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Jan 3, 2018 11:25 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Special Election Set For Creation Of North Sea Beach Erosion District

Residents of the North Sea Beach Colony neighborhood will vote on March 3 to decide if they want to tax themselves to help rebuild the community’s private beach.   PRESS FILE
Jan 3, 2018 11:32 AM

The residents of a North Sea neighborhood will head to the polls on March 3 to decide if they want to tax themselves to help rebuild their community’s private beach.

Homeowners of the North Sea Beach Colony neighborhood—which features 62 houses, including a dozen that overlook Little Peconic Bay—will be eligible to cast ballots at Southampton Town Hall on the proposed creation of a beach erosion control district. Absentee ballots will be available so summer residents can participate.

If the measure passes, homeowners will tax themselves to generate approximately $406,000 over five years to finance the restoration and future maintenance of North Sea Beach. According to the town’s estimates, the beach, which runs about 1,400 linear feet and sits at the terminus of North Sea Road, loses roughly 7,500 cubic yards of sand annually.

Under the proposed erosion district, the community’s 12 waterfront homeowners would pay a tax rate of $1.10 per $1,000 of assessed valuation—about 40 cents, or 57 percent, more than inland homeowners. Therefore, an average waterfront house assessed at $1.2 million would pay an additional $1,320 per year in beach erosion control district taxes, according to town officials.

At the same time, those who own homes in the neighborhood but do not overlook the water would see a tax rate increase to 70 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Therefore, a property assessed at $700,000 would pay an additional $490 per year in beach erosion control district taxes.

It was not immediately clear when the taxing would start if the district is created.

At a recent Town Board meeting, Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said that a significant number of North Sea Beach Colony homeowners approached board members in recent years asking for permission to create a coastal erosion district. “I think they have earned the right to put this in front of them,” he said.

Board members applauded the community for stepping up and offering to foot the bill for the beach rebuilding work.

“This is democracy,” Councilman John Bouvier said. “This is what this group of homeowners wants to do.”

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