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Jan 15, 2013 3:54 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Around East Hampton Town Hall: Van Scoyoc Wants To Pull Fort Pond House From The Market

Jan 15, 2013 4:10 PM

Democratic East Hampton Town Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc on Tuesday pitched a plan to pull the town-owned Fort Pond House, which is currently up for sale, off the market and dedicate the land to parkland.

But the proposal was opposed by Republican Supervisor Bill Wilkinson and Republican Councilwoman Theresa Quigley, who said that the sale of the Fort Pond House in Montauk was part of a plan to restore the town’s fiscal health.

The property is currently the subject of a lawsuit by community groups and residents, who charge that the sale of the property is illegal. The town closed the park and the house in July 2010, citing safety violations at the building.

Mr. Van Scoyoc and Democratic Councilwoman Sylvia Overby want to pull the sale in part to stop the lawsuit, which they said is an unnecessary expense. Mr. Wilkinson and Ms. Quigley said the lawsuit is really a “political issue,” and that Montauk is largely preserved and doesn’t need additional parkland.

Republican Councilman Dominick Stanzione had no comment on the discussion.

Cyril’s Hearing

In a 3-2 vote, the Town Board voted to schedule a public hearing on an application to change the zoning of a bar and restaurant on Napeague.

The Town Board will solicit input on whether the owner of Cyril’s Fish House should be allowed to expand its operation by combining two lots, rezoning the land, reconfiguring the sanitary design, increasing its seating capacity and adding parking to the site.

Ms. Overby and Mr. Van Scoyoc, both former Planning Board members, were unwilling to vote on scheduling a public hearing on the application. Ms. Overby said the plan doesn’t fit into the town’s comprehensive plan and Mr. Van Scoyoc said the proposal doesn’t address the safety issues at the site now.

Mr. Wilkinson, Ms. Quigley and Mr. Stanzione voted in favor of a public hearing. Ms. Overby and Mr. Van Scoyoc opposed the move. The public hearing will be scheduled at a Town Board meeting on Thursday.

Compensation Committee

Ms. Quigley wants to form a committee to review how salaries of town department heads are set.

The councilwoman said she became interested in the idea after “blindly” approving a list of town salaries at the Town Board’s reorganization meeting earlier this month.

Mr. Stanzione said he’d want to speak with Budget Officer Len Bernard and revisit the issue next week.

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I don't get it. If you sell the property to one person who renovates or replaces the one house on the land you have maybe 3 or 4 people living there using septic, a couple of parked cars, etc. If you use it for a community center, or for public access to a very fragile Fort Pond, aren't you creating a much more potentially harmful impact for Fort Pond with hundreds using the septic and a public parking area with runoff, etc. ? Selling it to a single family owner is by far and away the most environmentally ...more
By hohum123 (91), springs on Jan 20, 13 1:20 PM
The problem is that it was used as a park - so selling it off and discontinuing that use is parkland alienation which can only occur with the approval of the NYS legislature, of which the EHTB did not get.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 20, 13 1:39 PM
That property has never been designated as park land. If it was already designated a parkland then why does Van Scoyoc want to dedicate it now as parkland?
By hohum123 (91), springs on Jan 20, 13 8:21 PM
Doesn't have to be formally designated - if it is actively used or assumed to be parkland, it's a park (this is what NYS Law says). So, when you abandon that use, it's alienation.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 22, 13 10:31 AM
How was it used as a park? The building on the property was used for meetings. Does that make Town Hall a park too?
By hohum123 (91), springs on Jan 27, 13 12:56 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Board Watcher (531), East Hampton on Jan 21, 13 10:03 PM
I'm with you hohum123 ... let's follow the bouncing ball .... so it's going to be "parkland" that no one (except a very few) have used at a great expense to the Town, with no real "future use". County doesn't want it, Nature Preserve/Peconic Land Trust (c'mon Dems!!) have come up with zilch - but Peter and Sylvia are STILL trying to say "save it"!! Why? And for who? This sale, or lack thereof, is not a Town issue anymore, it's pure political posturing ... can't Alec Baldwin or the DeMinile's ...more
By Board Watcher (531), East Hampton on Jan 21, 13 10:09 PM
Of course the Republicans want to sell an asset that had been used heretofore by non-profit community groups. In accord with their corporatist ideology, everything that doesn't add to the bottom line must be eliminated. This is but another real estate parcel that Wilkinson and Quigley and their friends will never use. Ergo, it must go. Why should Fort Pond House be different from the golf course or the town tennis courts, two other assets that none of their set ever needed to patronize? The ...more
By highhatsize (3924), East Quogue on Jan 21, 13 11:12 PM