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Oct 23, 2013 10:38 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Delays Latest Hearing On Canoe Place Inn Redevelopment Plans

Oct 23, 2013 12:59 PM

At the request of the developers, the Southampton Town Board on Tuesday night granted a seven-week adjournment of a public hearing on a proposal to redevelop the Canoe Place Inn property in Hampton Bays and build 40 townhouses on the eastern side of the Shinnecock Canal.

While Gregg and Mitchell Rechler, the cousins behind the proposal, maintain that the purpose of the adjournment is simply to process all the feedback they’ve received from the public in recent months—much of it opposing their project—some officials are speculating that this postponement will give way to an altered plan, one with fewer townhouses.

As part of the proposal, the Rechlers have agreed to refurbish the Canoe Place Inn and reopen it as a catering facility.

“They have said that they’re looking at all of the suggestions that have been made, and whatever, and they’re taking them into consideration, and they want to bring something back that people are happy with,” Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said Monday night after a debate hosted by the Hampton Bays Civic Association.

Ms. Throne-Holst also noted that this is the second time the Town Board has sent the Rechlers “back to the drawing board.”

The Rechlers, who have an application for a maritime planned development district, or MPDD, on file with the town, had requested that the third public hearing on their plans be adjourned for a month. But after fielding several complaints from the public about a potential conflict with Thanksgiving, Town Board members postponed the next hearing until Tuesday, December 10. The meeting starts at 6 p.m.

But an altered plan is not guaranteed, Jim Morgo, a consultant and spokesman for the Rechlers, said on Friday. Mr. Morgo said the Rechlers simply want to weigh the comments they’ve been provided and await further feedback from certain entities, such as the Town Planning Department.

“We’re just putting it on hold,” Mr. Morgo said. “We’re still pursuing it. We still have the support of the community. We still think it’s critical to the revitalization of Hampton Bays.”

However, a change of plans might be necessary if the Rechlers want their MPDD to be approved: All four candidates vying for the two open seats on the Town Board in next month’s general election have stated publicly, on multiple occasions, that they do not support the current application. For any PDD to gain approval, a super-majority—four out of five Town Board members—must sign off on the plan.

At the same time, all four Town Board candidates—Jeff Mansfield, Brad Bender, Stan Glinka and Frank Zappone—have also stated that they support the renovation of the inn while calling for a scaling down of the housing project proposed for the eastern side of the canal.

“Frank, Brad, Stan and I have spent a lot of time together lately, and ... we’ve been asked this question a lot, and I think it’s pretty fair to say that we’re pretty much all on board—or all kind of agree that our pulse of the community at this time is that this proposal, as it last sat, doesn’t fit,” said Mr. Mansfield, who is running on the Republican and Conservative party lines, during a debate on Monday night in Hampton Bays. “There’s too much density on the east side of the canal. There’s concerns from the residents about the septic treatment plant up on the hill on the east side. There’s concerns about water access from the land and also public access from the canal.”

Mr. Mansfield’s running mate, Mr. Glinka, originally supported the MPDD as president of the Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce, but has since changed his mind, because, he said, he was not aware of the full scope of the proposal until the public hearings began this summer.

Along with Mr. Mansfield and Mr. Glinka, Republican-Conservative supervisor candidate Linda Kabot called for a waterfront dining element to be included in the MPDD, as is permitted under existing zoning. Ms. Kabot went on to suggest that the Rechlers should build to suit the needs of an already established restaurant in Hampton Bays—Rumba Rum Bar on Canoe Place Road—that has become too successful for the small lot it currently leases.

“I propose we facilitate their relocation ... ” Ms. Kabot said of Rumba during the same debate. “They’re popular, they’re an asset to this community—relocate to the east side of the canal. Let the Rechlers build to suit.”

Mr. Zappone, the current deputy town supervisor who is seeking a Town Board seat on the Democratic and Independence party lines, said the proposal needs to be modified to allow for more public waterfront access and the proposed wastewater treatment facility for the townhouses—currently sited for a lot on the just east of North Road and in a residential neighborhood—be relocated elsewhere.

“The scale is too large, too many units, too large in size,” said Mr. Zappone, who also serves as Ms. Throne-Holst’s chief of staff, during last week’s debate sponsored by the Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays. “I think that needs to be scaled back significantly. From my perspective, minimally by half.”

Mr. Zappone said he feels the Rechlers have been receptive thus far and he expects them to return with a plan that is easier for residents to accept.

One of the stipulations of any PDD is that it provides a public benefit. As part of their plan, the Rechlers have pledged a quarter of a million dollars toward land preservation, but Mr. Bender, who is Mr. Zappone’s running mate, said this is an area where the application falls drastically short.

“The developer has proposed $250,000 toward open space. That’s an insult,” Mr. Bender said. “You cannot preserve anything with $250,000—give us something we can work with. You can’t buy a home in Hampton Bays for $250,000, and you surely can’t buy a home in Flanders, where I’m from, for $250,000.

“So, if we’re gonna offer something as a community benefit for preservation, we need to add something more to the pot,” he continued.

As for Mr. Morgo, he is suggesting that the candidates familiarize themselves better with the plans, noting that they might feel differently if they are elected to office.

Although all Town Board candidates have expressed a willingness to work with the Rechlers, Ms. Throne-Holst remains the biggest advocate for the developers. The supervisor, who noted that she does not see the developers deviating from the plan to construct some sort of housing on the east side of the canal, said the resurrection of the Canoe Place Inn is critical to revitalizing Hampton Bays,

“That is the kind anchor project that Hampton Bays needs,” she said at a recent debate. “We can talk about economic development and businesses leaving downtown and whatever, but if we don’t put a real shovel in the ground and bring a main attraction to Hampton Bays, as we’re looking at paving the road, as we’re looking at Good Ground Park and developing the historic district and all that, we need that.

“It’s a transformative project and I do believe there’s a way to get it where the community can wrap their head around it,” she continued. “It is as significant an investment in Hampton Bays as we will ever see.”

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Kabot for supervisor
By ADAMSG (53), EAST QUOGUE on Oct 23, 13 11:33 AM
That's what I thought until her remark about putting Rumba's in Tiderunners place. They kick one out to put Rumba's in, the bar who doesn't give a damm about the neighbors and who has been polluting our canal.
By longislander40 (37), hampton bays on Oct 24, 13 12:25 AM
1 member liked this comment
Linda Kabot was at Tide Runners all summer promoting Tide Runners and saying she was on Tide Runners side. She wanted to save the restaurant. Now she goes saying that she wants Rumba in its place. Who by the way is the same owner as Cowfish. That is so two faced. If anyone should be where Tide Runners used to be , it's Tide Runners. They put in 11 years of hard work at that spot and now it's being taken away from them, and most likely destroyed! Now I don't know who I'm voting for!
By tide595 (2), East Quogue on Oct 24, 13 6:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
Nice job, Kabot - build to suit Rumba after kicking Tiderunners and One North to the curb. Is that really the kind of decision making you'd like us to elect?
By VOS (1156), WHB on Oct 23, 13 1:47 PM
They can build "as of right" There is no need in granting anything else as there is little public benefit from any of the plans submitted. The east of the canal development with all those town homes is exactly what is not needed on the shoreline. How will the public be able to access the waterfront and fish or sit? Where will the public be able to park to access the waterfront there on the east side in the town home parking lot?. The plan is just over the top and doesnt fit into the character of ...more
By North Sea Citizen (516), North Sea on Oct 23, 13 2:48 PM
2 members liked this comment
Like the deserted public maritime museum on the west side...Just get out of the way already and let them build something classy. I like the restaurant idea but a high end steak house, something classy. You need to attract a better clientele to the gateway to the Hampton's. I think Cow Fish has the right idea and another classy restaurant on the waterfront would further cement Hampton bays as a legitimate part of the Hampton's. not just a vagrant run down party town. People out East are starting ...more
By joe hampton (3274), south hampton on Oct 23, 13 9:06 PM
3 members liked this comment
From Mr. Bender: You can’t buy a home in Hampton Bays for $250,000, and you surely can’t buy a home in Flanders, where I’m from, for $250,000.


Funny... RedFin alone shows 7 homes in Flanders for under $250,000 and 9 homes for under $250,000 in HB. Let this be a lesson that you can't believe what Brad Bender says because he just makes stuff up.

His point was a good one (that $250,000 for open space is an insult), but he ruined it with that claim, particularly ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 23, 13 2:50 PM
Those houses should be going for 4 times what they are currently going for. You people are holding the place down because you don't want your taxes to go up. You need to clean up the whole area its to beaufiful... Stop being scared of the property tax going up.

Campaign around a tax law that will not let taxes go up more than a certain percent unless the house is sold and let the dam place grow into what it deserves to be already.
By joe hampton (3274), south hampton on Oct 23, 13 9:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
Having had alot of experience in this field, I found that Bender's statement about home values is true for the majority of home buyers. Many of those HB listings are condos, mobile, vacant land or fixer uppers. People don't want to lay out another 50,000 for repairs. Besides, I hardly think that is indicative of his truthfulness. Oh, and yes, his point WAS a good one.


By Earthgirl (52), Southampton on Oct 23, 13 3:13 PM
algae bloom article on 27east cites :
..
cut&pasted-->
"Nearly every major water body on Long Island was affected by harmful algae blooms or low oxygen levels at some time during the summer of 2013, according to the results of a study completed by The Nature Conservancy and scientists from Stony Brook University. ...
..
“The unifying theme is that the overloading of nitrogen is stimulating problematic algal blooms,”
..
In some places, the role of fertilizers ...more
By david h (405), southampton on Oct 23, 13 4:08 PM
Yup - so we better oppose every single proposal for development, no matter how small. Who is with me??
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 23, 13 4:15 PM
MORATORIUM ON NEW DEVELOPEMENT ALL ACROSS LONG ISLAND!!!! im with you NATURE IM WITH YOU
By david h (405), southampton on Oct 23, 13 4:37 PM
"Although all Town Board candidates have expressed a willingness to work with the Rechlers, Ms. Throne-Holst remains the biggest advocate for the developers."

You've got that absolutely right! And every other developer in Southampton willing to contribute to her campaign kitty too. You'll see a lot more of these before she's through, until Hampton Bays become one giant parking lot for outsize PDDs, supermarkets and condominiums.

And yes, she's totally opposed to more density.
By Obbservant (443), southampton on Oct 23, 13 5:53 PM
She got rid of the god awful welfare motel, so she as my vote
By 27dan (2598), Southampton on Oct 23, 13 9:17 PM
Wasnt that all due to the "Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays"?
By longislander40 (37), hampton bays on Oct 24, 13 12:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
Yes, I suppose you are right
By 27dan (2598), Southampton on Oct 24, 13 12:44 AM
Yes, perhaps Hampton Bays needs an 'anchor project' but it doesn't need to be a restored CPI at the expense of the east side of the canal. No one in their right mind gives away waterfront. A better 'anchor' would be restaurants and shops on the east side of the canal - what a draw for residents and visitors alike!
By blpierce (5), hampton bays on Oct 24, 13 10:58 AM
Linda Kabot was at Tide Runners all summer promoting Tide Runners and saying she was on Tide Runners side. She wanted to save the restaurant. Now she goes saying that she wants Rumba in its place. Who by the way is the same owner as Cowfish. That is so two faced. If anyone should be where Tide Runners used to be , it's Tide Runners. They put in 11 years of hard work at that spot and now it's being taken away from them, and most likely destroyed! Now I don't know who I'm voting for!
By tide595 (2), East Quogue on Oct 24, 13 6:46 PM
Joe said "Like the deserted public maritime museum on the west side...Just get out of the way already and let them build something classy. I like the restaurant idea but a high end steak house, something classy. You need to attract a better clientele to the gateway to the Hampton's. I think Cow Fish has the right idea and another classy restaurant on the waterfront would further cement Hampton bays as a legitimate part of the Hampton's. not just a vagrant run down party town. People out East are ...more
By Erin 27 E (1156), southampton on Oct 24, 13 7:41 PM
Don't you no by now they don't want to build anything they just want it to remain the same way it was in 1956
Oct 26, 13 9:59 PM appended by 27dan
Problem is the wood that binds there memories of paradise is 80 years old
By 27dan (2598), Southampton on Oct 25, 13 9:59 PM
I can't wait till the Rechlers say we have had enough of the nonsense and leave that place in disrepair. Hampton Bays is at a crossroads and if this doesn't go through you will watch Hampton Bays become the new Mastic Beach. All the candidates for councilman are kissing up to the residents and making stupid promises. Let the Rechlers build 40 units and a restaurant and be done with it. Let a waterfront boardwalk be built from Jacksons Marina to Meschutt Beach. I believe most people are for these ...more
By chief1 (2605), southampton on Oct 26, 13 10:39 AM
1 member liked this comment
I hope your wrong. the rechlers have gone above and beyond what they have needed to do here and I for one would like to commend them.
By Erin 27 E (1156), southampton on Oct 26, 13 6:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
On big projects like the Rechler CPI/Canal proposal, there's healthy disagreement, as people in the community and people on both sides of the political fence make an honest effort reach the right result. I respect the differing viewpoints here because I believe it is an honest effort all around.

On the multitude of small projects that plague Southampton Town, however, entrenched Republican majorities on the Planning Board, Conservation Board & Zoning Board of Appeals continually rubber-stamp ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1906), Quiogue on Oct 27, 13 11:42 AM
Southampton Town never rubber stamps any project. The average commercial project takes over three years for approval. As usual you are a bipartisan person with no regard for the facts.
By chief1 (2605), southampton on Oct 27, 13 10:00 PM
2 members liked this comment
Mis-clicked on "Like." Careful with the personal stuff, chief, we're trying to keep it high-tone here. BTW, I'm sure you didn't mean to call me "bi," I'm straight partisan, as all know, but if I say the truth, my political preference doesn't make it untrue.

First, you're talking only about commercial projects and I'm talking about all projects. Second, apart from the timing, take a look at the record of approvals versus rejections. Rubber stamp.
By Turkey Bridge (1906), Quiogue on Oct 28, 13 12:17 PM
Yep, that's exactly why everyone says it is so easy to get things through in Southampton Town Hall. Piece of cake to get approval from every level of government. Can you show us some of these projects that have been rubber stamped?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 28, 13 12:54 PM
I'm getting pretty tired of reading all of this election day propganda from Turkey that he tries to thinly veil as reasonable comments which somehow add to the discussion (hope that's not too personal!)

Turkey Bridge is wrong - there is no rubber stamping. I guess he needs to spent more time actually going to meetings, reading minutes and understanding what "mitigation" means and spending less time looking over the Aye's and Ney's column for particular boards.

Boy that CPI re-zoning ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 28, 13 2:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
Residential subdivisions take the same amount of time. I don't think you understand the law. If people have a right they have to give an approval or it is a taking under the 5th amendment. Just because something gets an approval doesn't mean that there weren't dozens of changes, and revisions. The planning board is quite frankly a pain in the butt to deal with. By the way how many years have the Rechlers spent, and they aren't even close to a finished product. Have Bridget Fleming stick to her farmers ...more
By chief1 (2605), southampton on Oct 28, 13 12:36 PM
We are still waiting to hear what projects in Southampton Town have been rubber-stamped
By chief1 (2605), southampton on Oct 29, 13 9:04 AM
As I said, look at the record of approvals versus rejections, even apart from the "as of right"/5th amendment cases which you mention.

I pointed out in the beginning that the big projects, like the CPI/Canal thing and the Tuckahoe Main St. proposal, involve healthy disagreement and a lot of publicity, so the pro-development cabal on the land use boards can't operate with impunity, they have to go more or less by the book. But with the many small unpublicized projects, however, this crowd ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1906), Quiogue on Oct 29, 13 10:54 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Turkey Bridge (1906), Quiogue on Oct 29, 13 10:56 AM
Gobble Gobble - it's not disingenuous in the least. Your attitude is that the Boards don't actually do their jobs and don't vet what coms before them and "rubber stamp" projects. It doesn't matter if you sheepishly exclude "big projects". It doesn't happen the way you make it sound because if it doesn't stand for big projects, it wouldn't stand for little ones.

When was the last time you went to a Conservation Board hearing? Or a ZBA hearing? Do you have any idea of how much work goes ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 29, 13 11:51 AM
Way off the mark on this one TB. And as much as you are always able to put forth your party's agenda via your abilities as a wordsmith, you dropped the ball on this one. "many, small unpublicized projects"? Which ones? Every "project" is publicized, either via a newspaper notification, registered/certified letters to surrounding property owners, etc. Yes, I know no one but lawyers read the legal notices. But neighbors are advised. Kind of at a loss here as to what "smoke filled back room deals" ...more
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 29, 13 11:56 AM
Turkey Bridge you are actually wrong about the reason Bridgett Fleming started the farmers market. She said she wanted to do the market for economic redevelopment( that's a good one). Meanwhile you can drive three miles North on CR 105, and see the best farmers markets in the state which are actually on a farm.
If you want to fix Flanders rezone Flanders Rd to commercial instead of having the county purchase the waterfront land near McDonalds. She says she is an expert in prosecution, business/development ...more
By chief1 (2605), southampton on Oct 29, 13 11:31 AM
Here's some food for your thought, Nature: Of the four lawyers you've named as advocates before our land use boards, the lawyers on whom you say "applicants spend so much money," three of them -- Bennett, Gilmartin and Burke -- are listed as members of the Southampton Town Republican Committee as of 4/25/13. The fourth, Bruyn, though not a member himself, is a name partner of O'Shea and Marcinuk, both of whom are GOP Committee members.

You had a superficially good argument going until ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1906), Quiogue on Oct 30, 13 8:45 AM
Gobbler - do some research on "food deserts" turns out they are total bunk. In reality areas that were labeled food deserts had more places to purchase food than areas not labeled food deserts.

Your linkage of the Republican Party and the attorneys I mentioned doesn't answer any questions. But let me pose a few directly to you and see if you can answer them straight (this is based on what you imply above).

The Boards which consist of Republican's (and are appointed by Republicans) ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 30, 13 11:40 AM
I also dismissed the "food availability part" While area residents may very well want to have a decent grocery store closer than Riverhead or Hampton Bays, I am not aware of anyone who has a nutrition deficiency in the area, and I strongly doubt you are either. I have patronized the farmers market several times. The kids are not in any way getting adequate job training. Chief meant Stop and Shop as I'm sure you knew.
You have again attempted to dazzle with your wordsmith abilities, but have ...more
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Oct 30, 13 1:14 PM
deafening silence
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Nov 1, 13 6:20 PM
TB I was using shop rite as an example of another project that took a decade. As far as fresh fruits and veggies go you can drive a couple miles to the North Fork and it is wall to wall farmstands. The point is if Flemings best idea for Flanders redevelopment is a farm stand she is clueless. I have watched projects take decades with or without Republican lawyers. Most projects do get approvals but not before jumping through hoops. Please answer Blanks question large or small what project had a rubber ...more
By chief1 (2605), southampton on Oct 30, 13 9:27 AM
Already told you twice, look at record of approvals versus rejections. Rubber stamping isn't a matter of how long it takes, it's a matter of the end results being overwhelmingly in favor of development, any development.
By Turkey Bridge (1906), Quiogue on Nov 2, 13 6:20 PM
That's still a fail. Approvals vs. rejections mean nothing. I could put forth a plan to build a skyscraper on Dune Rd. It would never go in front of any of these boards, as at some point, my attorney, or the town hall staff would advise that the plan has zero chance of going through. The plan gets withdrawn before any real action occurs. A dramatic instance, yes, but you well get my point. You have failed to back up your argument.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Nov 4, 13 9:42 PM
It's you who must fail to back up your argument, But, because you can't prove that any of those informal, pre-action rejections ever took place. There's no record of them, and if I say there were none, or near none -- as I suspect is the case -- you can't show otherwise.

Does that make it a draw? No, because there is a record of an abundance of formal approvals, and because anecdotally, the word is that those who are connected get pretty much whatever they want. You can't overcome the ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1906), Quiogue on Nov 5, 13 2:18 PM
And another tip of the hat to the wordsmith.

But alas, it was YOU who initially stated that the boards appease the connected. When challenged you failed, and continue to fail to show a single application that was approved without competent review.

Congrats on the outcome Tuesday, now I shall await as the town turns into a model of democracy, transparency, lower taxes, improved services, and nothing but rainbows and flowers every morning.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Nov 7, 13 11:57 AM
Agree with Blank... I'm sure the switch from Pubs to Dems will result in an avalanche of denials across all boards... right? that IS what you are saying the outcome SHOULD be, correct Gobbler?

Thanksgiving is around the corner - better find a place to hide. You appear to dismiss the fact that property owners have rights, and when applications are submitted which conform to the required codes, the boards HAVE to approve it. If it meets the standards set forth by the BZA (and especially ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 7, 13 12:27 PM
Appreciate both the good wishes and the humor with which they're expressed. Be patient, please, it will take us a while to descend to the level set by the present crowd, to say nothing of figuring out how to undermine those property rights that Nature cites.

On a serious note, I hate to seem less than generous in victory, but be alert for midnight appointments to the land use boards by the current lame-duck majority. They could prolong their influence substantially by that expedient.
By Turkey Bridge (1906), Quiogue on Nov 9, 13 10:54 AM
The problem with your "last minute appointment" conspiracy is moot. Terms expire on Dec 31. An appointment cannot be made ahead of time.
Now, for the umpteenth time, please tell us about some of these projects that were passed through the current boards in the middle of the night in a smoke filled back room. The election is over, no more innuendo just some facts please.
Nov 9, 13 4:02 PM appended by But I'm a blank!
For whatever reason, I cant get the "reply" icon to cooperate. Regardless, appointments are made at the organizational meeting in January. You assume that members that this "gang of three" appointed will resign so they can appoint more of the same is doesn't fly. And your attempt to get me to "look it up" only reveals that you have not made your case. Applicants only submit plans that have a chance of being approved, to do otherwise is a burden on the applicant. No matter who they are connected with.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Nov 9, 13 4:02 PM
I think your premise must be wrong, because if the Town Board waited until the expiration of a member's term to re-appoint him/her, or to appoint a new member, there would be a hiatus, which is normally thought to be undesirable. Appointments can also be made ahead of time if a cooperative board member resigns, creating a vacancy to fill. And, for the umpteenth (and last) time, I've already told you, look at the record of approvals versus rejections. That's all I've been going by, and if you don't ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1906), Quiogue on Nov 9, 13 4:34 PM
Please see the above addditional comments. A sitting board member whose term expires on Dec 31, would take part in January meetings until he/she is either replaced, or a replacement made.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Nov 10, 13 3:47 PM