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Mar 24, 2010 1:14 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Bridgehampton residents speak out against Bull's Head Inn

Mar 24, 2010 1:14 PM

The developers who are hoping to transform the historic Bull’s Head Inn into a 22-room hotel, with a spa and restaurant, are still facing strong opposition from some in the Bridgehampton community.

Several Bridgehampton residents took to the podium at the Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals meeting on Thursday, March 18, to urge the board to deny the property owner, Miaco LLC, variances for setbacks and change of use that are required for the development of the property. Miaco LLC is owned by former Phillip Morris Chief Executive Officer Bill Campbell.

James Levochi, who owns property immediately to the north of the Bull’s Head Inn, and his lawyer, Kenneth Auerbach of Sahn Ward & Baker in Uniondale, spoke out against the plan.

“This is a huge project,” Mr. Levochi said, adding that during the summer season there could be as many 400 trips per day in and out of the building. “This is not a small bed-and-breakfast.”

Mr. Levochi emphasized that there will be a tremendous amount of “human activity and vermin activity” generated by Mr. Campbell’s project.

David Gilmartin Jr., the Southampton attorney handling the case for Miaco LLC, explained that the project, which has been in the works since 2005, needs the zoning board to give its approval on the developer’s plans to increase the size of the Bull’s Head Inn, and to grant relief from setback requirements for two of the four cottages the owner wants to build. The ZBA must also approve a parcel being changed from a multifamily use to an accessory commercial use, he explained. That land, which is just shy of 1 acre and fronts the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, will be merged with the property where the Bull’s Head Inn is now located.

The ZBA is expected to make a decision on the requests at a meeting in mid-April, Mr. Gilmartin noted. If the decision allows the development to proceed, Mr. Gilmartin will go before the Planning Board for site plan approval, a process expected to take another three to five months.

But some community members appeared intent to blast Mr. Campbell’s plans, stating that traffic would become snarled at the intersection of Ocean Road, the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike and Montauk Highway.

“The traffic will be unbelievable,” said Christine Smith, who lives on Hildreth Lane, adding that to combat the rats and mice generated by the restaurant, Mr. Campbell should “get a lot of cats.”

Cathie Gandel of Bridgehampton spoke on how the project could set a dangerous precedent, and said that the new building “bears no resemblance” to the inn built in 1843 by Judge Abraham T. Rose.

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I say bravo Mr Campbell don't let these circa 1920 attitudes discourage you. They don't like anything to change around here even if it is for the better.If they had it their way they would let trees grow out of the place.And while I am on the subject to hell with the CPI ...knock it down before someone gets killed! Let those 2 brothers put up their time share it will be an improvement to Hampton bays.
By 27dan (2458), south hampton on Mar 30, 10 9:33 PM
What cracks me up about this whole thing is the FACT that a former CEO of the devil himself Philip Morris is behind the development of a "wellness center" What a joke... Is it a non- smoking establishment lol....I think he should build a lung cancer wellness center and give back to the people whom have and will suffer from aproduct designed to addict all in the name of PROFIT.....Anybody out there seen THE INSIDER...Trust no one on what they say there's always an agenda!!!!!
By lursagirl (187), southampton on Mar 30, 10 9:45 PM
An agenda we're not suppose to know about!!!!!!
By lursagirl (187), southampton on Mar 30, 10 9:48 PM
Well the former tobacco devil paid a lot of money for that nice looking model. I guess he thinks he will get his way.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Mar 30, 10 10:12 PM
rats and mice generated by a restaurant? what is this the eighteen hundreds?
By homebird (8), Montauk on Mar 31, 10 3:05 PM