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Mar 3, 2018 8:04 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

North Sea Residents Approve New Taxing District

North Sea Beach.       PRESS FILE
Mar 6, 2018 5:47 PM

Guido Schattanek’s cell phone has been ringing off the hook since Saturday afternoon.

His neighbors around his summer home in the North Sea Beach Colony community have been calling him since the weekend, excited about a newly approved tax district to rebuild their private beach.

In a vote on Saturday, 65 of the 79 voters in the community who cast ballots agreed to tax themselves to generate approximately $406,000 over five years for beach nourishment. Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera has said that the district could be created as early as this coming December.

“It’s an overwhelming majority of the people who want this project,” Mr. Schattanek said in a phone interview from his winter home in Puerto Rico on Monday.

Since Mr. Schattanek bought his summer cottage in 1990, he said the beach has changed drastically. Throughout the past decade, the part-time North Sea resident, who is also the president of the North Sea Beach Colony’s homeowner’s association, said winter storms have been severely eroding his beloved beach.

The final straw, he said, was when Hurricane Sandy came thrashing up the East Coast in 2012: “Sandy took a big bite at the beach.”

After years of trying to figure out how to get the beach back to normal, Mr. Schattanek said the only option was for homeowners to step up and tax themselves.

“What this determines is that the North Sea Beach Colony erosion district [is becoming] a reality,” Mr. Schattanek said of the vote.

He commended the town’s help—especially Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer and Assistant Town Attorney Kathleen Murray—for helping get the information out to homeowners through emails and mailers. The majority of the homeowners in the community are summer residents, so the vote was largely completed through absentee ballots.

With the approval, homeowners in the North Sea Beach Colony neighborhood will tax themselves, with the waterfront homes overlooking Little Peconic Bay paying the most.

The 12 waterfront homeowners will pay a tax rate of $1.10 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This is about 40 cents more than inland homeowners. Those neighbors who don’t overlook the bay would pay 70 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

With this newly established district, residents who own waterfront houses assessed at $1.2 million will pay an additional $1,320 in taxes each year, while residents with homes not on the waterfront assessed at $700,000 will pay an additional $490 per year in taxes.

North Sea Beach is approximately 1,400 linear feet and sits at the end of North Sea Road. Southampton Town estimates that the beach loses about 7,500 cubic yards of sand each year—approximately twice the amount that could be contained within an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Last weekend’s vote marked the creation of the fourth erosion control district in Southampton Town, according to Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. Other districts have been formed in neighborhoods in Sagaponack, Bridgehampton and Hampton Bays.

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Where is this sand going - is it subsiding onto the sea floor and making the water shallower over time? I don't recall any cross-currents as are present in the Ocean that sweep the sand away. On this beach the waves are small and usually approach the beach perpendicular to the coast.
By Funbeer (254), Southampton on Mar 3, 18 11:01 PM
Really smart people who care about where they live and doing something about it. What we need is to have a coastal erosion district just like Sagg>Water Mill, but along Little Peconic Bays to do the sam for everyone. Big Applause NSBC!
By North Sea Citizen (520), North Sea on Mar 4, 18 5:32 AM
i can't believe so many mainland residents voted yes
By thepresssucks (21), watermill on Mar 4, 18 9:44 AM
Will the home owners be responsible for dredging the inlet to Morth Sea Harbor when the sand pumped onto the beach ends up in the mouth of the inlet?
By bigfresh (4153), north sea on Mar 4, 18 11:30 AM