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Aug 19, 2009 1:18 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village to hold public hearing on rezoning of possible affordable housing sites

Aug 19, 2009 1:18 PM

The Southampton Village Board has set a public hearing for Thursday, September 10, to take public comment on a proposed law that would rezone vacant village-owned lots on Bailey Road so that they can be developed into affordable housing.

The three lots, which are contiguous and total 1.64 acres, are currently in the R-40 district, which requires that a lot be at least 40,000 square feet in size, a builder’s acre, to put a single-family house on it. Under the proposed zoning change, the lots and a fourth privately owned lot would be rezoned into the R-20 district, which has a 20,000-square-foot minimum.

The change would allow for as many as three affordable single-family residences.

Suffolk County seized the three adjacent parcels in 2001 when the owners defaulted on their taxes and handed the land over to the village, which was given three years to establish plans for affordable housing at the site. Twice, the village was granted a two-year extension and now the second extension is set to expire in September.

Now that the Village Board showed some movement on affordable housing, the lots should remain in the village’s hands. If the September deadline passed and the board had taken no action on the properties, the county would have revoked them and either auctioned them to the highest bidder or built affordable housing there itself.

Mayor Mark Epley has said that he wants the village to have control over who will qualify to live in the housing, so letting the county develop the properties is not a favorable option. The mayor said the village will work with the Long Island Housing Partnership to build housing on the lots and the Village Board will ensure that the housing goes to the right people—teachers, volunteer fire department and ambulance members, doctors, hospital workers and police officers.

Local architect John David Rose has volunteered his time to design the houses, Mr. Epley noted, adding that the village is seeking builders who work in the village frequently to donate their services too.

The public hearing will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 10, at Village Hall.

Brendan O’Reilly

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