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Jun 13, 2018 11:24 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Community Supports Lobster Inn Purchase During Public Hearing On Tuesday

Donna Lanzetta of East Quogue. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Jun 13, 2018 11:34 AM

The Town Board room in Southampton Town Hall was packed on Tuesday night with individuals supporting the town’s plan to purchase a small group of parcels that sit on nearly 10 acres in Shinnecock Hills, and which most recently housed the Lobster Grille Inn.

Officials hope to use the property as a combination of public marina, shellfish hatchery and preserved space, but possibly leaving room for a small privately-owned restaurant.

A pair of public hearings were held on the proposed land acquisition—one on the town’s purchase, and another to purchase the development rights for the land that Manna Fish Farms will occupy.

The town plans to spend up to $4.6 million on its portion of the property, and up to $3 million to acquire the development rights from the other parcel.

By purchasing the development rights, it ensures that the land will always be used for aquaculture or farming purposes.

Both hearings were closed on Tuesday, and later that night Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman was authorized to go into a contract for sale for the property, which is owned by Peconic Bay Marina LLC and Peconic Bay Residence LLC.

During the public hearings, Donna Lanzetta, owner of Manna Fish Farms, urged the Town Board to go forward with the purchase. She explained that the aquaculture system would help the marine environment and she hopes for it to be used for education purposes for students at East Quogue Elementary.

Aquaculture is used to produce an environmentally responsible source of food—with no chemicals—and it helps to create healthier habitats and to help rebuild stocks of threatened or endangered species.

Some of the fish in her fish farm will include Striped bass, steelhead trout and seed kelp schools.

A farmhouse on the property—which is in a residential zone—will house interns and or visiting scientists as needed. Ms. Lanzetta stressed on Tuesday night that it will never be rented out to the public.

“It’s not going to be any kind of party or group house or anything like that,” Ms. Lanzetta said.

She will be purchasing a 4.75-acre piece of the property for $843,000, she said.

Several members of the public, including people who live in homes neighboring the property, stood in support of the project during the public hearings. They liked that the property would be preserved to protect the environment and that a small seafood restaurant would operate on the property.

Some concerns were aired about potential water contamination from the farming, but Ms. Lanzetta was quick to qualm those fears. She reassured the public that she would be operating a “zero discharge system” that would not put any harmful materials into the water.

If the town didn’t purchase the property, the land would have been at risk for the development. A listing for the property—held by David Donohue of Douglas Elliman in Southampton—markets the property as a “development opportunity with options,” noting that the land could house 13 luxury homes or 25 townhouses.

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Yes, yes & yes.
By johnj (1019), Westhampton on Jun 13, 18 12:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
Town pays 4.6m and she buys it for 843 thousand??? Numbers don't match. Can she sell it later for a profit, Jay a stock holder???
By knitter (1898), Southampton on Jun 13, 18 1:08 PM
Terrible idea, the CPF should be required to pay real estate taxes on any purchase equal to the current taxes at time of purchase. Every time they take a property off the tax rolls, WE THE TAXPAYERS have to make up for the loss of tax revenue.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Jun 13, 18 3:26 PM
stop buying commercial property that's not what cod was set up for.
By chief1 (2784), southampton on Jun 13, 18 3:45 PM
3 members liked this comment
When we've run out of agricultural land and open space to acquire, what else is left?

Do you start your brain, before putting your mouth in gear?
By Mr. Z (11670), North Sea on Jun 13, 18 9:00 PM
So your in-gear reasoning is that because the specified use of CPF funds is impaired by a lack of open space to preserve, they should repurpose the money something else, you know, like a nice (privately run) hatchery and a restaurant? When you come across a steaming, stinking pile of ego you'll always find a turd at it's center.

By NateNewtown (99), east on Jun 13, 18 9:40 PM
New York Consolidated Laws, Town Law - TWN § 64-e. Peconic Bay region community preservation funds

4. Preservation of community character shall involve one or more of the following:  (a) establishment of parks, nature preserves, or recreation areas;  (b) preservation of open space, including agricultural lands provided, however, that farm buildings and structures used for the marketing of farm products produced on such agricultural lands where at least fifty percent ...more
By Mr. Z (11670), North Sea on Jun 13, 18 9:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
Great another restaurant on Town owned land! That's at least four now. Let's see, there was Conscience Point and then there was Hot Dog Beach. Then putting one at Ponquogue when that gets renovated and now at the Lobster Inn. Did I leave any out?

I wonder how much income they are producing for the Town now?
By VOS (1230), WHB on Jun 14, 18 2:28 AM
... is the fish farmer buying the property from the town or from the previous owner?
By William Rodney (558), southampton on Jun 14, 18 11:58 AM
most of your questions can be easily answered by just reading the article that you're commenting on.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (741), southampton on Jun 19, 18 3:01 PM
... maybe you could answer my question since I cant seem to find the answer in the article.
By William Rodney (558), southampton on Jun 19, 18 3:47 PM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island