Residents waiting eagerly for a decision by the Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals that was expected Thursday night, February 16, regarding a proposed summer day camp in North Sea will have to wait a little longer.
Although the decision was slated to be announced at a ZBA meeting last Thursday night, February 16, it was adjourned because, according to Vice Chairman Adam Grossman, the Town Attorney’s office was still writing the decision, which the ZBA would then vote upon.
“It’s a very involved application and the Town Attorney’s office needs more time to finish it,” he said. “There are some applications where the application, whether due to its complexity or that it might be challenged or litigated, sometimes, we’ll ask the Town Attorney to prepare the decision rather than us writing it ourselves.”
When asked if the ZBA members had made a decision yet on the application, Mr. Grossman said they had not. A vote must be taken, he said.
In most other towns, Mr. Grossman said, the Town Attorney’s office prepares all of the ZBA’s determinations. Southampton Town is unique in that ZBA members write most of them themselves, he said.
North Sea resident John Barona, president of the Little Fresh Pond Association, a group opposed to the day camp, said he understood the delay.
“I’m glad that they’re taking the time to make the decision,” he said. “I think that’s a wise decision on their part. It’s a big issue.”
Since the proposal for a day camp was first pitched by developer Jay Jacobs, who submitted an application by Southampton Day Camp Realty for a summer camp to be sited on 17.3 acres along Majors Path, scores of incensed neighbors have voiced strong opposition, based on concerns over traffic, noise, pollution, and environmental issues.
The North Sea residents have asked that the ZBA rule on a challenge to a determination rendered by Southampton Town Chief Building Inspector Michael Benincasa last August that the project as proposed would not represent a change or expansion of use—and doesn’t need a variance from the ZBA to move forward.
Mr. Jacobs has said the camp fits with the site’s preexisting, non-conforming use. Should the board issue a decision that agrees with neighbors who claim that the site has not, in fact, been used as a summer camp in recent years, a ZBA variance would be necessary to move forward.