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Hamptons Life

Nov 19, 2015 4:04 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Lauer Asks For Second Extension On New Landscape Plan

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Nov 19, 2015 6:32 PM

“Today Show” host Matt Lauer asked the Southampton Town Planning Board for another extension before making a decision about a proposal to screen his horse farm. The deadline, which had originally been extended to November 19, is now December 10.

Mr. Lauer is working on a new landscaping plan that is addressing concerns expressed by neighbors.

“They need time to work on the landscape plan pursuant to what they’re working on with neighbors,” town planner Claire Vail explained.

At a public hearing before the Planning Board in July, Mr. Lauer, who owns the Water Mill farm with his wife Annette, said that it needs screening. Noise from neighboring properties spooks and startles his horses, putting riders at risk, he argued.

He proposed planting 42 trees and 194 shrubs along the northern boundary of Bright Side Farm, which runs along Deerfield Road. The trees would serve as a buffer for the trail, Mr. Lauer said. Specifically, they would serve to protect horses and riders from noise emanating from the backyard of Jack and Jodi Wasserman, whose house on Farrell Court is the closest to Bright Side and borders the site of the proposed landscaping.

At the time, the Wassermans argued that the trees would obstruct their view of Bright Side’s open space. They also said it would violate the terms of an easement that went into effect when Southampton Town bought the development rights for the Lauer property, as well as a condition set by the Planning Board in 2012 that views of the horse farm should be maintained.

“They’re working on a plan that works with the covenant so that they’re not blocking views of the agricultural reserve,” Ms. Vail said.

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