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Jul 3, 2018 4:25 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Sag Harbor Village's Proposed Impound Lot Is Approved By Southampton Town Planning Board

The site of the proposed Sag Harbor Impound Lot. JON WINKLER
Jul 3, 2018 4:25 PM

A proposed impound lot for the Sag Harbor Village Police Department near the Long Pond Greenbelt lot took a step forward last week.

At a work session last Thursday, the Southampton Town Planning Board approved a site plan for the 4,800-square-foot lot on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike that Sag Harbor Village officials hope to turn into a parking lot for impounded vehicles. While this would free up space at the village’s garage on Columbia Street, local environmentalists have expressed concerns about the idea of developing property near preserved land, specifically the 1,100-acre Long Pond Greenbelt. The lot itself is owned by the village but it is also within Southampton Town lines, which is why the village is seeking approval from the Southampton Town Planning Board.

According to Dennis Finnerty, the Planning Board’s chairman, the village indicated that it was prepared to skip over Southampton Town approval by invoking what is called the Monroe exemption, under which a municipality can avoid zoning review. Whether the exemption can be applied may depend upon the nature and scope of the project, the use of the land in question, whether there are alternative locations and the degree of public interest in the land.

“We were therefore faced with the application moving forward without any conditions, or finalizing and approving the application with conditions,” Mr. Finnerty said in an email about the Planning Board’s situation. “We chose the latter, in an effort to mitigate to the greatest extent possible any environmental impacts associated with the use.”

According to the Planning Board’s resolution, the site plan received approval with a set of terms in place. The board required the village to install a six-foot-tall fence as well as gates, curbs and a special drainage system called a bioswale at the recommendation of Southampton Town engineers. The Planning Board also required the village to designate someone to ensure that none of the impounded vehicles leak any fuel, oil or chemicals. The impound lot can store no more than 20 vehicles overnight and cannot have any lighting without approval from the Planning Board. All phases of the project also require input from the Southampton Town Engineering Division.

In a continued protest of the impound lot, the Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt group started an online petition to “pressure” the village into finding a new place to put the lot as a means of protecting the environment surrounding the greenbelt. According to the announcement of the petition, the group hopes to have signatures tallied by Monday, July 9, to present to the Sag Harbor Village Board at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 10.

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Bioswales to catch oils, antifreezes? A better system to catch the run off should be used.
By knitter (1604), Southampton on Jul 4, 18 9:01 AM
1 member liked this comment
Definitely wrong application for bioswale. Biological contaminants are mitigated in bioswales, not the chemical contaminants found in oils and antifreeze. The Town Engineer should know better. Gross incompetence!
By A Great American (66), East Quogue on Jul 4, 18 3:29 PM
Do as I say, NOT AS I DO!!!
By knitter (1604), Southampton on Jul 4, 18 4:21 PM