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Jan 29, 2014 1:21 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Town's Top Planner Calls For Reduction In Scope Of Hampton Bays Townhouse Development

Jan 29, 2014 1:21 PM

A new report submitted to the Southampton Town Board last week by the town’s top planner called for a reduction in the size and scale of the proposed 40-unit townhouse development along the east side of the Shinnecock Canal in Hampton Bays.

The document also raised a bevy of other questions and concerns about the proposed Canoe Place Inn Maritime Planned Development District, or MPDD, still before the Town Board.

In his review of the MPDD’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Kyle Collins, the town’s chief planning and development administrator, picked apart the report detailing the scope of the development proposed by cousins Gregg and Mitchell Rechler. The review raised points that the Rechlers and their company, R-Squared Development, LLC, should address before filing the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

The Canoe Place Inn MPDD encompasses three separate properties in Hampton Bays. One parcel sits just west of the canal, where the closed inn sits and, under the proposal, would house a refurbished inn with a restaurant and catering facility. Another sits on the east side of the canal, where the Tide Runners and 1 North Steakhouse restaurants once operated, and would house the 40 three-bedroom townhouses being proposed by the developers. The third property is located on a hill just east of North Road, and it would house a proposed wastewater treatment facility for the townhouses.

Among the 37 items addressed in the report, Mr. Collins suggested that the Rechlers create “a conceptual design alternative that reduces the massing and scale of the proposed townhouses to fit better into the site and surroundings.” The current proposal, which was submitted in June, calls for the townhouses to occupy some 88,000 square feet, more than four times the as-of-right yield of 17,176 square feet.

Mr. Collins could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.

The report also calls for an alternative to the proposed 10-foot-tall noise blocking wall along the property line to protect the character of the townhouse complex, and making the townhouses available for rent or fractional ownership to support the tourism and hospitality industries. The document also seeks to mitigate projected increases in traffic in the area—Montauk Highway at Canoe Place Road has the highest crash rate in the area, according to Mr. Collins’s report. His study notes that adding more traffic delays “will only exacerbate this problem.”

Another issue raised was the actual “public benefit” of the boardwalk component, which would be built on the southern part of the canal-side property. That proposal does not satisfy the town’s desire to have a public access promenade along the whole waterfront, according to the review, and the boardwalk was quantified as a loss to the appraised value of the land. Mr. Collins suggested that the Rechlers explore an alternative public benefit component, which is one of the requirements of a PDD.

The Town Board closed the public hearing on the DEIS on December 17 but left open the hearing on the requested change of zone for the three properties. The fifth public hearing on the proposed zoning change was held Tuesday evening and adjourned until Tuesday, February 11, after a number of residents shared their concerns.

After the hearing, Mitchell Rechler said the comments shared Tuesday were similar to the issues that have been raised time and again during the past six months. He said that he, his cousin and their consultants will review the town’s comments before crafting a response.

“We’re gonna look at the whole thing and address everything,” Mr. Rechler said, adding that he just received the town’s comments so he doesn’t know what exact changes will be made in the FEIS. He also couldn’t say when his firm’s response will be ready.

Shinnecock Hills resident Hope Sandrow took to the podium Tuesday to express concerns that the townhouse development will diminish the quality of life for her and her neighbors because of the increased traffic in the area and the restricted view of the canal.

Ms. Sandrow said the town should focus its revitalization efforts for Hampton Bays along the Main Street corridor by building a housing development in that area and using Good Ground Park as the focal point of a more walkable community.

“I’m very much against taking what our forefathers saw as resort maritime use [property] and making it housing use,” she said. “It seems foolish, it wrecks the use of the waterways for ourselves and for others, and it changes it forever. And once you change it, it never goes back.”

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Among the 37 items addressed in the report, Mr. Collins suggested that the Rechlers create “a conceptual design alternative that reduces the massing and scale of the proposed townhouses to fit better into the site and surroundings.”

Couldn't agree more.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 14 2:16 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Soundview (89), Hampton bays on Jan 29, 14 2:39 PM
Psshhh we don't gotta worry bout no stinkin' nitrogen because the pollution will be spread between the Peconic AND Shinnecock! /sarcasm

Thanks for the post
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 14 2:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
I know this is not a wetland... still its relevant. IMO
By Soundview (89), Hampton bays on Jan 29, 14 2:41 PM
You post above may be deleted because it has a URL link in it.

Here is your quote:

"According to the report, nitrogen levels in the Island’s ground and surface water have become so critically high that it is impacting drinking water, recreational waterways, and reducing wetlands. Wetlands act as Long Island’s last line of natural defense against disasters such as Superstorm Sandy. Stony Brook professor Chris Gobler told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera that the new water ...more
By PBR (4906), Southampton on Jan 29, 14 2:47 PM
2 members liked this comment
Oops... Thanks PBR for posting the quote... Thats my point.
By Soundview (89), Hampton bays on Jan 29, 14 5:06 PM
Thank you, Kyle. Finally, a Town official not in Developers Pockets.

By Draggerman (883), Southampton on Jan 29, 14 8:55 PM
I don't believe the developer should address Mr. Collins concerns until they first satisfactorily explain why they believe this property should in any way, shape or form be rezoned from Resort Waterfront Business, recognized in the Town's Master Plan as vital to the community, to any type of residential development.
By VOS (1173), WHB on Jan 30, 14 1:25 AM
2 members liked this comment
"The current proposal, which was submitted in June, calls for the townhouses to occupy some 88,000 square feet, more than four times the as-of-right yield of 17,176 square feet."

Where is the public benefit to allow such a gross over building on a waterfront sensitive parcel? Its ironic that the County Exec and others want to protect the water, yet such an inflated application on the waterfront is even being considered. The Rechlers knew what they were buying, let them build "as of right" ...more
By North Sea Citizen (528), North Sea on Jan 30, 14 11:18 AM
3 members liked this comment
The benefit is in the perception that we are not just a run down town of old fisherman and illegals who live "West of the Canal" but instead a true part of the Hampton's with restaurants and the best waterfront for hundreds of miles.... Seize the moment and stop letting a few people that are scared of there property taxes going up ruin what could be our big chance. The last few years the restaurants are coming the people are coming and a few holdouts who live up on a hill are trying to put there ...more
By 27dan (2657), Southampton on Jan 30, 14 11:51 AM
1 member liked this comment
Hey dan - this plan GETS RID OF the restaurants that are currently on the canal that are a huge attraction. It privatizes the east side of the canal (aside from a silly little boardwalk that is wildly impractical for any legimate use or enjoyment).

The whole point of RWB is to promote businesses that utilize their location along the waterfront. Housing simply takes it away from the general public. Maybe for an encore the Rechler's can buy Cowfish and turn the restaurant into condos, ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 30, 14 12:00 PM
2 members liked this comment
It is me understanding the the new town house would also have a restaurant if true I am sure it would be one that is more elegant then the one those folks on the hill always complained about cow is great Tide runners was dilapidated
By 27dan (2657), Southampton on Jan 30, 14 12:18 PM
Your understanding is dead wrong! There is no restaurant component in the plan and no reason to take commercial uses from this property. Resort Waterfront Business is a benefit to the community as a draw for tourism and leisure time activity for all.

"Elegance" is not a characteristic many look for in a waterside restaurant and the casual concept has worked in that location for over fifty years, why change it? Calling Tiderunners "dilapidated" flies in the face of reality; I suspect ...more
By VOS (1173), WHB on Jan 30, 14 12:35 PM
I think they should take longer to decide what to do. The graffiti is real attractive. Its hard to believe some of this discussion is till going on after all this time. Bottom line is that the Town really doesn't want to make a final decision.
By The Real World (359), southampton on Jan 31, 14 12:58 PM
To date the Rechlers have not made any significant changes to the idiotic plan dreamed up by the Historical Socity and the Rechlers. I have been to four town meetings on the subject and keep hearing the same version of the original plan. The majority of the people in Hampton Bays have said they want the development on the Canoe Place Inn site and want to keep restaurants or waterfront businesses on the environmentally sensitive east side of the canal. they also say they don't want the nitrix system ...more
By Ernie (85), Hampton Bays on Jan 31, 14 7:40 PM
If there is no plan for a restaurant then I must have heard wrong,

But regardless these gentleman have been very patient and they do have property rights, they are the legal owners and have been jerked around now for 6 years,

Problem is Mr. Spellman, As you know the original plan WAS for development on the Canoe Place Inn site but then the whole "Save the Dump" champaign started.and the Rechlers rolled with it in my opinion beyond what most would have done.

Jack Capone ...more
Feb 2, 14 11:36 PM appended by 27dan
Jack Capone said the place should have been condemned and razed years ago. It seems just like the Casino and Tiana Commons the game is to keep punting the ball, till the applicant gets exhausted and gives up. "This side no wait that side" density studies, Cumulative Impact, GEIS,Traffic Impact Studies,PMD's Nitrex systems,The endless statments of how my Grandmothers Grandmother came here on the Santa Maria and built her house out of wet wood form the ships hull. ,Bla Bla Bla Meanwhile, After spending a few hundred thousand these man are right back where they started. I can think of a few canal side culprits right now that seem to be immune to DEC checks for some reason, but these guys propose a state of the art waste system and somehow are called out as villains ??? I for one welcome you Rechlers and thank you for all you hard work patients and consideration At the end of the day, All this and the town is still the red headed step child of the Hampton's, This place needs an image lift that these man are willing to finance,,, be careful before they too are convinced this place is just full illegals and hard headed old fisherman who clam to be your "buddie" Becuse they just might and Pick up there ball and go home
By 27dan (2657), Southampton on Jan 31, 14 11:36 PM
"But regardless these gentleman have been very patient and they do have property rights, they are the legal owners and have been jerked around now for 6 years"

They sure do have property rights - would love to see them build within those rights, but the Rechler's have no idea what that means. Always asking for more more more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Feb 4, 14 3:14 PM
Ditto. Call their bluff . . .
By PBR (4906), Southampton on Feb 4, 14 4:37 PM
Dear Jack you have the wrong Ernie. The save the dump campaign was started by the Hampton Bays Historical Socity and was a stupid idea from the beginning. The 50,000sqft CPI has been neglected by its owners and appears to be beyond repair assuming the Rechler's budget of $3,000,000. The original Rechler plan for the CPI was to tear the dump down and build 75 time shares which was over kill and called for about triple the as of right density allows for the site. The new plan calls for overbuilding ...more
By Ernie (85), Hampton Bays on Feb 1, 14 7:43 PM
I can't wait until the Rechlers throw in the towel and Hampton Bays gets what it deserve. ZERO! The best waterfront on the east coast is being ruined by local yocals thinking they know best. The opponents of the Rechlers plan sound so ignorant.
By chief1 (2659), southampton on Feb 5, 14 8:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
If the Rechlers propose a plan that leaves the east side of the canal zoned as is and propose developing the townhouses or time shares on the CPI site it would receive more support. The only opposition will come from the small group of people who represent the Hampton Bays Historical Society. Thousands of people have signed the petitions asking that Tide Runners remain in business and keep the site available to the public as Resort Waterfront Business zoned property. Remember what the Historical ...more
By Ernie (85), Hampton Bays on Feb 13, 14 7:03 PM