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Sep 12, 2017 5:42 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hearing On Gin Lane Project Closed; Decision Expected Within 30 Days By Southampton Village ARB

The hearing on a project at 24 and 28 Gin Lane was closed by the Southampton Village Board of Architectural Review and Historic Preservation on Monday.
Sep 12, 2017 5:52 PM

After multiple public hearings and countless changes to plans for a massive compound being proposed on Gin Lane in the historic district of Southampton Village, a decision could be made on the project in the next 30 days.

The Southampton Village Board of Architectural Review and Historic Preservation decided Monday to close the hearings on a 14,561-square-foot house being proposed for 28 Gin Lane, that also includes a 5,055-square-foot guest house on the adjacent property at 24 Gin Lane.

Monday’s vote to close the hearings, which sets the stage for a final vote on the project, was not unanimous.

Board member Jeffrey Brodlieb objected, saying he wanted more time to review new material that was submitted into the record just before the meeting by Amityville-based attorney Richard Handler, who represents a group of residents who oppose the project.

When the board last met on August 28, three of the five members—Curtis Highsmith, chairman of the ARB, as well as Brian Brady and Christina Redding—were ready to close the hearing at that time, based on plans that had already been submitted. They decided to keep it open to allow Mr. Handler time to submit his arguments in written form.

Mr. Brodlieb said closing the hearing without having time to review Mr. Handler's arguments on such a high-profile application was premature. “It’s a miscarriage of our responsibility as a board,” he said.

Village Attorney Wayne Bruyn pointed out that by closing the public record, Mr. Brodlieb and the rest of the board will have 30 days to review the material that was submitted before they issue a written decision.

Board members also may deliberate on the application, though it is not required. If board members do deliberate, Mr. Bruyn said, it must be done in front of the public and not behind closed doors.

Board member Susan Stevenson also objected to closing the hearing, while the other three members voted to move on with the process.

The next ARB meeting is September 25.

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