meghan heckman, 2019 election

Story - News

May 20, 2019 4:03 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Looks To Finalize Hampton Bays Overlay District

Downtown Hampton Bays. PRESS FILE
May 21, 2019 2:04 PM

Southampton Town officials are taking strides to revitalize Hampton Bays.

The Town Board is proposing an amendment to the hamlet’s downtown overlay district to include four distinct zoning districts.

The proposed design parameters will help to encourage a variety of retail stores, restaurants, offices, service-related businesses, hotels, and cultural, recreational and assisted living facilities, according to a draft version of the plan.

The four proposed districts include the central downtown district, a transition district, an edge district and open space—each of which is specifically designed to enhance the hamlet, according to officials.

The new districts are being proposed as an amendment to the 2017 Hampton Bays Downtown Overlay District Pattern Book—a guidance document that supersedes Southampton Town zoning code.

In 2016, town officials hired consultants with Historical Concepts to create the pattern book using feedback from several community outreach campaigns, consisting of public workshops and online surveys with local residents, business owners and landowners. The pattern book was finalized in June 2017.

The main purpose of the proposed central downtown district is to create a walkable main street near the intersection of Montauk Highway and Ponquogue Avenue. The district also includes areas east of Montauk Highway and Good Ground Road.

“People want to walk the nice downtowns—people in Hampton Bays feel like we’re a drive-through town. Everyone’s on their way to somewhere,” hamlet resident and Southampton Town Councilwoman Julie Lofstad said. “You have to move in the direction that society wants you to move. Walkable downtowns—you see it in East Hampton and Southampton and Sag Harbor—we have a lot of the same beautiful resources as any other hamlet, and to get more people in our downtown, it’s just another piece of that puzzle to revitalize Hampton Bays.”

The form-based code explains that the Central Downtown District is intended to be the core pedestrian shopping and mixed-use area of Hampton Bays, featuring wide sidewalks, commercial storefronts “along and close to the sidewalk,” and hidden parking lots. Residential units are permitted, but only if located above ground-level commercial spaces.

Additionally, buildings are limited to two and a half stories, a maximum height of 35 feet, and are required to be built at a minimum of 5 feet from the front and side street property line.

Developers looking to build in the proposed transition district—which encompasses the western sections on either side of Montauk Highway up until the intersection of Springville Road and Good Ground Road—would be bound by the same height requirements. However, the required frontage build-out, or distance from the property line, is less than in the central downtown district.

Frontage build out in the transition zone ranges from a minimum of 10 feet to a maximum of 15 feet from the front and side street property line.

The primary intent of the district is to provide a commercial area that acts as a transition to the hamlet’s surrounding residential neighborhoods. Allowable uses are mainly limited to office spaces, with some mixed-use residential and limited retail uses.

Multifamily residential dwellings are permitted in this zone as a principal use, but townhouse and rowhouse buildings are not permitted on Montauk Highway.

The edge district is made up primarily of residential dwellings, including duplex, triplex and fourplex buildings. The primary intent is to create a transitional zone between the central downtown district and the hamlet’s outlying residential areas, near the intersection of Squiretown Road and the entrance to Bishop Ryan Village apartments.

Buildings in this zone must be built at a minimum of 30 feet and a maximum of 40 feet from the front and side street property line.

Southampton Town Director of Planning and Development Kyle Collins, who completed a supplemental environmental study under the State Environmental Quality Review Act in April 2018, explained in the study that the proposed zone changes would, however, have an impact on the hamlet’s surrounding areas.

According to town documents, 5 percent of the overlay district consists of “gentle to moderately steep” slopes, ranging from 11 to 15 percent gradients, whereas 3 percent of the district is characterized as having “steep” slopes of greater than 15 percent.

Currently, those slopes are located in undeveloped wooded areas. However, if approved, the zone changes encompass those sites as potential development areas.

“Impacts and constraints from moderate and/or steep slopes, including required clearing, filling or grading … should be further assessed,” Mr. Collins wrote.

Additionally, he raised concerns that the proposed increase in impervious surfaces, due to increase parking lots, sidewalks and side streets, could potentially generate additional stormwater runoff, noting that they should be further evaluated.

He also recommended installing an advanced wastewater treatment facility to accommodate the anticipated increase in flow from more businesses and residential units.

Potable water is also a concern, according to Mr. Collins’s report. He explained that new or expanded development could potentially put a strain on the hamlet’s current water supply. The director recommended reaching out to the Hampton Bays Water District to discuss potential water conservation measures.

The potential increase in sidewalks, alleys, parking lots, new buildings and building additions could also affect the combined 10.3-acre coastal oak-hickory woodlands located within the overlay district, and home to wildlife and plant species.

Although a preliminary field investigation found no signs of rare plants or animals, Mr. Collins recommended reaching out to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Natural Heritage Program to further assess any ecological impacts.

Additionally, he noted that a transportation and traffic study was warranted to analyze the impact the revitalized downtown would have on key intersections.

The Southampton Town Board is holding a public hearing at 1 p.m. on June 11 at Town Hall to hear from community members regarding the proposed zoning changes.

The amendment would then be adopted or denied by the Town Board pursuant to the public hearing. The town anticipates holding a final vote in February, according to the Southampton Town website.

“I think a lot of the businesses and developers interested in developing in Hampton Bays—they’re waiting on this,” Ms. Lofstad said. “I’m just hoping that it does what we think it’s going to do.”

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

I really can't listen/read this gibberish from the Town anymore. Three (3) years ago they hired a consultant to put together a book of pretty pictures of the way buildings are supposed to look which still hasn't been completed. This assumes that the the banks and commercial building owners are going to tear down their buildings to build to look pretty. There are a few lots that were purchased for redevelopment but can't really be developed without some sort of sewer system. None of us should ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (550), Hampton Bays on May 20, 19 5:54 PM
It seems you complain a lot but what are your solutions? You want to revitalize HB but you don't want any more development. So what's the answer? The long range planning is trying to facilitate a balance of sensible development, which has resulted in revitalization in many other areas. Do you want HB to look like Route 58 or Main Street Sag Harbor?
By eagleeye (81), Sag Harbor on May 21, 19 8:53 AM
2 members liked this comment
I have worked with several economic development projects and this one starting three years ago was dead int he water when it started. They need to go back to the drawing board and start with people that know what they are doing not the academic planners at the Town, a consultant from the south and the handful of community members that want to go skipping through GGP licking a 5 cent ice cream cone. I too am for smart development - which this is NOT for HB.
By G.A.Lombardi (550), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 11:33 AM
Hampton Bays was ruined when it became the hamlet of choice for illegal immigrants. This laughable attempt the bring back HB is nothing more than lipstick on a pig.
By Babyboo (292), Hampton Bays on May 20, 19 6:52 PM
This administration has a hard time differentiating between the facts, truth and their fictional narrative. People are so desperate for positive change, that the Board preys on the residents of HB like medicine mean/women at a Carnival. I swear I hear the carnival music every time there is a meeting with any of them present. Councilperson Scalera is the exception. It is to the detriment of the entire Town that she is not running for Town Supervisor.
By G.A.Lombardi (550), Hampton Bays on May 20, 19 7:00 PM
Hampton bays needs all the help we can get. I heard people have been given two weeks to get out of bel aire which is nice in one way. But I feel bad for the people that have no where to go.
By bigblue84 (89), Hampton Bays on May 20, 19 7:56 PM
so the plan is more density ?

...walkable to what? this plan seems to be a bit utopian
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (740), southampton on May 20, 19 8:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
Allowable uses are mainly limited to office spaces, with some mixed-use residential and limited retail uses.

Multi-family residential dwellings are permitted in this zone as a principal use, but townhouse and rowhouse buildings are not permitted on Montauk Highway.

The Edge District is made up primarily of residential dwellings, including duplex, triplex and fourplex buildings. The primary intent is to create a transitional zone between the central downtown district and the ...more
By bb (910), Hampton Bays on May 20, 19 11:32 PM
This plan is an accident waiting to happen to allow for additional resident units. HB doesn't need any "de facto" affordable housing.
By G.A.Lombardi (550), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 6:50 AM

Step 1: Condemn diner property, demolish the eyesore, create HAMPTON BAYS WELCOME CENTER: tourist info; Jitney stop; rest rooms; beach shuttle, etc...

Step 2: Continue road to RR tracks where it picks up Good Ground Rd. extension (news flash: Town owns 50’ right of way along tracks all the way to Springville)

Step 3: Coordinated traffic signal at Good Ground/Springville intersection.
(c’mon folks—you know we need it)

That’s ...more
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on May 21, 19 6:53 AM
1 member liked this comment
BB84 - I obtained the Bel-Aire contract via FOIL:. The seller should have issued 30 day notices since the tenants were on a month to month basis. The Town can buy the property with 3 units occupied as long as the seller has started the process of evocation in 180 days. This situation is not going on anytime soon. BTW - this is only one of several motels.
May 21, 19 6:56 AM appended by G.A.Lombardi
should be eviction - not evocation..
By G.A.Lombardi (550), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 6:56 AM
Thanks For the info Lombardi
By bigblue84 (89), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 7:18 AM
Jay stated at the April CAC meeting that the building should be demolished within 180 day....I guess he never really stated 180 from when....I think it is when h*ll freezes over....I hope I am wrong, but I suspect he will have some excuse just before his potential re-election as to why is in in demolition. Have you seen the other motel on Montauk Highway that recently exchanged hands? Tons of cars parked there....
By G.A.Lombardi (550), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 8:46 AM
180 days from April is October. I would think the earliest eviction is after the end of the school year because evicting school age children from their home while they are still in elementary school would cause concern for anyone with a heart, despite the fact that the Superintendent of the Hampton Bays School District hired a politically connected up island attorney using school district funds to have them evicted. Now that's an educator.

Something will happen before the next Town election ...more
By dfree (805), hampton bays on May 21, 19 10:41 AM
Dfree, I believe the rules are that the children (whether or not still living in HB) can stay in the school for a period - I believe 2 years. I doubt anyone wants to see children disrupted unnecessarily. This has been an issue for 6 years and was caused by the Town administration not doing their jobs. These residents are being victimized over and over again. It is also not the only property like this. On your second point, have you been to any of these ridiculous meetings? It is about 20 people ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (550), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 11:25 AM
How can homeless children go to school? That's not "disrupting" them? It doesn't really matter anyway, you could reduce the Hampton Bays student population in half and we'd still have higher budgets every year. The Superintendent has "energy consultants" and "health insurance consultants" who get paid alot of money to do what exactly? Pay more money every year to the SUNY Southampton Hospital system and LIPA? They're both local monopolies and both owned by NY State -- Why should we be paying ...more
By dfree (805), hampton bays on May 21, 19 3:21 PM
Dfree, The statistics don't show that HB is majority Spanish speaking which is different than the school. There are 2,000 children in the school and about 5,000 property owners. If you do a back of the envelope calculation assuming 2 children per family, than only 1,000 or 20% of the households have children in the school district. For your other point, sadly, across the U.S. homeless children do go to school. You are taking the worse case scenario on the relocation of the families there. They ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (550), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 4:18 PM
dfree, one point I forgot, I agree that a small decrease int he number of kids won't change the spending much, but a "tipping point" over time of an increase will result in a call for some expansion and increase in staff which the residents (especially those without children in the household) can't afford or can afford but really see their financial resources better spent in another community.
By G.A.Lombardi (550), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 4:27 PM
DFREE, I have watched your comments for a period of time now. Unfortunately, you’re misinformed on a number of topics. My wife does not work for, nor earn a dollar from the HB Schools; we do not have an energy consultant, nor do we pay for a private attorney to represent us in an eviction lawsuit. The nuances of this work are far beyond the comments you make here. Your opinions of me as “an educator” are what they are; I won’t attempt to rebut.

I won’t comment ...more
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on May 24, 19 11:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
Too many cars clogging the roads. Rush hour is an abomination of wasted time and main source of air pollution. Encourage walking and biking to the train station for commuting and also for going to the beach. That means multi-use sidewalks are needed throughout town.
By Non-Political (124), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 2:02 PM
N-P, I can't agree more about the sidewalks. I come from NYC and walked everywhere. Now, that I have a vision loss, that is my primary means of getting around HB. For the most part, I am the ONLY person walking. It is hard to change a mindset. I dona't agree, however, about the bike paths. The roads are not conducive to save riding. The "bike path to nowhere" which is going to cost $1 million form GGP to Red Creek is a big waste of money. The Town acts like State money grows on trees and ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (550), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 4:23 PM
Safe bike paths for people are NOT a waste of money. Multi-use paths are wider than sidewalks and shared by people on bikes and people walking, plus they are ADA compliant. 40% of all trips by people are under 2 miles, but 98% choose to go by car. It is incredibly wasteful, polluting and lazy for a 160 pound person requiring a 5000 pound machine as transport for short trips. And kids are chauffeured to school twice daily creating long lines of idling SUV’s on a daily basis. Safe bicycle and ...more
By Non-Political (124), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 4:48 PM
I agree that if there was a possibility for SAFE bike paths, then the money is not wasted. I just walked back from voting and even though there is an alleged shoulder and bike path, I once again almost got run over by someone on a bike. The here is no SAFE connectivity. There is already a series of sidewalks that could be expanded with that money instead of spending money on wasted trails in GGP when there are 100's of miles of trains in the TOS and a bike path to no where across Old Riverhead ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (550), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 6:21 PM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island