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

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