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Minutes Oct. 28, 2013

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Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee

Cathie Gandel Co-Chairperson Carey Millard, Co-Chairperson

Jeffrey Mansfield, Vice-Chairperson, Alejandro Saralegui, Secretary

Agenda for meeting October 28, 2013, 7:00 PM

The meeting was called to order at 7:01 PM

1. Attendance.

Richard Bruce , Julie Burmeister, John Daly, Jenice Delano, Leonard Davenport, Phyllis Davis, Cathie Gandel, Bonnie Lowe, Norm Lowe, Gay Lynch, Ian McPherson, Phyllis MacPherson, Jeffrey Mansfield, Weezie Quimby, Alejandro Saralegui, Nancy Walter-Yvertes

Guests: Ari Meisel, Suzanne Sinenberg, Annette Hinkle, Tom Neely, Anna Throne-Holst, Ray Stolz, Greg Konner.

2. Approval of September 23, 2013 Minutes.

Approved by Gay Lynch and Leonard Davenport

3. Christine Scalera, Town Councilwoman, and Thomas F. Neely, Public Transportation & Traffic Safety Director on parking issues in the Hamlet.

Christine Scalera was unable to attend because of a scheduling conflict.

Tom Neely explained that “transportation hub” is not a formal designation for Bridgehampton.  It’s a phrase from regional transportation studies that have been done and may be in the comprehensive plan reflecting the reality that BH is a destination/crossroads for the train, local bus and intercity bus. There are no plans afoot to make BH more of a hub.

Re. the taxes: According to 2013 figures the town gets $54,709 from the parking tax and $7000 from long term parking fees. Half of the long term parking fees are assigned to the parking district, with the other half assigned to the Town Clerks Office to administer the long term parking program.  Maintenance and landscaping cost about $30,000 a year; this may vary year to year. The rest may be is banked against the need for future repairs or improvements-the Supervisor or Town Comptroller should provide input on this. Parking district tax: based on the 2005 tax rate change-the latest Tom could find-on a $500,000 property, tax is about $4.90. BH residents do get a $50 reduction in long term parking fees, so they are not being “taxed” twice. (Long term parking fees are $75/BH resident; $125 taxpayer; $300/non-resident.)

There are two parking districts: BH and Hampton Bays. There was a DOT grant of $650,000 to improve those LIRR stations augmented by $1 million paid by LIRR. These parking districts may be tied to agreement that was generated at the time of the grant. The Town does provide services to the BH station, i.e. snow plowing and maintenance, per an agreement between the Town and the LIRR signed in 2002.  Many municipalities have similar agreements.

Weezie Quimby asked where revenue from parking place waivers at Pierre and Almond goes.

Dick Bruce commented that the BVLIS put quite a bit of money into the original landscaping of the LIRR, and now they would like to replace the glass on the station.  Neely said he would look into it.

Leonard Davenport commented that parking districts are practically inherently unfair but it does seem like we are getting some benefit of the tax at our station.

Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst noted that her office can provide a breakdown of the parking fees and where and how it is spent.

4. Greg Konner, on the plans for development of the “Barnes & Noble”      site and “Carvel” site.

Greg Konner gave an overview of his project for the site.  They have submitted a site plan for 27,000 sq ft site plan in 2 buildings with 150 parking spots on 8 acres zoned highway business. Which doesn’t allow for malls “Things you can’t put in your trunk”

They are going ahead with these plans because they have tenants for both building (a gym and a yoga studio). He added that they don’t know what else will happen with the rest of the property because we don’t have other tenants. The advertisement that had been circulated with three additional buildings was not an official plan and they are not pursuing it.

He also commented that the restaurant on the site will probably come down shortly noting that the Fire Marshal wants it down because in the winter there are homeless people living there and it is a potential hazard.

This project has no variances it can be built all as of right. Konner also noted that Related Properties is backing the Equinox lease.

Cathie Gandel suggested that the community would want landscaping coverage to shield the site from the street, similar to the natural woodlands barrier that hides some of the Commons.

Leonard Davenport noted that the sales tax from businesses on the site would not contribute to our Library or School tax districts as it is out of those boundaries.

Cathie Gandel reported on the resolutions from last meeting noting that Ryan Horn confirmed that a lot of the information the CAC had requested has already been compiled. Mary Wilson confirmed that they are working on the current farm uses on preserved lands. It was also discussed that there may be a more efficacious way of changing the town rules on uses of CPF purchased lands because they are not bound by State rules.

–Anna Throne-Holst added that the Town is looking at how the land has gone from the original vision of row crops and open space.

–Julie Burmeister asked if there is wiggle room with the appraised values of lands for CPF land.

–Anna Throne-Holst replied that there at least two appraisals made for each property under consideration and that there is an unofficial 10%  value adjustment from the appraised price of properties that are being considered for CPF purchase. She also noted that there are 2000 acres on the Town’s wish list; watershed views, open space etc. things Town didn’t want to see developed. The Town contacted all of the owners of the wish list properties and several said yes. So there will be a lot of purchases this year.

5. Old Business (updates from previous meetings).

a) Storm water run-off on Church Lane

To be discussed at a later date with Christine Fenton who is working on the issue/

b) Cell Tower application

Cell tower is going to allow several carriers. The planning board asked the applicant to consider other sites. The applicant has been asked to draft environmental impact study

c) Sustainability Plan –latest version: http://www.southamptontownny.gov/filestorage/760/762/1122/1674/7185/Southampton_SustainabilityPlan_Final_10-08-13-web.pdf

The website has the latest info.

Ann Throne-Holst noted that the application is closed to written commentary. The next step is to adopt or not. There is no date. Most probably in late Nov. or Dec.

6. New Business.

a) Commercial encroachment on sidewalks in the Village.  Let’s keep an eye on this.

b) On Butter Lane Mr. McCoy is changing his business from oil to propane.

c) Barn on Lumber lane:  the planning board has asked for a new engineering report. Rumors that they were going to create an ice skating rink are true; they intend to flood their tennis court in winter. The planning board wants to ensure that the equipment is not stored on Ag Reserve land.

d) Green School

Suzanne Sinenberg noted that the Green school that has opened on Toppings Path in her neighborhood in a rental house and they aren’t taking care of their property. She asked if this was legal.

Anna Throne-Holst responded that the State has given them the authority to open a school there.  She suggested that if there are code violations that code enforcement be called.

7. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35

Minutes, September 23, 2013

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Call to order

1. Attendance: members present

Cathie Gandel, Carey Millard, Jeff Mansfield, Alejandro Saralegui, Fred Cammann, Jenice Delano, Weezie Quimby, Julie Burmeister, Leonard Davenport, Gay Lynch, Norm Lowe, Nancy Walter-Yvertes, Christine Chew Smith, Phyllis Davis

Guests:

Councilwoman Christine Scalera, Tom Neely, Director of Public Transportation; Christine Fetten, Director of Municipal Works, Geri Bauer, Bridgehampton homeowner and Cynthia Dennis from the Topping Rose House.

Press: Annette Hinkle, Sag Harbor Express

The meeting was televised by SeaTV.

2. Minutes of August 26, 2013 were approved unanimously upon a motion by Julie Burmeister, seconded by Norm Lowe.

3. Councilwoman Scalera introduced Tom Neely and Christine Fetton. Ms. Scalera commented that clarification of the Parking Tax line on our tax bills is underway and she will report findings to the CAC at the next meeting.

Storm water management.

Ms. Fetton gave a power point presentation about keeping local waters clean through good management of storm water runoff and household waste water. She outlined the goals the Town is seeking to achieve and the education and outreach programs initiated. Some points covered in her presentation included keeping contaminants out of the system by further regulating them, using local firewood to prevent invasive insects from killing tree root systems that hold soil in place, managing home septic systems, cutting back on automobile idling which releases pollutants into the air, and encouraging public involvement through school events and public meetings. Homeowners should be aware of potential contaminants used by landscapers hired to work on their property.

October 23rd is Household Hazardous Waste day at Hampton Bays Recycling Center, 30 Jackson Ave., Hampton Bays.

Several members asked questions and mentioned runoff problems in their specific neighborhoods.

Church Lane between Montauk Highway and School Street has severe runoff problems. There are no storm drains. There are no storm drains in this area. Ms. Fetten and Mr. Neely agreed to look into the situation.

The Development off of Ocean Road on the former Topping property has the potential for serious flooding. The Town does not check site plans for single homes for potential runoff problems; however subdivisions are handled differently. Individuals with complaints about runoff problems can call the Town Council to be directed to the appropriate person to address the problem.

4. Parking in Bridgehampton

Tom Neely reported that the Town had reviewed the parking spaces in Bridgehampton in 2005-06 and it was estimated that there were about 450 spaces in the hamlet, some 240 of them in the three municipal lots.  There is long term parking available to permit holders at the Railroad Station and the lot behind the Candy Kitchen.  Leonard Davenport suggested that the reserved spaces for long term at the School Street parking be eliminated and that the entire lot be open for long term parking with permit and that signage at the school street parking lot reflect that.

In response to a question, Mr. Neely also said that the Town had approached Newman Village about giving over excess parking spaces there for municipal parking and had been turned down.

Several members were surprised to learn that anyone can purchase a long term parking sticker. There are no local residency requirements.  Recently only 29% of permit holders were locals. Members generally felt this was unfair to local residents.

Cynthia Dennis from the Topping Rose House mentioned that complaints about workers and customers using the “Starbucks” parking lot had ceased since they have made an arrangement with the Baptist Church on the Turnpike to use that lot when not used by the congregation. Topping Rose provides valet service for patrons.

Gay Lynch asked about results from traffic counters placed on Lumber Lane. Traffic there has grown over 2%. Gay suggested that the congestion at the corner was so great that Lumber Lane should be made a one way street.

In answer to a query about speed bumps on Lockwood Avenue, Mr. Neely said that he had not known of the speed bump plan, which was a project of Alex Gregor, the head of the Highway Department.

Discussion of parking problems and possible solutions will be continued at future CAC meetings.

5. Planning Board

Cathie Gandel reported that there are three Bridgehampton projects which are, or will be, before the Planning Board.

The former Ackerman property at Lumber Lane and Montauk Highway.

The commercial/residential project at Butter Lane and Montauk Highway designed by Fred Stelle.

The Equinox gym buildings on the Konner property across from Bridgehampton Commons.

6. Old business

Horse farms

The proliferation of commercial horse ventures with large barns and ancillary buildings on land designated for agricultural uses by NY State agriculture and markets law in 2011 was addressed. A concern was that land, whose development rights had been purchased by CPF funds and the property taxes thereby reduced, is bought at these lower rates by wealthy people who are taking advantage of the tax supported funding.

Jenice Delano met with Fred Thiele to discuss possible changes to the ag and mkt law.

Ag preserves required by the Town as a percentage of developed property have also been seen to be overbuilt upon. Nancy Walter-Yvertes pointed out that neighborhood opposition to overlarge barns could be effective.  Jenice Delano suggested that the Town Attorney’s office be asked about taxes on ag preserves.

Cathie Gandel suggested the CAC send a resolution to the Town expressing concerns about the size and placement of buildings on ag reserves for commercial horse farms. The resolution was proposed by Phyllis Davis, seconded by Ale Saralegui and passed unanimously.  It reads:  The Bridgehampton CAC takes note of the number of properties being developed as horse farms, both commercial and private, and is concerned about the size of the buildings on these properties. We see that the barns for 20plus horses are being suggested, along with indoor riding arenas, and housing for personnel. We are concerned that these large buildings detract from the open space and vistas that are important to Hamlet residents.

After further discussion about how properties where development rights have been bought by the Community Preservation Fund are being used, Jeff Mansfield suggested that the CAC ask the Town to look at CPF legislation in light of unforeseen consequences of the law as it now stands. The CAC voted to send a resolution to the Town. It reads: The Bridgehampton CAC requests that the Town revisit the CPF legislation in light of unforeseen consequences resulting from the law as it stands now, notably the proliferation of commercial horse boarding operations which, we acknowledge, are permitted under the Ags/Markets.  We ask the Town to investigate whether, in addition to purchasing development rights, the CPF can purchase certain agricultural rights (for example, the right to run a horse farm) so that the land could be used for purposes that are more limited than are now permitted.
Additionally, the BHCAC requests that the town provide us with a report of all properties in Bridgehampton purchased under the CPF and other agricultural preserve programs in terms of:

A. their current use:

1. annual farm crops

2. vineyard

3. open pasture

4. horse farms

5. parkland

6. tree farms

7. other or mixed

8. historic places

B. Number and size of buildings or structures

C. Percent of obstruction of Vista preservation from adjacent roadways

1. hedges

2. Other plantings

3. Structures, including residences

4. other

Old business

Carey Millard said that the CAC might write to Anna Throne Holst in favor of preventing development of Pine Barrens property in East Quogue. After some discussion, Leonard Davenport proposed that a more general resolution be sent covering CPF purchases and their development– to read: In principle, the Bridgehampton CAC supports the Town’s efforts to protect large areas of open space in order to preserve our natural resources, including groundwater, wetlands, woodland habitats, and wildlife species.

New business

Carey Millard announced that AT&T has proposed building a new 120 foot wireless tower on Foster Avenue just north of the Bridgehampton railroad station.  On October 10 there will be a scoping session at Town Hall which CAC members are urged to attend.

She also reported that Raymond Topping’s large field between Ocean Road and Halsey, contained many acres, maybe 30. Of that total acreage 19.6 have been sold for a family compound, consisting of one large house and 4 parcels for the children of the owners. There will be a Planning Board public hearing on Thursday, Oct. 10th at Town Hall.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:05.

Minutes, August 26, 2013

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Call to order

1. Attendance: members present

Cathie Gandel, Carey Millard, Jeff Mansfield, Alejandro Saralegui, Fred Cammann, Jenice Delano, Weezie Quimby, Julie Burmeister, Shira Kalish, Steve Long, Gay Lynch, Ruth Foley and John Daly.

Guests:

Paul Brennan, John v.H. Halsey, Walter and Joan Miller, Jan and Prill Meyer, Mary Ann Mimi, Yvette DeBow-Salsedo, John L. Halsey, Councilwoman Christine Scalera, Cliff and Lee Foster, Stan Glinka

Press: Erin McKinley of Press News Group

2. Minutes of July 22, 2013 were approved unanimously.

3. Paul Brennan of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, spoke about the appropriate use of Community Preservation Funds and a discussion followed sparked by questions and information from members, some in disagreement with Mr. Brennan’s position.

Mr. Brennan’s concern was about the proposed purchase of development rights by the CPF on 14 acres of property east of Highland Terrace in Bridgehampton which belong to the Peconic Land Trust, having been given in fee to the non-profit institution by Ronald Lauder some 40 years ago.  Mr. Brennan felt that using millions of CPF dollars to acquire development rights to land that most people in our area felt was already protected from development by the simple fact that it was owned by the PLT is a bad idea. He felt that the CPF did not have enough money to buy everything out there and that providing money to private organizations was “a slippery slope” that might lead to purchases from other conservation groups.

Shira Kalish asked what the PLT could do with the property. Since it was given outright, the PLT could sell it to anyone, including a developer, or use the money to acquire other acreage. Paul Brennan suggested that the sale of development rights on property generally considered already preserved could lead to credibility problems for the PLT which does not have to advise donors of land that they might sell it in the future. Shira said that she was happy that the development rights would go – regardless of who pays for it.  Carey Millard pointed out that recently the CPF has taken in a great deal of money because of an active real estate market. Paul Brennan pointed out that the farmland targeted for preservation by the CPF is over 900 acres of prime real estate some of which is targeted by other private conservation groups.

Farmer and CPF Committee member John Halsey spoke in favor the Peconic Land Trust’s proposed sale to the CPF.  He reminded CAC members that a primary goal of the CPF is to promote agricultural use of acquired properties. He also said that the PLT will use money from any sale to further its mission – not just to prevent more houses but to encourage food production.

John v.H Halsey spoke about the Peconic Land Trust’s operations and what it can and cannot do– i.e. the Trust cannot legally sell land below market value, but that land price may be lowered if the Trust restricts

what can be done on the land –such as eliminating equestrian use or requiring that 60% of the land be used to grow food.   The Land Trust could sell devaluated property to working farm families for strictly agricultural purposes.

CAC members were urged to attend meetings at Town Hall on the subject of land conservation. Comments about using CPF funds to buy development rights from the Peconic Land Trust should be sent to Fred Thiele: ThieleF@assembly.state.ny.us.

4. Old business

Kelly Harris, Director of the Hampton Library, is pursuing a solution to the crosswalk problem and hopes that Sen. LaValle and Rep. Thiele will actively seek funding for an in-pavement lighting system.

Norm Lowe is following up on the signage situation in Bridgehampton.

The car repair shop situation is being looked into.

5. New Business

The Hills property in East Quogue.  The 400 acre parcel in the Pine Barrens may be developed. CAC members are asked to write Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst recommending that it be preserved.

The Planning Board has sent information pertaining to any issues that may be of interest to the CAC. They include:

The Walentas property at 800 Lumber Lane –The Planning Board is reviewing plans to add a large sheep barn to the property which will also have a house for the family.

Rabbit Run Farm, Ranch Court.  The Planning Board is studying the addition of a house for agricultural workers.

Bridge Gardens has applied to change the use of a building on its property from a private house to an education center. CAC members may be interested in the change of use as well as increased activity there.

Cathie Gandel brought up the subject of CAC members getting enough detailed information to make an informed and timely recommendation to the Town Planning Board on matters brought before the Committee.  Christine Scalera volunteered to see that detailed reports were sent via email to CAC members. Carey Millard reminded members to check the Town’s website for agendas that might include Bridgehampton concerns.

Jenice Delano inquired about the Town’s Sustainability Plan. Councilwoman Scalera reported that it is still being refined and would be ready in September.

6. Next meeting data and adjournment.

The next meeting of the CAC will be September 23rd. Topics for discussion are parking problems and stormwater. Guests addressing these issues will be Tom Neely and Ms. Christine Fetten.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 8:15.

Respectfully submitted,  Weezie Quimby, Acting Secretary

Minutes, July 22, 2013

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1. Attendance.  7:00 PM

Fred Cammann, Jenice Delano, Shira Kalish, Bonnie Lowe, Norm Lowe, Jeffrey Mansfield, Carey Millard, Weezie Quimby, Alejandro Saralegui,

Guests: Lee Foster, Christine Scalera, Phyllis Davis, Paul Brennan, David Betts, Erin McKinley, Dawn Haight, John, v.H. Halsey, John Halsey, Mr. Glinka

2. Approval of June 24, 2013 Minutes

Approved

3. John v. H. Halsey, President of the Peconic Land Trust

The PLT and its mission.

John v. H.  Halsey

Discussed the history of the Peconic Land Trust that was established 30 years ago to protect farmland and promote farming. Protected farmland is now over $100,000/acre. The question he posed to the group is “Do we want farming to continue on the Southfork? And most probably the Northfork in the future?”

Conserving working farms, not just the resource but the actual farming. After all of these years the problems still exist.  The PLC studies other areas with similar issuesto see what is going on in other parts of the country. Also the PLC buys and sells development rights as they see fit and within the state laws that they are governed by

Dick Bruce: Do you have an inventory of land that might be coming onto the market? What if they lease to a farmer?

J. v.H. H. Stated that yes they do have an inventory and at times do lease land to farmers. He went on to say that Pike’s is a good example of how they have worked in the past. The PLT looked to other communities to see how they could keep the Pikes on the Hopping property and they did it by adding more land restrictions that kept the price of the land down, so that it could continue as affordable farmland.

Shira Kalish: Why are Ag. open spaces closed off with hedges?

J. v.H. H.  Originally no one really anticipated that anyone other than a farmer would want to buy those lands or that the scenic value wouldn’t be appreciated. Newer rules are more restrictive and allow for the protected Ag lands to be seen from the road.

John Halsey: We enclosed our farm for a variety of reasons, including deer protection. We still look at acreage to buy but wouldn’t purchase land that can’t be deer fenced. It’s estimated that a third of the crop is lost to deer on acreage that isn’t deer fenced.

Paul Brennan: How many acres would we need to feed the East End?

J. v.H. H.  More than we have now.

Paul Brennan:  Why don’t farmers reinvest their savings or development rights?

Lee Foster: We do but oftentimes it is just too expensive.

Jenice: How much is an Ag reserve acre?

John Halsey: In ‘82 it was $3,500 for Ag reserve. Now it has lots of variables.

Leasing is fine if there is no other option, but it’s difficult to work on less than a 5-year plan. With an annual lease it’s hard to make the investment to improve the soil and plant crops.

Shira Kalish: The Toppings sold 19 acres in the center of Bridgehampton, was the town in play?

J. v.H. H. : Yes,  but ultimately not able to compete with the people who bought the property.

Jenice Delano: Irrigation and fencing are very expensive for farmers, is there a way to help farmers with those types of expenses?

J. v.H. H. : Not really, occasionally there are grants that can be applied for though.

Norm Lowe: What is the biggest threat to keeping the PLT going?

J. v.H. H. : Making it easy to keep the land affordable to farmers.

4.      Old Business (updates from last meetings)

a. Sustainability

Christine, I’ve continued to work on it and am trying to get my changes on the the website.

No vote was taken.

b. Library Crosswalk and Traffic Problems

Carey Millard: The State will not change or address the crosswalk.

Kelly Harris would like anyone to send documentation of their problems with the crosswalk to her so that she can forward the comments to the State.

Phyllis Davis: Suggested writing the Southampton Press.

Carey Millard: Kelly and I will work on this.

5.      New Business

a. Proliferation of signs through town

Christine Scalera: Mark Vasekas is the contact at the building department to look into this.

b. Car Repair Business on Bridge Sagg Turnpike

4 or 5 cars in a car repair shop is it legal or illegal?

Christine Scalera: The town is looking into it.

c.  Planning Department

1) A proposal for two houses on one lot on Hildreth Avenue opposite Bullhead development.  It will be discussed at a public hearing on Thursday July 25th at 7PM.

No decision/resolution was reached as the property can be legally subdivied into 2 lots. There was some concern that the houses would be out of character with the neighborhood.

2) Loaves and Fishes and the         Bridgehampton Inn

Anna Pump’s property will have a major addition for a total 10,000 sq. ft.  including a home furnishings shop and 5 more bedrooms.

No decision/resolution was reached

Phyllis Davis suggested that we take more votes on these issues as they come up so that the CAC has its opinion on record.

6.       Adjournment 8:30 pm

Minutes, June 24, 2013

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1. Attendance.

–Carey Millard, Jeff Mansfield, Alejandro Saralegui, Ruth Foley, Phyllis Davis, Fred Cammann, Jenice Delano, Shira Kalish, Richard Bruce, Norm Lowe, Bonnie Lowe, Weezie Quimby, Peter Wilson, Gay Lynch, Julie Burmeister, Christine Chew Smith, Vandermades, Phyllis McPherson

Guests: Bob De Luca, Christine P. Scalera, John Barrows, Ian McPherson

2. Approval of May 20, 2013 Minutes.

–Approved

3. Discussion on Southampton 400+ Sustainability Element Update to the          Southampton Town Plan.

Speakers:      Christine Scalera, Southampton Town Board Member

Robert S. DeLuca, President, Group for the East End.

Both Christine Scalera and Bob Deluca spoke about the history and purpose of the 400+ Sustainability Plan. Christine Scalera added that she had re-written parts of the plan to make her and her constituents more “comfortable” with the plan. The revised plan is on-line now.

Comments were as follows:

–Fred Cammann  praised great group of leaders in Group for the East End and suggested that the  400+ plan would benefit by having a similar non–profit group of very well respected leadership.

–Jenice Delano commented that the priority seemed to be on new development rather than existing residential and commercial properties that perhaps that should be re-addressed.

–Jeff Mansfield asked why the Coast and bays had been ignored.

Bob DeLuca pointed out that starting in 1993 Southampton may have the most cohesive plan in dealing with the shoreline; that came out of the destruction of a hurricane that year.

–Jeff Mansfield also asked if the 400+ plan should be a stand alone document.

Christine Scalera said that either way from a legal point of view if the plan were passed it would be automatically part of the Comp. Plan.

–Ian McPherson I think it is a mostly good plan but its approval should be contingent on a strong management system.

Christine Scalera said that the Green Committee is essentially going to be charged with managing the 400+ plan once it is approved.

No final approval was given by the CAC.

–For information on the update please visit: http://www.southamptontownny.gov/filestorage/760/762/1122/1674/7185/southampton_sustainabilityplan_final_draft.pdf

4. Carey Millard read the answers to our questions to the Town from the last CAC meeting.

5. There was a brief discussion on the Rental Rule that requires inspections by building inspector. There was much concern over the fines and onerous rules or the Rental Permit Law.

Christine Scalera noted that the rules have been in effect for a number of years and are meant to provide safety to residents. Also the building dept. rules are mostly State mandated so that is out of their hands. The general consensus was that the CAC should support the Building Inspector.

7. Adjournment.

Minutes, May 20, 2013

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1. Attendance.

Julie Burmeister

Leonard Davenport

Cathie Gandel

Gay Lynch

Jeffrey Mansfield

Weezie Quimby

Alejandro Saralegui

Christine Smith

GUESTS: Phyllis Davis

2. Approval of April 22, 2013 Minutes

Approved.

3. Discussion on Southampton 400+ Sustainability Element Update to the Southampton Town Plan.

A 110 page document about how the town is going to make us sustainable; it is an action plan to be sure we take care of our resources.

Town meeting to discuss the Update is scheduled for May 28th and Christine Scalera is the liaison for our CAC.

Weezy Quimby said that she would have a copy of the update printed in the library in the LI collection room

CAC members were asking the following questions:

-Is it an effort to rein in developers.

-Is there a goal? Sustainability being a rather large topic.

-Getting rid of the nitrogen to the levels they are talking about is quite expensive.

-How are reliable, how correct is the executive summary?

-Might it be based on Agenda 21? Jeff Mansfield responded that Town trustees said it was their own ideas.

- There was concern about some big brother elements to it.  And perhaps we don’t need so much oversight.

–For information on the on the update please visit: http://www.southamptontownny.gov/filestorage/760/762/1122/1674/7185/southampton_sustainabilityplan_final_draft.pdf

4. A discussion about Chris Nuzzi’s change in renting rules.

From a meeting with Anna Throne-Holst the idea is truly for people who rent as a business. Jeff Mansfield pointed out that the rules are already on the books with a smaller fine.

5. Fire Department land transfer

Cathie Gandel explained a land transfer from the Community House property to the Fire Department.  When the Fire Department bought Pulver they were already going to buy the land from the Community House. It is land that is currently used by the Fire department for staff parking, and will allow egress from a new building they are planning. The CAC had no objections to this land transfer. Cathie Gandel will communicate that to planning board.

6. Questions from the Community

Is the pyramid rule still in existence? And how does it apply to the “cottages” at the Topping Rose House? Concerned because his neighbor has a 20 ft. tall wall of illuminated glass facing his property.

There is concern about the hedges at SW corner of Hildreth Lane and Halsey Lane that  obstruct visibility and appear to be on town land.  Is this a code enforcement, traffic or highway issue?

How does a resident of the Hamlet find out about decisions made by the Planning Board and ZBA, especially if decisions directly affect the resident?

7. The meeting was adjourned at 8:24PM

Minutes, April 22, 2013

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The Meeting was called to order at 7:10.

Present: Committee members Cathie Gandel, Carey Millard, Jeff Mansfield, Elise Quimby, Julie Burmeister, and Kelly Harris. Others: Pradeep Raman from Topping-Rose House, Tessa Raebeck of the Sag Harbor Express, Michael Wright of The Southampton Press, Fred Havemeyer, Southampton Town Trustee.

On a motion by Weezie Quimby, seconded by Kelly Harris the minutes of the meeting of March 18 were approved unanimously.

Carey Millard read a letter from member Fred Cammann concerning the role of the Southampton Town Trustees and supporting their position on erosion control issues which he had sent to the committee to be read prior to remarks by guest Fred Havemeyer, Town Trustee.

Mr. Havemeyer said he would primarily be talking about two issues: the maintenance of  Mecox Pond and erosion control in Southampton Town.

He described Mecox Pond and distributed a number of aerial photos of the pond over  several years, both before and after its narrow access to the ocean had been cut by the Town to assist the flow of water in and out of the bay.  The Trustees are responsible for maintaining the health of the Bay, which is important for recreational activities as well as fishing and shell fishing. Excess salinity is a problem as is high water which may flood basements of nearby houses and lead to unhealthy effluent cesspool runoff into the water. The timing and placement of the cut is complicated by the natural cut’s tendency to move to the west when it is open. Trustees closely monitor the Bay and the changes brought about my storms such as Hurricane Sandy and the northeaster storms that followed.

Sand is naturally deposited in Mecox Bay by the ocean and builds up in shoals. It does not retreat naturally. The Trustees remove sand which impedes the flow back to the ocean. For the last three years Town Trustees have sold the sand to contractors for hauling off to nourish the beachfront elsewhere. At $7.50 a yard, the sale of sand has proved to be a help in offsetting maintenance costs.

Jeff Mansfield referred to the recent NY Times front page article on controversies in Southampton about hard structures to control beach erosion in front of private houses. Mr. Havemeyer pointed out that villages may have their own rules aside from the Township rules, though these can be matters of dispute. The trustees are still in the process of settling such issues with the village of Quogue. The article referred to homes in the village. My Havemeyer personally is opposed to beach hardening structures and some sand replenishment efforts. As more and more sand is dredged from the ocean to put on the beaches, subsequent dredging must occur further and further out and become more and more expensive.  The Trustees have overseen a beach grass planting project at Mecox which helps to preserve dunes.

The Co-chairs suggested that the CAC send a copy of Fred Cammann’s letter to local papers to represent the CAC’s thoughts regarding efforts to control beach erosion through hardening structures or massive sand replenishment and supporting the position of the Town Trustees as a knowledgeable and dedicated board of elected officials. Emails will be sent to CAC members in order to arrive at an official resolution to that effect.

A discussion and decision re. Councilman’s Nuzzi’s proposal re. the zoning board was tabled until the May meeting because of a lack of a quorum.

PradeepRaman was introduced. He is the new manager of the Topping-Rose House. He reported that they are negotiating with the church to the north of them on the Sag Harbor Turnpike for the use of the church parking lot to provide parking for patrons. The main house will be open for spa guests soon and the new buildings should be ready for occupancy by Memorial Day.

Jeff Mansfield reported that the Konner property has been cleaned of debris by the owners.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 8:15

Respectfully submitted,

Elise Quimby – for Alejandro Saralegui, secretary

Minutes March 18, 2013

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1. Attendance. Cathie Gandel, Jeff Mansfield, Alejandro Saralegui, Julie Burmeister, Fred Cammann, Jenice Delano, Bonnie Lowe, Norm Lowe, Weezie Quimby

Guests: Nancy Walter-Yvertes, Cynthia Dennis/Topping Rose House, Councilman Chris Nuzzi, Victor Udave.

2. Approval of February Minutes.

Approved

3. Councilman Chris Nuzzi, Southampton Town Councilman on proposed draft zoning amendment.

Councilman Nuzzi discussed a proposed draft zoning amendment to the Town Code. The ZBA is currently authorized to permit a change from one nonconforming use to another, provided that the change is “beneficial to the general neighborhood” and “subject to such reasonable conditions and safeguards as the Board of Appeals may stipulate.”

The proposed legislation would shift the decision making power to the Town Board, and allow for more conversation with the community to discuss the change of zoning. The question is whether an appointed board (ZBA) should decide such changes or if the elected Town Board should be responsible. Ultimately this proposal forces a stricter adherence to the comprehensive plan. The other option is creating higher standards for the ZBA to comply with like Sag Harbor Village did, in effect mirroring the standards of the Town Board.

Jenice Delano asked if this proposal would affect determinations by the Building Inspector. Councilman Nuzzi responded that the proposed amendment would not affect the Building Inspector.

Jeff Mansfield asked if there is any negative feedback besides the slowdown in application time.

Councilman Nuzzi responded that people fear the cost and time in terms of going in front of the town board. He added that the Town Board needs to get residents through the process more efficiently.

Councilman Nuzzi also briefly discussed the following:

-Business Advisory Committee, described as a group of interested and involved businessmen. He invited anyone who is interested to participate. The goal being not to be reactive to what is coming out of Town Hall and more about suggesting improvements and changes in Town Hall.

- Project Development Council, a formal working group in Town Hall all of whom touch a land use application, even if it is an as of right application. Anyone with a building project in the Town can approach this group for guidance. We want to streamline those applications and the process. So that right away there is discussion to improve communication, a point of contact.

-Saturday and Sunday April 20th 21st, Great East End Clean up, an effort to clean up public areas within the town, We provide the bags, pick sticks and dump trucks if necessary. The cleanup is coordinated through Waste Management Department.

Fred Cammann asked who is in charge of directing the sand moving on the beach, and noted that there was lots of truck traffic that might be causing damage.   A tremendous amount of sand has been taken from Sagg Pond and deposited elsewhere.

Councilman Nuzzi responded that the Trustees and our Environmental Division oversee the work. But he pointed out that a lot of the work is by private contractors buying sand from the Trustees and carting it elsewhere.

Jeff Mansfield said there were huge trucks at Cameron on the previous Saturday, just private contractors grabbing sand.  It seems like the Wild West. Fred added that it feels like homeowners with money are dictating terms of the project.

It was decided that we’ll make a resolution at the next meeting.

4. Community clean-up along rte. 27 in front of the Commons.

Jeff Mansfield discussed the property across from the Commons that is heavily littered. Perhaps the CAC could join in the effort that Councilman Nuzzi mentioned and get kids from the school and the BLVIS involved.

Weezie Quimby said that she didn’t think we should be cleaning private property, pointing out that it’s not part of our mission. Jeff then said that Greg Konner, whose family owns the property, promised to clean it by April 15th.

5. Old Business (updates from last meeting)

–Cathie Gandel said that Kelly Harris is following up on our cross walk discussion and writing a letter to the DOT.  Weezie Quimby suggested that Kelly send a copy to us so that we can be consistent with her recommendations.

–Jeff Mansfield said that further to our discussions with Christine Scalera about defining our role on advising the Planning Board and the ZBA that Christine’s assistant had said yes, it absolutely is within the realm of the CAC to comment in an advisory role.

6. New Business.

There was a discussion as to whether or not the CAC was effective in reaching out to the community about our discussions, concerns and resolutions. Several ideas were mentioned including contacting Steve Kotz at the Southampton Press, asking the papers for a column on the CACs.  Victor Udave suggested contacting the local radio stations.

-School is voting on its 5 year capital reserve plan on the 20th .

Fred Cammann thought this plan is very well thought out.

7. Meeting was adjourned about 8:45pm.