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Nov 14, 2017 3:40 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Town Will Extend Wainscott Moratorium

Nov 14, 2017 5:17 PM

East Hampton Town plans to extend a moratorium on commercial redevelopment projects in the Wainscott business district for another six months as it awaits the final drafts of recommendations from last year’s hamlet studies.

Although the main catalyst for the moratorium—a proposal for a car wash at the business district’s western edge—has apparently died on the vine, town planning officials recommended that the moratorium be extended to allow consultants to finish working on the final proposal for each of the town’s five hamlet areas.

Town Planning Director Marguerite Wolffsohn said that the recommendations would likely be done by January, but the town would still need some time to work on adopting them into the town’s guiding Comprehensive Plan.

The Wainscott moratorium applies to commercially zoned properties in the hamlet business district and a handful of properties in residential zones along Montauk Highway that are currently occupied by grandfathered commercial uses. It bars any applications for new development or redevelopment on those properties.

Before the moratorium was adopted, residents and town officials worried that commercial projects could be approved before the recommendations from the hamlet study, which were well received in Wainscott. Most pressing was the proposal for a car wash at the property formerly occupied by the Star Room nightclub, which drew torrents of fierce criticism from residents who hope to see the hamlet’s highway-side downtown start to evolve away from its piecemeal mix of commercial trade and service businesses.

Last month, the town proposed purchasing and preserving the nightclub property, heading off any plans to develop it.

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