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Jan 14, 2019 11:18 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Zachary Epley, Former Mayor’s Son, Enjoys New Position On Southampton Village Planning Board

Zachary Epley in front of Southampton Village Hall. ANISAH ABDULLAH
Jan 15, 2019 2:16 PM

Three months into his new role as a Southampton Village Planning Board member, Zachary Epley, the eldest son of former Mayor Mark Epley, sees himself staying there for a long time.

Mr. Epley, 31, has lived in Southampton Village his entire life and said he has always been interested in joining a village board. When he saw an opening on the Planning Board—a result of former board member Steve Lemanski resigning in July—he decided to pursue the opportunity.

In a unanimous decision by the Village Board, Mr. Epley was appointed in October to finish out the term, which expires on June 30. He said he hopes to be reappointed for the following full, five-year term.

“Zach was the individual we chose because he had a good background in what is required in planning. He’s a young guy and a big contributor to the village,” Mayor Michael Irving said. “He’s been doing very well. There have been a lot of positive comments and thoughts that he has given to the Planning Board, and I think he’s been a good choice.”

He gained experience reviewing site plans and surveys through his job as corporate director of support services at Seafield Center, the Westhampton Beach rehab facility run by his father. During his eight years there, he worked on development projects similar to those he would be reviewing as a Planning Board member.

“I’m excited for Zach to get on the Planning Board,” his father said. “He’s very smart, understands development, can read plans and give good feedback. I think he will be a fantastic member of that board.”

In addition to that, the younger Mr. Epley said that his familiarity with the village makes him suitable for this position. “I love the village. My whole family does,” he said. “We want to do what we can for the community. Giving back has always been preached to us.”

Mr. Epley comes from a family of community leaders. In addition to his father, who was the village mayor for 12 years until 2017, a brother, Chris Epley, is the chief of the Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance; a brother, Nick Epley, is president of the board of directors for the Heart of the Hamptons, the local charity; and a brother-in-law, Rick Fowler, is captain of Southampton Fire Department’s Agawam Engine Company.

“He grew up in a household where public service was a big piece, and he’s continuing that, as my other kids are,” his father said. “It’s nice to see young people in their late 20s, early 30s, who are dedicating their lives to public service—and I’m even more proud that my kids are doing that.”

As a Planning Board member, Mr. Epley said he wants to make sure to preserve the character and history of the village while also staying open to new ideas that would benefit the community.

“I’m still a new member, but I hope to keep the village in the same place it kind of is,” he said. “Grow and develop with the changing times, as well as preserve the classiness and historic qualities that make Southampton, Southampton.

“You have to be really careful with applications that come in,” he continued. “It’s not about what’s happening now, but how is this going to affect the street over the next 20, 30, 40 years. There is a historic value that we’ve been able to maintain and keep.”

Along with this community role, Mr. Epley has been involved in the community in other ways, as well. He volunteers as a firefighter with the Southampton Fire Department; is on the board of directors for ASCEND Homes and Community Foundation, a Southampton-based affordable housing nonprofit; and was recently appointed to the Southampton Youth Services Board of Directors. He previously coached baseball and football at Southampton High School before the births of his three children, the oldest of whom is 3 years old.

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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By deepchanel (67), Hampton Bays on Jan 17, 19 9:35 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By deepchanel (67), Hampton Bays on Jan 17, 19 9:41 AM
By sgt202 (74), Hampton Bays on Jan 17, 19 10:04 AM
A good background in planning? Hes a school teacher. lol more incestuous bliss
By chief1 (2605), southampton on Jan 17, 19 1:11 PM
Zach works for Seafield.

By Draggerman (861), Southampton on Jan 18, 19 9:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
What a joke.
By bigblue84 (74), Hampton Bays on Jan 17, 19 4:34 PM
First he gets a property off main st for $500,000 and a now a job.. must be nice daddy was the former mayor
By bigblue84 (74), Hampton Bays on Jan 17, 19 8:06 PM
By bigfresh (4045), north sea on Jan 18, 19 11:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
Yea, I mean, if I got a ludicrously cheap (read fishy) deal on a Main Street property that needed renovations, and had big plans for the building as detailed by the local press, I’m pretty positive I’d be enjoying my time on the planning board too!
By Brandon Quinn (174), Hampton Bays on Jan 18, 19 4:19 PM
99% of the comments posted here are totally false. You all sound like a bunch of babies. I grew up with the Epley’s they are a great family. Good for Zach I’m sure he’ll do a great job.
By Yianni22 (1), Center moriches on Jan 19, 19 6:51 AM
1 member liked this comment
Even the worst Epley is really pretty good !!!
By themarlinspike (160), southampton on Jan 19, 19 7:33 AM
You call this news? This propaganda is not welcome here. You should be ashamed of yourselves down at press news group.
By icecreamman (449), Southampton on Jan 19, 19 7:42 AM
Regardless of your opinion on the appointee and his qualifications or lack thereof, a change in the makeup of the planning board is certainly news.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (5545), HAMPTON BAYS on Jan 19, 19 7:55 AM
Hahaha what a joke. Southampton is pathetic. It’s not definitely not what you know but WHO you know.
By WhoHasTheHenny (2), Town of Southampton on Jan 23, 19 6:19 AM
Hahaha what a joke. Southampton is pathetic. It’s not definitely not what you know but WHO you know.
By WhoHasTheHenny (2), Town of Southampton on Jan 23, 19 6:19 AM