Report Bridgehampton CAC meeting October 28,2011

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1,  The abundance of variances granted by the ZBA  a resolution:

SUBJECT: A Unanimous Resolution Passed by the Bridgehmpton CAC on October 24, 2011 Presented in the form of a letter to the following:

Southampton Zoning Board of Appeals, Southampton Town Board, & Southampton Town Attorney

IN RE : Application by Todd and Sandra  Kramer, 110 Bridge Lane, Bridgehampton, NY 11932

The issue here is the process that the ZBA takes or fails to take in matters of this sort. We understand that in this instance either the former or the present  owner had obtained a previous variance and did not comply with its terms. In that case, if the ZBA is going to consider another variance without dealing with the alleged violation of the first variance, then that is an issue that the Bridgehampton CAC could comment upon.

Therefore the Bridgehampton CAC is taking this opportunity to communicate with the Southampton Town Board and discuss a possible amendment to the Town Code that would provide, in essence that, if a variance is granted and the owner does not comply with or violates the variance, then any further relief requested by that owner must be accompanied with a detailed explanation of why the first variance was not complied with or why the owner violated the variance, and the ZBA shall not (mandatory language) process the request for a second variance until it has satisfied itself ( after a public noticed hearing ) that the owner acted in good faith ( or adhered to some other requirement imposed by this amendment to the Town Code.)

2. BACKGROUND  TO BUDGET PRESENTATIONS

The members of the CAC  had invited Ms. Kabot to address the meeting about her candidacy in the upcoming election for Supervisor. Ms. Throne Holst requested that she be able to present the outlines of the proposed 2102 Town Budget. We were grateful for and fortunate to have a substantial representation from the membership  of the Watermill CAC attend this meeting.

The CAC suggested that Ms. Throne Holst make her presentation during the first portion of the meeting and requested that Ms. Kabot  follow after. The meeting was not scheduled as a forum on the election, and all of those that attended  were delighted to express our unanimous gratitude to Ms. Throne Host, Ms. Graboski, and Ms. Kabot  for the invaluable service and contributions they have made to all the residents of our Town. The economic plight that Southampton faces today was recognized by these  three early on. The planning and budget adjustments necessary  to cushion the impact on our community have been shared by all three. The job continues and we expressed our committee’s strong support for whomever is successful in the upcoming election.

3.  The Supervisor’s Proposed 2012 budget: The main details of the budget are well presented on the Southampton Town’s website, along with the main thrust of the presentation made by the Supervisor at this meeting. The CAC was supportive of the proposed budget and of the administrative changes planned by the Supervisor.

There was some discussion concerning the  proposed reduction in the membership of the Planning Board and the ZBA.

The CAC understood that the budget presented to date was only preliminary. One issue that arose  concerned the proposal to use anticipated Community Preservation Fund revenues from future years as a basis for borrowing up to about $100,000,000 in purchasing power in order to acquire additional  land portions. This proposal was echoed by  Ms. Kabot, although she proposes  a $50,000,000 limit in anticipated purchasing power. Members of the CAC expressed their concern about this form of financing  and suggested that the policy be vetted by experienced, independent sources.  The members pointed out that in the event of insufficient future revenue to cover past or current contractual obligations entered into by  the Community Preservation Fund, the taxpayers of the  Southampton will inevitably be obligated to make up any shortfall, a questionable risk in unsteady economic times.

4. Ms. Kabot   made a presentation that described her background as the most recent former  Supervisor, She   supported and praised  the present Supervisor for her budgetary proposals. Ms. Kabot remarked that during her term  as Supervisor, her team had initially identified many of the budget deficiencies that the present administration now is  addressing. Although the weakness of the economy played a  part in causing the present budget crises, it is clear that excessive spending and borrowing  by previous administrations was at least equally culpable. “The can had been kicked down the road” for years.

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