers, and most important, the Town Board’s mission continues to be sure the citizens of Southampton will remain safe and properly served in all departments  not withstanding personnel and financial reductions,. The CAC was  encouraged by  words  from Nancy Graboski in general support for the budget efforts, reserving the perfectly proper caveat that   members of the Town Board will have  some  alternative proposals for individual portions of the budget.  The CAC was quick to offer its understanding of Ms. Graboski’s position but did comment  that the CAC hoped and prayed the Board would refrain from permitting partisan positions to interfere with the reconciliation process. A further comment came from the CAC:   the  budget summary infers that there would be no increase in operating costs but that the proposed   2.4% tax rate increase  would be dedicated to the deficit elimination program . The CAC points out that the increase in 2011 assessed property values  throughout the town will also  bring in approximately 2.5% in additional property revenue, all of which will be used for increased  2011 operating expenses.

Our thanks go to both the supervisor and to Councilwoman Graboski for their really valuable contribution to our understanding of the budget and budget process. We haope they will come back to our meetings at any time they think we can be helpful and supportive.

A Presentation by Jeff Mansfield concerning the proposed Mecox Yacht Club Restoration. Jeff reported that the Town Board meeting of October 12 was attended by a large number of supporters  for this project. Also present were some representatives of MecoxBay Lane  neighbors who somewhat oppose the idea and by lawyers who presented their concerns. But the sense of the meeting was very favorable to the restoration of the traditional sailing  program and the restoration of the exiting  storage facility at this site. A final resolution will be made by the Town Board in January 2011. The CAC hopes that the Town’s position will be positive for this project.


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A Presentation by Jeff Mansfield concerning the proposed Mecox Yacht Club Restoration.

Jeff reported that he has formed a group of Bridgehampton and Water Mill residents who want to restore the Mocox Yacht Club on Bay Lane to its original facility and sailing usage. Their plan is to form a not for profit self supporting organization dedicated to  teaching young members of the community to sail  and to encourage sailing sunfishes by the community at large  at this town owned location.  Jeff remarked that the use of this facility has a history dating back many years before nearby residential development took place; however, it appears that a number of nearby residents have offered resistance to the plan based upon the possible interruption of their tranquility. It was the unanimous opinion of the Bridgehampton CAC that there was no logical reason to suppose that re- introduction of a small sailing facility at this location would interfere with the privacy rights of the neighbors, and indeed it would contribute to the shorefront benefits that should be shared by all the residents of Southampton. It is the hope of the CAC that the neighbors concerned will rethink their opposition and indeed support and welcome the return of the Mecox Yacht Club. If there is concern for increased parking at this location, the CAC recommends that parking be limited to residents of Southampton who purchase parking permits, as is the custom at similar “end of road facilities” that lead to waterfronts within the town. These permits would, of course, also be required for any vehicles that service the needs of adjoining houses. The CAC hopes its members and other interested parties will tender their support at the public hearing on this matter on Tuesday October 12.

The proposal to put lifeguard protection at the beach at the end of Ocean Road is being pursued with the town by the CAC and a property owner on the West side of the road, It is the hope of the town as well as the other interested parties that there will be a happy resolution to this problem. The traffic at this beach has increased over the years; there is a dangerous perception offered to bathers that the lifeguard protection established at the neighboring private facility is extensive enough to cover the area in front of Ocean Road as well. All agree it is not; the town may erect signage to that effect, but there remains considerable doubt that only such signage will do the trick. The CAC continues to request that a plan be made to protect this area with the presence of human lifeguards.

The owner of the MIACO project, Bulls Head Inn, located on the corner of the Montauk Highway and the Sag Harbor turnpike has added a residential lot to his property by purchasing the vacant lot abutting that portion for which he received a ZBA variance for a change of zoning from residential to commercial.

Fred Cammann

Chair Bridgehampton CAC.

The next meeting will be on Monday October 25 at 7:00 PM at the Bridgehampton Bank.


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Guests : Supervisor Anna Throne Holst, Former Councilman Dennis Suskind.

A discussion with the Supervisor concerning the use of PDDs :

1. proposed PDD for the County Road 39, Tuckahoe District,

2. proposed PDD for the intersection of county Road 39 and Flying Point Road,

3. Effectiveness of PDDS as a planning tool in Southampton Town.

The Bridgehampton CAC reported to the Supervisor that it is dubious about the effectiveness of existing and proposed PDDS  in Southampton used as a  planning tool by the Department of Land management and endorsed by the Southampton Town Council. . It is the view of the CAC that PDDs  present and proposed have not provided the community benefits to affected hamlets that outweigh the damages caused by overturning and revising existing zoning regulations.

Following the August 23 CAC meeting the following communication was received by the CAC.

August 27,2010

Councilwoman Graboski presented an overview of the PDD (Planned Development Districts) legislation which originated at the state level.  Copies of the state legislation were distributed for review.

Councilwoman Graboski said it is important to first understand PDDs, and then make decisions about how to change the legislation.

Graboski described zoning in general as a tool that is “protective and predictable.”  PDDs, however, can be described as a “floating zone” that can be applied on occasions where a proposed new use is acceptable to the Town – but is not a form of development that can be accomplished under existing zoning.  According to the legislation, a PDD is an appropriate tool when the Town wishes to achieve various long term goals including:

  • Encourage the most efficient and purposeful use of all remaining vacant land
  • Preservation and improvement of existing smaller communities
  • Preservation of a sense of place in communities and the creation and reestablishment of small hamlet communities and atmosphere which foster the sharing of amenities and the utilization of local services.
  • Etc…The complete text is available in Town Code 330-240.

The goal of Councilwoman Graboski’s proposed legislation is to add the definitions for the term “community benefits” that are spelled out in the state law, to the local law.  The Councilwoman specifically cited the controversy over the use of the Sebonack MUPDD (Mixed Use PDD) monies as an example of the reason why this clarification is needed as soon as possible.

In response to the Councilwoman’s presentation, two issues were raised by the group members:

  1. The need to more specifically define community benefits by hamlet.
  2. The need to involve the community at the outset of the PDD consideration and conceptualizing process.

The Councilwoman urged everyone to please send her their comments for consideration at

The Councilwoman said currently PDD proposals are “maxed out” when they come in.   She also said there is a new approach to planning available that utilizes form-based codes.  Switching to this type of system would require a new comprehensive plan – but the last plan was completed in 1999, and it may be time for a new one.

From Ian MacPherson  The following report was delivered to the Supervisor

In view of the possible further extensive development along rte 27.On April 26th the CAC unanimously passed the following motion:  We the Bridgehampton CAC do not consider a bus/rail system will serve the East Ends interests, since vehicular traffic is fundamental to our area, and we therefore request that other options be considered(directed toward) reducing congestion including (consideration of) hamlet by passes.

A Review of the Proposed Sylvan Haus Commercial Building before the Town Planning Board for the Bridgehampton CAC Committee

D. Ms. Claire Vail

Department Of land Management  Town of Southampton

August 30, 2010

A Review of the Proposed Sylvan Haus Commercial Building before the Town Planning Board for the Bridgehampton CAC Committee

Analysis and Critique

The presentation package by the owner and his consultants is a first class job with clear documentation and explanation of content and process. The project is a cleverly conceived and well-organized mixed-use development proposal, which required two minor variances (already approved) to achieve it’s objectives: a variance to allow a residential use in the HB highway business zone, and a second variance to provide (8) parking spaces where 8.6 (or 9) would be required by code. This, in our opinion, is very little relief for a site as challenging as this to develop.

As far as we can tell from the documentation, any environmental concerns regarding sanitary and surface runoff issues are being addressed by the site engineering specification. Obviously, new occupants and activity on a previously undeveloped site in this location will generate more traffic and congestion pressure on this already over-burdened highway corridor, but the small scale of this project will not contribute enough loading to make a debate of this issue a salient point here. The “death of a thousand small cuts” argument could be brought up, but this property owner is exercising his legal right to the use of the property under the current zoning. He could have tried to get more zoning relief and be asking for more building area on the site, but he is not doing so. That restraint is to be commended.

Some of us might not be comfortable with the contemporary character of the building’s styling. It is, in our opinion, the only area of discussion that could be open to debate here.  The surrounding building context is generally not of traditional character. The building design itself is well-scaled and relatively quiet and modest, even “minimalist” or neutral in color and character. It is refreshing to see this approach for a new building, rather than the tired old pseudo-traditional imitations of horse and buggy days we are beaten to death with out here. The designers have chosen to open the street façade to reveal the retail activity inside, giving it an almost pavilion –like appearance from the front. We might have enjoyed a bit more of this transparency wrapped around facing the parking area to make it even more transparent, but the demand for wall space and looking at the parking lot may have deterred this. The use of materials on the exterior is low maintenance and very much in keeping with a responsible commercial property.

The elephant in the room here, as always on commercial buildings is signage. We will have to wait for this to materialize until a tenant is secured and comes in with their own proposal. In conclusion, We support and applaud this restrained application.

Thursday, August 26, 2010 11:02 AM
To: Jacqueline Sherman-Smith
Subject: Vintage VinesLLC

Dear Jacqueline; The Bridgehampton CAC met with Dennis Suskind at its regular meeting on Monday August 23 and reviewed the Vintage Vines Preliminary Application. The consensus was that the revised plan with its reduced number of lots  was a great improvement  from the original plan. We did not have the  time to really go through page by page, but we  were grateful for the  effort the developer and the Planning Department is making on this subdivision. It is clear that the environmental aspects of this sensitive woodlands are being respected within the limits of the existing R-20 Zoning District  within the Aquifer Protection Overlay  and that  the Planning Department will continue to monitor the actual development of this sensitive site.

Fred Cammann  for the   Bridgehampton Citizens’ Advisory Committee

August 26, 2010.

A Report on Progress concerning  Safety Issues at the beach at the end of Ocean Road.

August 27, 2010

This morning Councilwoman, Nancy Graboski arranged for John Millard and Fred Cammann representing the unanimous views of the Bridgehampton Advisory Committee to meet with  her and with town attorney Michael Sordi to discuss the legal issues that need to be addressed concerning  placing safety  supervision at the beach located at the end of Ocean Road in Bridgehampton. Also included were  other Bridgehampton community members who share the CAC’s concerns about the safety issues at this location. At its July meeting The Bridgehampton CAC had unanimously approved and forwarded to the Southampton  Town Board the following resolution. The visiting committee was  following up on that resolution by once again urging  the town  to move forward with the goal of providing safety protection at this site.

On July 26 The following resolution was passed and is therefore sent to the Town Board

The Bridgehampton Citizens’ Advisory Committee met on July 26, 2010  to review  the issue of providing safety personnel and facilities at the location commonly described as “Ocean Road Beach”,  located at the  Southern terminus of Ocean Road/Atlantic Avenue in the unincorporated hamlet of Bridgehampton. By unanimous vote  the CAC agreed that each year during the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the  unsupervised  and unprotected premises here  identified have for many years been a dangerous threat to the safety and well being of all who visit this location, whether by automobile, by foot, bicycle, or any other means of transportation

Consequently  the Bridgehampton Citizens’ Advisory Committee urgently requests the Town Board to take steps to permanently alleviate the dangerous conditions that prevail at the “Ocean Road Beach “ location during the summer ocean bathing season.

In our presentation On August 27, 2010  we reported that another regrettable ocean rescue had to be made at this location on the preceding day. Once again the rescue had to be  furnished  by lifeguards from the adjoining private club, leaving that premises understaffed during a time when the ocean conditions  called for diligent supervision. Participants in the incident  considered the rescue serious enough that it may well have prevented  a drowning. We pointed out that this is  an ever repeating pattern at a location that is increasingly frequented by tourists, community members, and residents of neighboring hamlets and villages during the beach swimming season.

Although about 50% of the road ending at this location has a clouded ownership and may require eventual condemnation by the  town, the Western 50%  of the road and its adjoining property have previously been deeded  to the Town and that side of the road presently is more than ample as a site for any sanitary and other facilities that will be necessary at this location.

The sense  of the meeting was presented to us by the Town Attorney In his role as “devil’s advocate” he posited that  , in addition to the unresolved property ownership issues,  there could well be all matter of health department requirements, calling for studies from the Department of Parks, Suffolk County , etc., expenditures of funds, and so on that of course would continue to delay any action at this location.  We repeated that from the CAC’s perspective, the issue of safety was far more immediate; we  were trying to point out to the Town that this location was and continues to be  an attractive, easily accessed, and highly popular ocean bathing location totally within the Town’s responsibility. We pointed out that the Town actively promotes its beach and ocean attractions to encourage the visits that bring welcome   tourist provided business to our town. We pointed out that this site, over and over again,  continues to provide  incidents that require  ocean related rescues.

In our query as  to the advisability of delay  because of the legal fallout from property ownership matters we questioned the vulnerability of the Town  to legal action if  the town proceeds to provide safety measures . Who would sue? And what legal authority would look  unfavorably upon the Town’s attempts to protect its residents and visitors at this site  while the  ownership problems of the Eastern 50% of the road were being cleared up?

Councilwoman Graboski and Town Attorney Sordi said that they thought that Alan Jackson, the Town’s  Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Director , would have the best idea of the regulatory requirements that would be applicable to providing lifeguards at the Ocean Road beach during the season and that they would obtain his views on the issue.  Councilwoman Graboski also undertook to get back in touch with me once the Town had a better idea of those regulatory requirements as well as estimates of their cost and the time required to implement them so that we could meet again with her and/or the appropriate representatives of the Town.

The Bridgehampton Citizens’ Advisory Committee once again urges the Town to move speedily to prevent any further accidents at this site, and asks that provision be made to provide lifeguards and sanitary facilities in time for the beginning of the 2011 beach season.

Mark Viseckas
Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 9:46 AM
To: Nancy Graboski     Subject: Window sign application

Re: a recent illuminated window sign application that I denied as a prohibited sign, but will soon be brought to the ZBA. The real estate firm, Sotheby’s, retained a Westchester based architect to make an application that includes placing two LCD 48” televisions in the windows facing the sidewalk along Montauk Hwy.  The purpose is to show moving pictures of the properties for sale. I know of no other advertising display of this type throughout the Town. The address is: 2446 Montauk Hwy.

Since there are a number of high end real estate services along Main St. that may desire to install similar devices should the variance be granted, one might imagine strolling, or driving, through a Bridgehampton “vegas” strip in a worse case scenario.

Let me know if you need anything additional Mark Viseckas, Sr. Building Inspector, Building & Zoning Division

Town of Southampton, 116 Hampton Rd. Southampton, NY 11968, (631) 702-1831

The Bridgehampton CAC heartily endorsed Mr. Viseckas’  premises and his actions

The meeting subsequently adjourned until Monday September 27, 2010


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The Bridgehampton Citizens’ Advisory Committee met on July 19, 2010  to discuss  the issue of  safety at the location commonly described as “Ocean Road Beach”,  located at the  Southern terminus of Ocean Road/Atlantic Avenue in the unincorporated hamlet of Bridgehampton. The CAC noted that Ocean Road Beach is used by increasing numbers of residents and non-residents, that usage increases each year, and that the greatest usage occurs during the period running from Memorial day through Labor Day. The CAC believes that the unsupervised and unprotected premises here identified have for many years resulted in  a dangerous threat to the safety and well being of all who visit this location, whether by automobile, by foot, or by any other means of transportation.

Consequently  the Bridgehampton Citizens’ Advisory Committee voted unanimously to request the Town Board to take steps to permanently alleviate the dangerous conditions that prevail at the “Ocean Road Beach “ location during the summer ocean bathing season, including the provision of life guards and other appropriate services and facilities.

The Bridgehampton Citizens’ Advisory Committee met on July 19, 2010  to discuss BNB Ventures IV, LLC  Property Situate : 2488 Montauk Highway , 10 Lumber Lane, 2510 BH-SH Turnpike : SCTMs 900-69-5- 34,35,36. This submission was made pursuant to meetings held with the Planning Board on November 19, 2009 and the Town’s Landmark & Historic Review Board on December 15, 2009 where the two Town agencies found these revisions address the concerns of the previously proposed plan .

The Bridgehampton Citizens’ Advisory Committee unanimously  supports  the applicant’s revised plan  with a  caveat; the interfacing traffic issue at the Lumber Lane, SH Turnpike, Montauk Highway must be addressed by the DOT, and the Town of Southampton. Additional development at this location will increase the potential for serious accidents at this  presently very dangerous entrance and exit pattern.


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Presentation and discussion concerning a proposed PDD Site Development Concept for 56 Flying Point Road Southampton NY  dated May 5, 2010.

Mr. Murphree presented the proposed site development as of May 16, 2010. He emphasized that all plans were premature and that applications have not been made to the Town Board as yet. The  Town has presented the proposed development plans to the Water Mill CAC  and, tonight,  to the Bridgehamprton  CAC. In general the viewpoints expressed at this meeting were shared by  the vast majority of those present. The planned site development, if approved by the Town,  will require a change of zoning within the structure of a Planned Development District.

Comments on the proposal:

I would just say that I would hope that the scale of the project is no larger than to justify some “reasonable” return on investment…and that it must satisfy the majority of the immediate residential neighbors at the same time.

In this regard, I would recommend that the developer provide financial projections under various scenarios, including under existing zoning regulations.   For example,  projected profitability under the original proposal, a year or so ago, and under the new proposal.  So long as the older, smaller proposal looks reasonably successful, he might be required to scale back the project to its original size. The developer clearly must believe he’ll make a good deal more money with this big project, rather than building a business that conforms with the existing zoning.  But to allow him to build a super-large complex would increase his risk, and his chances of failure, I would think.

Also, it seems to me that there are such immense traffic problems already on County Road 39, that anything that significantly impacted traffic should be avoided.  I’m sure we all agree on that score.  Maybe part of the land should be devoted to some kind of bypass or some novel traffic solution. And I also think that the impact on all the other commercial businesses in Southampton Village needs to be considered.  There are several empty storefronts in Southampton Village already.

However any substantial commercial development at that location could, depending on its nature, have severe effects on Route  27 traffic, which is already overloaded.

If being PDD only means that part of it will be residential. I do not see that as a problem since the traffic consequences would be minimal. To my mind therefore the issue is what kind of commercial development

Numerous times the Town of Southampton has used this planning device to legalize and encourage the further over development of the outer town commercial zones  in ways that the infrastructure cannot support and the existing residents oppose.


Our Town government seems to want to enable commercial and residential development without limits as it adds to the economic base and creates jobs in the construction industry.

The unincorporated hamlets, particularly those East of the canal are poorly equipped to deal with this strategy on the part of Southampton Town government. Having no formal or legal say in the matter our concerns, opinions and property rights are barely if at all weighted in the establishment of these PDDs.

It all goes to the larger issue of to whose benefit the Town resources are being utilized?

OF course the hamlets themselves are not without blame here, by remaining unincorporated and failing to often have a clear stated view as to what they want for  the future of their hamlets (as opposed to a lot of conflicting opinions all “anti”), they leave themselves wide open to the Town taking over their development future.

So ultimately taking control of our land use and the how the future Bridgehampton will look and live rests on either establishing our own municipality or having a real enforceable hamlet plan that reflects the will and rights of the residents and can limit the actions of the Planning Board and ZBA.

To date we have taken neither of these steps and the results are visible every day.


Pretty decent discussion last night, but it takes a while to get to the meat of things. I would suggest more than one meeting on the highway corridor would be in order, perhaps with a little more narrow definition of the subject to get and keep the discussion on track. People have a tendency to wander into their own area of preoccupation, which is fine in its way, but problematic with a limited time slot. The main issues found their way to the surface, but were not underlined enough.

The highway corridor seems to be getting pounded by opportunistic developers who have clever lawyers and other consultants, who show them how to manipulate the laws and system. Wayne Bruin, Charos’s attorney, was a planner with the Town for years and I am almost certain had a lot to do, along with Doug Penny and Fred Thiele, with drafting the PDD law. I believe the law is well- intentioned and very useful in some cases. It’s application is the problem!


I believe the issue here is not the PDD law itself, which has more good attributes than bad ones. Perhaps it could use some tweaking to improve or limit it’s abuse.It is designed to encourage good site planning and a richer and more interesting mix of uses. The key to its use is the community cost/benefit clause, which the Town Board must decide in each case. In the example of the PDD at the  North Sea junkyard project, the virtues were more clear: much needed “affordable housing” for a junkyard in a relatively benign location. The final execution may be debatable, but the concept was clearly beneficial! An “easy” one!

The problem with Tuckahoe and Charos is that the sites are both located along an over-loaded highway corridor, encourage the spread of strip- type development, and are primarily commercial centers (the housing is a token effort at best). It is my opinion, and I think most residential stakeholders out here would agree, the last thing we need is more consumer-oriented commercial development. One of the problems is, retail space brings in double the income per square foot compared to rental housing of the apartment type.

One of the reasons I moved here from south Florida was to get the hell away from that type of mall- dominated lifestyle. We have a traditional village-center structure here. We should be encouraging and reinforcing that, rather than allowing willy-nilly opportunistic land speculation.(The elephant in the room with this is that parking in our centers is so limited)  But are we really interested in becoming a shopping area destination for non- residents? That is the only way these retail businesses can make the limited season numbers work!

In the case of Charos, the site is already badly developed, in a somewhat central location, and the owner is saying “more will be better”. The Tuckahoe site is mostly undeveloped and not at all central to an existing center. Both will bleed activity away from the existing centers by encouraging a quick, auto-convenient stop for weekenders and day-trippers. The prospect of jobs will also be dangled and of, course the increase in tax base. These are shallow benefits. The real problem is what the developer will claim as his “right to use” and the fact that the courts will grant them if the Town resists. And of course the quandary  for decision-makers is to have to take the least damaging option and hope for the best.

The politicians and their planners have probably already reached that foregone conclusion and are going to focus on tweaking the site plans to get the least impact and best mix of uses they can. They are simply not in a legal or financial position to question the very exististentional nature of these projects as they are being proposed, which is what they should be doing. The traffic issue will be raised and cleverly swept under the rug in the environmental impact statement. It is too amorphous to be understood: it is a “death of a thousand cuts” problem. It has become too big to solve anyway, so why take it out on the individual land owner?

Planners  are not in a position to choose, only to tweak! They have no choice but to play the game and see to it that everyone keeps his cards and hands on the table.

The problem is the initiative is with landowners, developers, and their hired consultant guns, not the planners and politicians. If you have ever watched what happens during the development of a community master plan, you will realize that. The result is hardly worth the paper and man-hours expended. It is a codification of the system as it is: land not as a community resource, but a commodity.

I would like to think that we could do something about these two proposals, but the best influence we can probably have is to pressure the Planning Board to simply strike the best deal they can by limiting the retail footage and getting as much housing and open space the developer will tolerate. If we have any traffic impact mitigation tools available, which I am not aware of at the Town level, that might soften the blow. The Town has little jurisdiction over County roads.

Frankly, I am more interested in encouraging good mixed uses in our Village centers, such as housing above stores, than this kind of sprawl.


Very well put…almost like you knew what you were talking about!  Thanks for the thoughtful writing. I think you were getting to  my question about what really motivates the town planners? So many people have moved here to avoid congested suburbs/cities but no one in town hall   seems really  to care. Thery are talking  about taking an ugly intersection. But that haphazard development is probably better (I like that ’50s car dealership on the south side for instance) than some over-sized development with an entrance on what is essentially a small residential road (Flying Point). And let’s not forget that more development means more energy consumption

Unless some green elements are introduced.

I am sort of shocked that the intersection isn’t being treated as a whole especially when one considers that it really is the entrance to Southampton and a lot of traffic moves through there. Also let’s not forget that The Parrish beaks ground in the Fall I think on a new museum….my guess is they’re hoping for lots of visitors and that can only mean more traffic.

I wonder if the Town would ever consider a PDD for the entire intersection?


I agree completely. I was shocked to hear  that they paid some consultant $100,000 to draw up that early Charos site plan.What the hell was that all about? Did I hear that correctly? Usually the developer bears such costs and then some, in the form of impact fees.

By the way, the suggestion for a roundabout at that intersection is very interesting. Perhaps Charos and the outfit across the street could fork over something toward the improvement of that intersection, since they would be contributing so heavily to its congestion. Would that not be the very minimum one could expect?

You know, if we cannot stop this type of development cold in it’s tracks, which would be my first choice, why can’t we find a way to make it so expensive for them with impact fees and mitigation, that they think twice about investing here and go to Brookhaven or some other Town that loves this type of comercialization?

The Town’s leadership is just too easy on these developers! If we can’t just say “no”, let’s make them pay plenty for asking, rather than bending over for them ,which is what I see happening.

I recall the discussions with Suskind, et al, concerning the Barnes & Noble proposal, and although there were competitors against the plan for obvious reasons, I did not discern any community support (other than Suskind if I recall correctly) for the PDD proposal.  The Supervisor’s position may be politically savvy, but it is a prescription for monkey business and abuse.  Thus, I do not believe that PDD should be a planning device, period.


There was plenty more, but a summary would be accurate if it reported that the reaction to this PDD and indeed to the whole concept of  using PDDs as a planning tool was mighty dubious.


A  CAC member  went to the Planning Board meeting on June 25

Kopp LLC has shrunk the size of that agricultural barn on Mitchell Lane to 4000 square feet from 14,000 square feet. Still lots of questions about purpose of this and one of the neighbors was there to raise some objections.

The Citerella item was withdrawn. I’m not sure what they want to do now. Does anybody else know?

Richard Warren from Inter-Science Research Associates of Southampton made a presentation about the new BNB building on the corner of the turnpike and Montauk Highway. They have really changed the design, pushed the building back further and done a pretty good job of listening to community comments. Rick Warren of Inter-Science is happy to come to the CAC in July and give a presentation. We have 30 days to comment on these plans. Note this is the corner of the intersection that encompasses the Beverage Center, Starbucks, and other buildings Further development on this corner will have a severe impact on that intersection.

Fred Cammann Chair Bridgehampton CAC


Posted in 2010 Meetings | Comments (0)

Affordable Housing Authority

Richard Blowes, the Executive Director of the Town of Southampton Housing Authority and Ann Gajowski, the Business Manager of the Authority  came to discuss with us the role of Affordable Housing in the Town of Southampton. The Housing Authority is a newly formed agency assigned to develop a plan for Affordable Housing throughout the town. Because the various villages and unincorporated hamlets of Southampton enjoy a wide variety of population demographics, Mr Blowes and Ms Gajowski are endeavoring to meet with each CAC and other local groups to discuss the  needs for local  Affordable Housing and to identify possible locations for Affordable Housing projects . Mr. Blowes emphasized that the town has yet to develop a comprehensive plan but has constructed  a few Affordable Housing projects, although  on a pretty limited scale. Therefore the data arising from these projects, although useful, is still pretty sketchy. .

It is accepted by all present that in Bridgehampton, as well as in the rest of the town, there appears to be a need for Affordable Housing. The question arises where do you build it? In Bridgehampton, as on the rest of the South Fork, the major obstacle to building Affordable Housing is the extraordinary high assessed value of parcels leading to high property tax assignments in most of the villages and hamlets. Therefore the availability of lots for affordable housing projects is severely limited. As a result in Bridgehampton  many of our younger residents, especially those who seek to raise a family,   simply cannot afford to rent or purchase housing  within our community.

In the climate of the present economic downturn there may be an opportunity to obtain parcels of land through tax foreclosures, although this prospect is pretty unlikely on the South Fork. It offers a certainly an un-cheerful solution, since it infers that one  family must leave the premises to make room for another family to move in. On a more positive note, the construction of Affordable Housing units may prove a boon to local contractors and subcontractors if the Housing Authority is permitted to limit construction bidding contracts to local businesses; however, such limitations are difficult to come by and in the past our local contractors have been underbid by businesses from the West who come from areas  where the property assessments are less onerous.

Rehabilitating existing run down properties for potential Affordable Housing does not end up adding to the density  of available housing and may well  cost more per square foot than tearing non code structures down and starting from scratch.

As it has happened in other communities, it may be  possible for the Town to rent Affordable Housing units to qualified tenants while encouraging a future purchase program with the town sharing in any capital increase in the value of the properties..

At this time in our local economy the main obstacles facing an Affordable Housing program include the cost of obtaining land, particularly on the South Fork and  the availability of funds for Affordable Housing projects coming from the local government facing huge budget problems. The local banks, although supportive of any programs to promote Affordable Housing,  remain reluctant to jump into the residential mortgage business  even for those who have high credit ratings.

Mr. Blowes and Ms. Gajowski will return to our CAC,  as they develop the data for possible provision of Affordable Housing throughout the town as well as on the South Fork.

Jeffrey Vogel asked for suggestions about the CAC website:

The site is rarely used, but it should be an important venue for comments from residents of Bridgehampton. We need to find some way of contacting our fellow Bridgehampton neighbors about zoning, code, budget, traffic and other issues that we discuss at our meetings. Otherwise we lack the influence necessary to inform the Town about how these issues are affecting our community.

The debate concerning the formation of a Regional Transportation Commission continues.

This is one of the main issues facing Bridgehampton as well as all the other Southampton Town communities. We need feedback from Bridgehampton  dwellers. Ian MacPherson reported  that there is still a bill pending in the State Assembly recommending an expensive bus/rail  program directed towards easing the traffic problems. He points out that this approach appears to be the sole measure being considered. The CAC has doubts that the concept is physically or financially feasible. In its April meeting the CAC passed a resolution expressing its hope that other concepts for traffic easing be investigated by  the planned Commission . The CAC feels that the proposed bus/rail concept besides costing  a lot of money, will do very little to reduce traffic congestion on the East End. Once again some members ask that the building of bypasses be investigated. Other members feel that clearing a route for an additional South Fork highway interconnected with North South  roads is probably impossible. The required pathway is simply not available without purchasing large amounts of private property for  a right of way. The actual cost of constructing a fourth road on the East End would be well beyond  any presently conceived budgets.

The next meeting of the Bridgehampton CAC will take place on Monday June 28 at 7:00 in the bank meeting room. The main subject of this meeting will be a review of a  Planned Development District  proposed by the town for the intersection of the Montauk Highway and County Road 39 .

The Watermill CAC   is studying  this program and has many reservations which the Bridgehampton CAC may share. The impact of an extensive expansion of commercial buildings and businesses at this location will have an enormous effect on the traffic problems we presently face on the South Fork. Ms. Rachel Verno, the Chair of the Watermill CAC and other members of the Watermill CAC have kindly agreed to meet with us to discuss the proposed PDD at our next meeting and will bring maps and other supporting documents . We will also invite a town representative to attend the meeting to  hopefully identify  the required community benefits that the Watermill and Bridgehampton communities will reap  from this PDD in spite of its obvious contribution  to the already serious traffic problems.


Posted in 2010 Meetings | Comments (0)

The following resolution was passed and was sent to the Town Board

The Bridgehampton Citizens’ Advisory Committee met on April 26, 2010  to review  the Town Board   proposed boundaries for the unincorporated hamlet of Bridgehampton. By unanimous vote  the CAC agreed that the map submitted by the town presents the best compromise and delineation  of the borders that encompass the hamlet of Bridgehampton.

Consequently we endorse this action by the Town Board in affirming the official hamlet borders and express our thanks to Councilwoman Nancy Graboski  for her efforts  and guidance in this matter

Jeffrey Vogel on behalf of the Bridgehampton CAC


The Town, with the guidance of Nancy Graboski, has spent quite a period of time trying to establish informal boundaries for the numerous unincorporated hamlets that make up the balance of Sotuhampton’s land that is not withn the boundaries of incorporated villages. This project has been a particular wish for the Bridgehampton community dating back to our investigation into possible incorporation in the wake of the “Dunehampton Village” threat to our shoreline identification about six years ago. The resulting incorporation of Sagaponack Village as protection against the Dunehampton invasive effort led members of our incorporation committee to ask the town to establish their boundary definitions for Bridgehampton.  The results you will see are mainly the delineation of the Bridgehampton School District. Fred Cammann and Jeffrey Vogel have maps if anyone wishes to see the boundaries. It is also on website under the “New Hamlet Plan”

The following resolution was passed and subsequently  sent to the Town Board

We, The Bridgehampton Citizens’ Advisory Committee do not consider a bus/rail system will serve the East End’s interests since vehicular traffic is fundamental to our area and we therefore request that other options be considered directed towards   reducing congestion including consideration of  hamlet bypasses.

Ian MacPherson on behalf of the Bridgehampton CAC


Although this resolution is brief and broad, it in general reflects the consensus arrived after a lengthy review of the proposed Peconic Transportation . Here are some CAC  comments based upon the bill proposed by Assemblyman Thiele. There are a number of ways to “skin this cat”. We think the problem has not been adequately researched


while I whole heartedly agree that a rail/bus system doesn’t offer much to Bridgehampton and from our perspective is a massive waste of tax dollars in a time of the need for austerity and restraint in spending. I don’t think that a “bypass” is ever likely to come about  either and think that it will only result in a lot of litigation and legal fees. I do think that putting some of the freight on the rails might help and be cost effective.   Other than that I think that only much higher transport costs are the only “solution” to the congestion. IMP “more road = more cars”


Whereas the CAC in reviewing Bill A06743A and the underlying SEEDS and Volpe reports notes:

  • that a bus rail system is proposed for the South Fork as a means of reducing congestion because the ability to expand existing highways is limited and the construction of new highways is not feasible
  • that according to the SEEDS and Volpe reports the amount of traffic which will be diverted from the roads to the bus rail system is insufficient to solve congestion on the East End now, and will be even less so in the future as development continues.
  • that the ability or inability to improve roads or construct a new highway is entirely a matter of  Community choice and investment feasibility
  • that vehicular traffic is fundamental to our region
  • that a seamless bus system would be the most beneficial means of achieving a greater measure of mass transit

The CAC therefore at its meeting on April 26th 2010 unanimously resolved that:

We do not consider a bus/rail system will serve the East End’s interests

In order to achieve material reduction in road congestion on the East End other options must be considered including a bypass for the hamlets on rte 27


The part time home owners and the weekenders are not going to take buses or rail to get to their weekend and summer homes and they are not going to take public transportation during the summer to go from Bridgehampton east or west for dinner, or lunch, or the beach, etc. etc..  And they are a cornerstone of our economy.

And when the housing market picks up in the Hamptons the contractors trucks are not going to go onto a freight carrier from Speonk to Montauk.

WE NEED ROADS, REAL WIDE ROADS, to handle the traffic we have invited to the east end.  And if we can’t build roads, then we will have to live with the congestion as the effect that the economic pluses that the traffic brings.

Maybe we can’t have it both ways.  Maybe we need to compromise our lofty goals.  I think this regional authority is a waste of taxpayer money, at a time when the state can’t pay school aid (See NYT today) and is cutting hospital subsidies.  Lets get our priorities straight in these tough times instead of continuing with our high flying ideas as if these were the good old days.

I happened to be at the bus stop this morning from 7:45AM to 8AM and observed traffic going east, which was slow and heavy.  A preponderant majority of the vehicles were either workmen in trucks or laborers in cars.  Some were clearly commuters in moderate cars, people going to work.  My conclusion is: these people aren’t taking light rail or the like, nor are they bus riders.  I think we are wasting public money and time on anything other than dealing with our needs for roads, roads, roads.  Add what I saw this morning to the summer time when substantial revenue is earned by local businesses, and I can’t see any other answer.

I really like your addition of the bus system because I think it’s important to try to encourage mass transit.

You are largely right about the trade parade, but actually, many workers could easily use any public transit system.

If bus service were fully expanded EW, you probably could reduce radically NS service.  Bus increase requires no infra-structure increase and allows for future hard structure alternatives, but it would have to be part of a bypass for auto travel to be meaningful, and it would have to have time-efficient uploads with LIRR someplace west of here.

Jitney and LIRR with transfers to a regular light/mono rail would capture some day-trippers, but those services are focused on Manhattan. There’s a lot of island in between. I have customers and suppliers from the in between who can only use cars as it now stands.

while I believe you are right in your assessment of the truck and car traffic I would urge you to look at the bus in the afternoon which is packed…

t might take a while but could/would attitudes about driving your own vehicle change if there were other options.

It might be crazy but if there were a monorail out to Montauk why would we need the LIRR if the the two met somewhere west of here?

I personally only care about the congestion (and the road condition), so I personally would like to see a bypass. Short term I see no value in an LiRR light rail coordination with a shrinking bus service.

Long term (after many of us are gone), I think the viability of our kind of mixed seasonal and year-round community will develop and get more dense and crowded. Petroleum based personal transport will become obsolete (too expensive – China’s entry as the biggest user almost guarantees that). I want a bypass to move the folks who live and play east of us, so they don’t bother me. Having had a gallery on the North Fork, I have seen it works.

I agree that a light rail based on LIRR service will not do much in the short run, or, I would add, in the long run. Sooo, if we push for a monorail (which I believe would have a longer viable value than an expanded LIRR light rail), we probably can’t get it. But the package includes a by pass (good for most of our short term needs). So the antiquated NYC commuter LIRR service doesn’t change until the absurdity of it collapses it, but the bypass does get used to alleviate traffic for a decade or so.

Why did the MTA not wish to continue the service which addressed the potentially high volume demand commuter periods, and why has the MTA never sought to establish a frequent local service?

Why choose a rail system, where much of the capital cost will be spent outside NY State, and not assist local employment.?

Volpe estimates that the system fare recovery will be between 6 and 13% of operational cost. Is it the expectation that subsidies would derive from MTA taxes collected on the East End on the rational that any mass transit system would be eligible? If so could they not also be applied to a bus only system?

Since the bill states that the issue of congestion must be addressed promptly and adequately to safeguard the economy, why is the bill focusing on the Shuttle when Sean Pierce of Volpe told Ian MacPherson of the CAC that the Shuttle was not designed to reduce congestion, but that if it did do so, it would be welcome?

In view of these questions the CAC  respectfully request that the bill provide for consideration of other solutions, including an all road solution to an environmentally satisfactory design, with a seamless bus system, as preferred by the North Fork?

One such possibility is the joint use of the LIRR corridor, from CR39 which was recommended for investigation by the Land Committee of the Southampton Town Transportation Task Force in 2002, which, even if it only ran to Stephen Hands, could reasonably be expected to reduce rte 27 traffic by 50% and eliminate use of residential streets as by-passes

Consideration of such options, if carried out with the thoroughness of the Volpe Report, would be, according to Volpe, not only a requirement with Federal Regulations for Federal Financing but would also ensure that the community is able to choose the most beneficial solution.