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Dockers plan put on hold

Publication: The Southampton Press
By Vera Chinese   Sep 4, 2008 11:18 AM

After waiting four years for the Southampton Town Trustees to sign off on his application to expand the marina next to his East Quogue restaurant, Larry Hoffman will have to wait another month for a final decision.

The Trustees were poised to approve the plan, which proposes to add a total of 16 permanent and transient slips to the existing marina at Docker’s Waterside Restaurant and Marina, during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon. After hearing from a local civic leader, however, board members decided to keep the hearing open for an additional 20 days. Public discussion on the matter will be continued at the next Town Trustee meeting scheduled for September 15 at 1 p.m. The board is encouraging written comment because Trustee Eric Shultz will not be present at the meeting. A decision on the proposal is expected to be made at the following meeting, which will be held on October 6.

The Trustees agreed to hold off on a decision after local civic leader Mary Jean Green approached the board and asked to look over the plans. Ms. Green, who was representing several local civic organizations, said the groups wanted to make sure they could endorse the plan before it received the Trustees’ approval.

Ms. Green’s request was met with disapproval from Mr. Hoffman’s Southampton-based attorney, John Bennett. Mr. Bennett explained that the current plan was submitted to trustees more than a year ago. “The public has had years to comment on it,” Mr. Bennett said, referring to the fact that the project was originally proposed in 2004. “Sometimes it’s got to stop. Unless someone has a substantive reason and I’ve heard none.”

Ms. Green answered that although she did not have a specific criticism of the proposal, she still retained the right to look over the documents. “John can spin it all he wants, but I’m right and he’s wrong,” Ms. Green said.

The current proposal, which has been scaled down from a 56-slip marina and fueling station, calls for nine permanent boat slips and seven transient slips near the restaurant, which is located on Dune Road. Since the current plan was first submitted, the Trustees have added their own stipulations. “There are a number of conditions that have been drafted,” Trustee President Jon Semlear said during Wednesday’s meeting.

The conditions drafted by the Trustees prohibit the dredging of the bay bottom, overnight sleeping on the parked boats, and the installation of a fueling station on the site. The Trustees have also restricted the size of boats that will be utilizing the permanent slips to 25 feet or less.

“These conditions have the best interest of the public in mind,” Trustee Ed Warner Jr. said during the meeting.

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