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Apr 18, 2018 11:39 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Trustees Allow Homeowner To Encroach On Property In Return For Maintenance Work

An aerial view of 475 Rose Hill Road showing changes agreed upon by the Southampton Town Trustees.
Apr 18, 2018 12:42 PM

A neighbor agreed to take over maintenance responsibilities of a small waterfront park owned by the Southampton Town Trustees in Water Mill—but work done at the property appears to have simply expanded the private residence into the space, which includes a boat ramp.

Hayground Cove, which is located toward the end of Rose Hill Road, is a Trustee-owned, 0.61-acre property with a boat ramp on the northern edge of Mecox Bay. The property was recently obtained by the Trustees from Southampton Town, and the intent was to turn the property into a park.

They had, in fact, wanted to name the park in honor of former Trustee Eric Shultz, who recently left the board after serving for 20 years, but Mr. Shultz declined the recognition, according to Town Trustee President Ed Warner.

Concerned about the cost of maintaining the boat ramp, as well as the land surrounding it, the Southampton Town Trustees agreed to hand off maintenance responsibilities to the adjacent homeowner. Town Trustee Bruce Stafford said the homeowner, who is listed on an agreement that was signed by both parties on February 22 as 493 Rose Hill LLC, agreed to maintain the property.

No money was exchanged in the deal, but a number of stipulations were put in place, which allow the Trustees to bail from the agreement at any time they find necessary.

Mr. Warner said the property provides boat access to Mecox Bay. But the ramp and cove regularly fill with sand, making it difficult for boaters to actually launch motorboats. Mr. Stafford said dredging can be expensive and takes a low priority, and only three employees are dedicated to maintaining Trustee properties throughout the town.

Public access to the boat ramp remains. In return for taking on the maintenance, the Trustees are allowing the homeowner to move the property line to provide ample space for trucks with boat trailers to park and turn around—but also allowing the homeowner to move a line of trees down the middle of his property to the middle of the Trustees’ property, in essence expanding the private lot.

The stipulations on the agreement include the homeowner dredging the mouth of the boat ramp at least twice per year, and moving the sand to an area where the Trustees can use it for beach nourishment projects. At the same time, the homeowner will be required to obtain all of the permits necessary from the State Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct dredging.

The homeowner is also responsible for repaving the parking lot when needed, mowing the lawn, fertilizing the grass, trimming the hedges, and conducting any other seasonal landscaping—all at no cost to the Trustees. Snow removal along the Trustee property is also a requirement, to allow boaters the ability to access the ramp at all times of the year.

The deal is for 15 years, and will automatically renew after that time unless the Trustees or the homeowner want out of the deal.

“It’s something we don’t have the staffing or time to send a dump truck and trailer a machine down there to do,” said Mr. Warner, explaining that the project would take all day.

Calls to the homeowner’s attorney seeking to identify and speak with the homeowner were not immediately returned.

“I think it’s a positive thing,” Mr. Warner said. “I’m hoping the homeowner is a steward of the Trustees—that’s all I can ask for.”

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Per the article:
" . . . the Trustees are allowing the homeowner to move the property line to provide ample space for trucks with boat trailers to park and turn around—but also allowing the homeowner to move a line of trees down the middle of his property to the middle of the Trustees’ property, in essence EXPANDING THE PRIVATE LOT." [EMPHASIS ADDED]

Whoa . . . !!!

Draw your brakes, Trustees?

Any chance of posting PDF copies of ...more
By PBR (4919), Southampton on Apr 19, 18 8:51 AM
The trustees have done a poor job of maintaining the ramp there. The trustees are blowing a lot of smoke up the residents ramp. What is happening to this board???
Take a look at the property, he has taken over 70% of the property. There are no good ramps in Mecox. Sounds like special interest group HELPING the trustees, WOW GIRLS...
No money??? Sell sand or too lazy???
By knitter (1720), Southampton on Apr 19, 18 9:39 AM
Wow, this is a terrible idea.
Privatization of a public resource...what could go wrong!?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (687), southampton on Apr 19, 18 9:45 AM
Please tell me that the Trustees didn't actually stipulate that the homeowner must fertilize the grass at the boat launch!
By cmac (179), East Quogue on Apr 19, 18 10:29 AM
Its all a lie. This property belonged to the fellow whos illegal alien worker ran the nun over. He paved the right away and even put a gate on it opening to trustee land. The property was sold for 38 million dollars and this guy wants to encroach on it. Note the bulkhead and pool how did that happen? how did any of this get built 8 years ago? Total BS
By chief1 (2722), southampton on Apr 19, 18 10:38 AM
This is totally out of line.. The trustee have to back out of this deal...
They are allowing him to expand his property.
this is a neutered board... The homeowner will not do all these requirements and The Trustees wont follow up with this..
By Local247 (29), Southampton on Apr 19, 18 10:40 AM
Setting a very dangerous precedent. This will open the door to God knows what concerning waterfront properties.
By clamdigger (79), Quogue on Apr 19, 18 11:26 AM
Bruce, open your eyes. Town plowed snow there as long as remember, town mowed when they did Rose Hill Rd.Speak when you are sure what goes on.
The trustees never maintained it. I called many times because the ramp was useless. Unless you had 4wd you would sink in the hole. The other so called ramps are just as bad. Flying point, mohawk and horse mill aren't ramps. Dredging what?
Eric schulz didn't want his name associated with this fiasco. Wasn't this given by the Halsey family, not to ...more
By knitter (1720), Southampton on Apr 19, 18 11:45 AM
All the town ramps suck!! The one in the mastic is much nicer... go figure ��
By Josey (2), Hampton bays on Apr 19, 18 4:09 PM
This is illegal - it's blatant parkland alienation. How can they give up public land without the public's approval / knowledge (never mind the 2 acts of state legislature required!). Was an appraisal done on the value of land the Trustees just gave up? I can't even comprehend what our reps were thinking when they wrote this up - a Town attorney actually signed off on this? Please, someone file a lawsuit!!
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Apr 19, 18 9:02 PM
I have been through every Trustee Agenda on the Town website and I can't seem to find this on any of them. No record of a discussion, hearing or vote prior to them signing this agreement on February 22nd. I would like to know if any Trustees opposed this deal as Stafford and Warner are the only Trustees who spoke with The Press.
By cmac (179), East Quogue on Apr 20, 18 8:53 AM
I stand corrected...It was voted on January 17th and passed unanimously.
By cmac (179), East Quogue on Apr 20, 18 9:21 AM
The “Then” photo on the front page of The Press shows the


to the property line, pavement and vegetation.


Editors please add the missing photo to the photo gallery.

By PBR (4919), Southampton on Apr 20, 18 9:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
Town turned over land to trustees, when? Trustees gave it up on the 17th? Not a long discussion, public input. Done at a closed session?
Wait for elections, clean house. They are NOT representing US the public. Different agendas. We need Eric and Fred back on the board...
By knitter (1720), Southampton on Apr 20, 18 9:54 AM
November 28th: "Town Board Resolution 2017-1095 Category: Agreements, Contracts, Leases Sponsors: Councilwoman Julie Lofstad Department: Town Attorney Southampton Town Board – Minutes Regular Town Board Meeting of Tuesday, November 28, 2017 Page | 28 Authorize Transfer of Title to the Property Known as: 475 Rose Hill Road, Water Mill to the Board of Trustees WHEREAS, the Town of Southampton is the owner of certain property located at 475 Rose Hill Road, Water Mill (SCTM: 0900-115-3-21) hereinafter ...more
By cmac (179), East Quogue on Apr 21, 18 8:58 AM
This is the Trustee Resolution requesting the property. On the meeting and according to the video transcript the meeting is closed they stop the tape and go to executive session to discuss litigation. They come back some time later and re-open the public meeting to vote on this resolution. There is no recording of it posted.

'Trustees Resolution 2017-224 Category:Agreements, Contracts, Leases Sponsors: Edward J. Warner, Jr. Department:Town Attorney
"Request the Transfer ...more
By cmac (179), East Quogue on Apr 21, 18 9:33 AM
The Halseys didn't give the property away for private use. The town should give it back. The property that adjoins it has everything not allowed on waterfront. More corruption!
By chief1 (2722), southampton on Apr 21, 18 10:23 AM
it never ends out here. too much money and power so us poor locals can't afford the cost to pay to keep OUR land. disgraceful . Hope the HALSEY family prevails as the intent is obvious.
By xtiego (696), bridgehampton on Apr 24, 18 6:13 PM