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Sep 11, 2018 2:10 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Rose Hill Ramp Has Deep Hole

Randy Frankel had crews pave a boat ramp at a Trustee-owned property on Rose Hill Road in Water Mill in the Spring. GREG WEHNER
Sep 11, 2018 2:13 PM

A controversial boat ramp in Water Mill that was paved in the spring has a nearly 2-foot-deep hole in it, sparking concerns among local residents who use the ramp.

The ramp and property, located at 475 Rose Hill Road in Water Mill, has been the topic of heated discussion between the Southampton Town Trustees and members of the community over the past few months.

Earlier this year, the Trustees entered into an agreement with the neighboring homeowner, Randy Frankel, that allows him to use a portion of the Trustee-owned property for his circular driveway. In return, he agreed to pave a driveway and dredge a boat ramp that fills frequently with sand.

Once the deal was made, Mr. Frankel had crews move trees along a property line that was modified before the Trustees took over the property. He also had his crews pave the driveway, lay down crushed clam shells and dredge the ramp.

Southampton resident Tim Maran told the Trustees at a meeting on Wednesday, September 5, that the hole in the ramp is a drowning hazard, and when the bay is high, the hole can get deep.

“There is a large hole at the end of the blacktop,” said Mr. Maran. “When I walked into the water, it was 24 inches [deep.] This was after the bay had dropped. I don’t know what the hole was like before … but it was probably way over my boots.”

Mr. Maran said he reached out to Trustee Bruce Stafford to see what could be done to fill the hole in—but was told it would be a “no-no” from the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

In August, the DEC issued a stern reprimand to the Trustees over work that was done in the spring at Rose Hill Road. Nearly a month before the warning was handed down, DEC officers conducted an inspection of the property and found that permits were not obtained by the Trustees for any of the work that Mr. Frankel had done on the Trustee-owned property.

When the Trustees entered into the agreement with Mr. Frankel, it stipulated that he would dredge the ramp twice a year to allow people to launch boats, put asphalt down to the ramp from Rose Hill Road, and lay crushed clam shells in a parking area south of the ramp. Mr. Frankel also is responsible for obtaining all federal, state and local permits, especially with regards to the dredging of the ramp, according to the agreement.

So when Mr. Maran asked if he could go down to the property with a shovel and rake to fill in the hole, it was no surprise what he was told. “In light of all that’s going on down there … I would recommend not,” Trustee President Ed Warner Jr. told Mr. Maran. He added that signs have been placed near the ramp advising people of the hazard.

In order to do the work, a wetland permit would need to be obtained, according to Southampton Town Assistant Attorney Martha Reichert, either by the Trustees or Mr. Frankel.

Mr. Warner said the hole is not unlike what is seen at other boat ramps. When boaters use the motor to drive up onto a trailer, it digs out areas in the ramp. “I do not do that,” Mr. Warner said. “I have a winch on my trailer and I pull it on.”

He added that when Mecox Bay was high, getting a boat onto a trailer was much easier than it is now, especially after the bay drained into the ocean for nearly the past three weeks.

Still, Mr. Warner said a sign has been put up advising people not to use their motor to get the boats onto the trailers.

Mr. Maran said the hole will probably fill in naturally if the winds blow out of the northeast or southeast for a couple of days.

But the fact that the hole can’t be filled without a permit is troubling to Mr. Maran. “I find it hard to believe that a safety situation can’t be resolved with or without the DEC,” he said. “I think safety should be paramount.”

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Must have been inspected by a TRUSTee???
By knitter (1720), Southampton on Sep 11, 18 3:33 PM
2 members liked this comment
New Rose Hill Ramp Has Deep Hole - but not as deep as the pockets of the man who is supposed to upkeep the ramp.

In order to do the work, a wetland permit would need to be obtained, according to Southampton Town Assistant Attorney Martha Reichert, either by the Trustees or Mr. Frankel.

Really!!??? But this guy can reconstruct the entire road and his new private parking area without even a hint of paperwork. The hypocrisy stinks worse than the bay at low tide.

By Harbor Master (105), Sag Harbor on Sep 12, 18 2:20 PM
Just one aspect: a supposedly dangerous hole can't be filled because of complex rules, laws, etc. As long as the hole is filled with local inert natural material what's the hold up? The local food chain: environmental company does an expensive study, lawyer presents results, 4 more lawyers weigh in, court adjournment, someone sprains their ankle, new lawsuit, before you know it it a million dollar hole event. Years ago a good Samaritan would have dumped some gravel in the hole and we wouldn't ...more
By TheTurtle (143), Southampton on Sep 12, 18 7:40 PM
The TRUSTees had a out with the contract, as no permits were issued. Why has the TRUSTees not nullify the agreement?
Who owes who???
By knitter (1720), Southampton on Sep 21, 18 6:34 PM