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Jul 27, 2016 10:54 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Speonk Affordable Housing Project On Agenda For Thursday's Southampton Town Board Work Session

Jul 28, 2016 10:40 AM

The Southampton Town Board will hear a formal presentation today, Thursday, July 28, on a requested zoning change that would allow for the construction of a 50-unit affordable housing apartment complex in Speonk.

At the 11 a.m. work session at Town Hall, representatives of Jericho-based Georgica Green Ventures LLC are expected to present their plans to the board for the 4.4-acre property at 41 North Phillips Avenue, which now features six separate buildings—five one-story houses and a two-story apartment building that houses 10 units—and is zoned both residential and village business, according to town records. The company is requesting to change the zoning of the land to multi-family, which would permit the additional density—an issue that has raised the ire of some local residents who oppose the project.

At a late November public forum on their proposal, which has the support of the Southampton Town Housing Authority, Georgica Green officials said they want to build multiple buildings for the 50 apartments that would be marketed to working middle-class families. The company is the same developer behind the Sandy Hollow Cove apartment complex in Tuckahoe that was ultimately approved by the town over the objections of some residents.

This week, Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the plan is to create affordable housing in a town that has lacked it for years. He also noted that those who would ultimately rent the apartments would be screened by the town and prove that they earn at least $30,000 a year, while a family must take in at least $120,000.

“We want to provide respectable housing within our communities for people who work in our community,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “In the last 20 years, there have been zero affordable housing rental units created. We have zoning that doesn’t let the free market create them, so I think we have some level of responsibility.”

He added that he has received positive feedback on the housing project, but expects some opposition at today’s work session, and the subsequent public hearings, due to density concerns as well as the stigma that is often attached to government-backed housing initiatives.

“It’s schoolteachers, nurses, firemen,” he said, referring to those who would be living in the apartments, if they are built. “They can’t actually live in the town. There’s no choices that are affordable.

“With this,” he continued, “a teacher can go to a school play at night. A nurse can respond to an emergency. It adds to the soul of your community. When you just have housing for seasonal residents, it loses its vibrancy.”

The Georgica Green proposal is one of two apartment complexes proposed for the North Phillips Avenue corridor. The other is a 44-unit complex proposed by Centereach-based All Island Purchase Corp. for 7.7 acres at 85 North Phillips Avenue.

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Too much density for the area. The road is less than 100 yards from Montauk Hwy to the train track. The school cannot handle it. OK idea that needs to be toned down considerably. There are better spots in the hamptons for this.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Jul 27, 16 11:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
I live right by that area. My friend will literally have a sewage treatment system in her back yard. That property has unique zoning 6 R20 1/2 acre lots + village business frontage w/ 16 accessory apartments. We'd like to see the 6 homes built for seniors w/ 6 workforce housing accessory apartments added. Then do the VB section + 16 affordable apartments. That would help a lot of people (28 units) and maintain current zoning.
Sadly, we haven't had this conversation and Georgica Green and TSHA ...more
By Craigcat (254), Speonk on Jul 28, 16 7:20 AM
Bravo supervisor Schneiderman for taking a stand and finally advocating for the creation of reasonable work force housing in the Town Of Southampton. It's about time!
By SqueakyWheel (27), Flanders, New York on Jul 27, 16 11:45 AM
The town board received over 100 emails stating "No zoning change" as that area already has density issues by way of as of right projects looming. However, we do support an affordable housing model, just not by way of the density monster that is the MF44 zone change. We'll ask our town board to work with us in finding a solution that addresses the need for affordable housing without adding the kind of density Georgica Green is looking for. Woodfield Gables, Serenity Estates and The Estates at Remsenburg ...more
By Craigcat (254), Speonk on Jul 28, 16 7:14 AM
The traffic nightmare for the area is a real concern. It is a one light town with no commercial establishments to support the growth. North Phillips, as it is, gets backed up whenever a train goes by. It will be awful for more density. A commercial use on that corner is much better. Unfortunately, none of the Town Board members even know where the property is.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Jul 28, 16 10:01 AM
1 member liked this comment
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