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May 2, 2018 11:55 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Trustees Defend Agreement, Maintain Rose Hill Road Property Deal Was To Create More Access

The boat ramp at a Southampton Town Trustee property on Rose Hill, was paved as part of a maintenance agreement between the Trustees and the neighboring homeowner. GREG WEHNER
May 2, 2018 12:02 PM

Members of the Southampton Town Board of Trustees are defending a maintenance agreement between the Southampton Town Trustees and a Water Mill resident involving a piece of waterfront property that was intended for use as a public park.

“There was no ownership change,” Southampton Town Trustee Bruce Stafford said on Tuesday, a week after the board was criticized by some residents—including members of the family who donated the land for use as a park. “We did not give it away.”

But although Trustee President Ed Warner told those in attendance at a meeting on April 23 that the Trustees can get out of the agreement at any time, it does not appear that way.

Hayground Cove, which is located near the end of Rose Hill Road, is a Trustee-owned, 0.61-acre property with a boat ramp on the northern edge of Mecox Bay. The property was recently obtained by the Town Trustees from Southampton Town in a land swap for a parcel near the traffic circle in Riverside, and the intent was to create a town park.

Prior to being called Hayground Cove, Suffolk County documents show that the property was called Mecox Park when David Halsey deeded the property to Southampton Town in 1928, intending to keep it open for the public to enjoy.

But those who go down to the property today, which is located at 475 Rose Hill Road, will see that instead of being a rectangular lot with a boat ramp, it has been converted into a flag-shaped lot. Neighboring homeowner Randy Frankel was permitted, by way of a modification to the boundary line agreement, to move a line of trees to allow a circular driveway on the northwestern side of his property.

In return, Mr. Frankel agreed on February 22 to maintain the Trustee-owned property and make enhancements so that boats can be launched into Mecox Bay from the ramp.

Mr. Frankel’s responsibilities, according to the agreement, include dredging the boat ramp at least two times per year to allow people to launch boats from a trailer. Mr. Frankel also had asphalt put down from Rose Hill Road down to the ramp, as well as crushed clam shells in a parking area to the south of the ramp to allow for a permeable surface.

The sand dredged from the boat ramp, according to the agreement, is intended to be used for beach replenishment in the area. The agreement also states Mr. Frankel is responsible for obtaining all federal, state and local permits to conduct the dredging operation.

The 15-year agreement states that Mr. Frankel is also responsible for repaving the lot as needed, mowing and fertilizing the lawn, maintaining the boat ramp, trimming hedges and shrubs, and plowing the road down to the ramp.

After 15 years, the agreement is set to automatically renew, unless the Trustees or the homeowner want out of the agreement. If the Trustees intend to sell the property to a potential buyer when the 15 years is up, Mr. Frankel will have the ability to match the sale price and conditions.

According to the agreement, the only ways the Trustees can get out of this agreement with Mr. Frankel is if he does not maintain required insurance; does not comply with the federal, state, or local laws and regulations; abandons or discontinues the use of the property set by the boundary line agreements; or fails to comply with any of the provisions set forth in the agreement.

After listening to critics at the meeting on April 23, Mr. Stafford still maintains that the Trustees’ intent was positive.

“I made my decision because I thought it would benefit the public,” he said. “In hindsight, maybe we should have done more. But you can’t please everyone.”

Town Trustee Scott Horowitz said on Monday that the “endeavor and intent” was to open up more access, adding that the deal was vetted by town attorneys before the Trustees voted.

He also noted that if the homeowner encroaches on the Trustees’ land “one inch” more than what was agreed upon, all of the work could be “ripped out immediately.”

“We were trying to get a good ramp,” Mr. Horowitz said. “We were inviting more access.”

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Really Bruce?
By bigfresh (3501), north sea on May 3, 18 7:09 AM
Lies and more lies.

The deal with Frankel is done. All the public can do is vote these clowns out.





































By Draggerman (788), Southampton on May 3, 18 7:12 AM
1 member liked this comment
Draggerman. What's up with all the blank lines?
By longtimelocal (31), Southampton on May 3, 18 7:45 AM
I couldn't agree more. I am tired of the anti-environmental republicans and conservatives like Warner, Straffod, and Horowitz giving away our rights and access to the water. Bill Pell has shown he's no better. What really bothers me, as a woman and lifelong Democrat, is that our first woman elected to the Board of Trustees Ann Welker in her first major act could betray us like this. I believe there is hope for her since she's new but all of these other Trustees that have thrown there hats in ...more
By CleanWaters (69), Southampton on May 11, 18 8:30 AM
The Trustees, whose job it is to protect public's right to access waters gave the property to a private citizens so he could protect the public's right to access water?

Not one iota of this makes sense. The trustees can't put down clam shells? The board of trustees have been out of their league for eons and we are starting to be impacted by it. Please do something.
By even flow (657), East Hampton on May 3, 18 7:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
"You can't please everyone"?!? Seriously? Seems to me you only thought to please Mr. Frankel. Why didn't you involve the public in this decision? At the very least the Halsey family should have gotten a call.
By cmac (138), East Quogue on May 3, 18 7:36 AM
Just noticed that 27East posted a new article on this issue which shows what the park looks like now.

Mr Horowitz I'm encouraged by your "one inch" comment. How are you going to know if the homeowner is encroaching? Are the Trustees going to do a final land survey now that the work is done? If not, I think that they should. According to my calculations (see links in my previous posts) there should be ~33 ft. between the park's northern property line and the most northern portion of the ...more
By longtimelocal (31), Southampton on May 3, 18 7:36 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By knitter (1249), Southampton on May 3, 18 9:45 AM
Did Bruce have the lead on this since Mecox is in his area?
By bigfresh (3501), north sea on May 3, 18 11:49 AM
Who approached who on this matter ? Did the property owner approach the Trustees ?
By Ziggyq (6), Quogue on May 3, 18 12:18 PM
Bruce's ballyhoo. Did Southampton Town buildings dept ok this. The NYS DEC must have permitted the landscaping? Dredging ok'd by who?
What possessed 5 people to do this???
By knitter (1249), Southampton on May 3, 18 12:54 PM
Wow ! The next election has already been decided .
By AndersEn (149), Southampton on May 3, 18 2:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
Encroaches 1 inch? They took half the property. This was sneaky why wasn't there a public meeting? Why didn't the Halseys know? This story is 10 years old the illegal nonsense started with the first owner. Ever see a pool that close to a bulkhead? lol Corruption
By chief1 (2452), southampton on May 3, 18 3:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
This article seems to be a set up/defense piece.

I am still astonished by the claim that it was reviewed by counsel

1) they allowed an automatic renewal a/k/a evergreen clause - this only benefits the neighbor and never should have been allowed.

2) they allowed a right of first refusal - again this only benefits the neighbor as he will always get the last chance to match any price - counsel NEVER should have allowed this.

Seems the town atty rubber stamped a document ...more
By Rem1618 (9), Remsenburg on May 3, 18 3:26 PM
This article seems to be a set up/defense piece.

I am still astonished by the claim that it was reviewed by counsel

1) they allowed an automatic renewal a/k/a evergreen clause - this only benefits the neighbor and never should have been allowed.

2) they allowed a right of first refusal - again this only benefits the neighbor as he will always get the last chance to match any price - counsel NEVER should have allowed this.

Seems the town atty rubber stamped a document ...more
By Rem1618 (9), Remsenburg on May 3, 18 3:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
Was the lawyer the same one at the meeting that kept on interrupting everyone and taking up their time??? I would find out how legal this really is?
Sounds like Suffolk government... Need a loan?
By knitter (1249), Southampton on May 3, 18 3:40 PM
The Halseys now have every right to take back ty his property. They are known environmentalists and would never give prop errty away so some rich guy can expand his property. By the way the boat l as much ironically says you need a permit to use the property.
By chief1 (2452), southampton on May 3, 18 6:46 PM
They are going the way of the Boy Scouts.
By pw herman (971), southampton on May 3, 18 6:52 PM
I get sick every time I read this. I hope people don't forget this come election time.
By 1942sparky (16), Bridgehampton on May 3, 18 6:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
If the trustees still own the land that is now used as part of Randy F's driveway does that mean that residents can park there?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (504), southampton on May 4, 18 9:50 AM
LOL! Like your thinking. There's no driveway gate right now, but I can guarantee you there will be one in the very near future; however, as a stated in a previous post, there is a little sliver of public land between the road and of bubble of the circular driveway. As per the agreement, the homeowner put down nice thick sodded grass. My thinking is that the community organizes a weekly weekend tail gating barbecue. We get a couple of F350 duallys and picnic tables, maybe a live DJ, a little volley ...more
By longtimelocal (31), Southampton on May 4, 18 11:00 AM
Brilliant! We can use my truck stereo with the subwoofer...
By Draggerman (788), Southampton on May 4, 18 2:03 PM
2 members liked this comment
Town beaches will now be left open during the year round shark attack season.
By pw herman (971), southampton on May 4, 18 1:02 PM
Now the trustees can concentrate on the other other ramps, cut grass and plow snow.
What's happening at the north sea ramp?
By knitter (1249), Southampton on May 4, 18 1:36 PM
The Sea Scouts have taken over a substantial portion of the lot at the Conscience Point ramp, so much so that if there are 3 trailers parked there's not enough room to get a 20' boat and trailer turned around and pointed at the ramp, you have to BACK IN to the damn lot! How did that organization get to build their shacks, park their boats and leave assorted crap o OUR LAND?
By bigfresh (3501), north sea on May 4, 18 6:16 PM
The Halseys really should consider taking the land back , who knows what this first refusal headache will bring down the road ...
By AndersEn (149), Southampton on May 6, 18 1:04 PM
Take it back and vote out all the Trustees.
By pw herman (971), southampton on May 6, 18 2:25 PM
Did some more measuring and believe that the unagreed upon encroachment by the homeowner is worse then I originally thought. I believe that the driveway's cobble stone outline defines the agreed upon encroachment and everything or almost everything on the other side (north side) of the cobble stones is Trustee land. If this is true then all the deer fencing by the hedges, grass on the south side of the fencing, PVC control box, watering system, etc. is on Trustee, i.e. public, land. All of these ...more
By longtimelocal (31), Southampton on May 6, 18 3:47 PM
I call bull****.
By Mr. Z (10155), North Sea on May 6, 18 4:34 PM
Last posting before the meeting. Hopefully a picture is worth a thousand words. Red area shows what I believe is the unagreed upon encroached area.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AnTqKnnJSfwtgjpQc-rlV74k6WMp
By longtimelocal (31), Southampton on May 6, 18 6:49 PM
This board of trustees needs to be voted out, if they can’t fix this! it’s a disgrace what they did!
It’s beyond words, they just gave it away , no public meeting , no notifying
The community ...it’s sad that we elect people that we trust ,and they end up
Doing things behind the communities back..criminal !
They should all resign! Come the next elections they will see when some go up,for reelection ! We need a board of trustees that we can all trust , we ...more
By Globetrotter (4), Water mill on May 7, 18 6:11 PM
The WORST decision by that idiot board. Why in gods name would you give away property for no gain. Why would you give away property?
I've lost all trust in the board.
No town permits, no DEC permits. This was done with out any fore thought. Dumb lawyer didn't know it was a parcel not to be developed??? What is she paid for? Also should know robert's rules or order.
Really POOR decisions.......

By knitter (1249), Southampton on May 8, 18 11:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
Did Bruce contact the homeowner and propose this scam or did the homeowner contact the Trustees and Bruce was the point man ?? The homeowner tried this bravo Sierra with the Town and was shot down , seems as if he found a willing stooge or stooges on the Board of Trustees. Was there a political quid pro quo between the Brookhaven Conservative Party, the homeowner ( campaign contributions)and a Board member or two??!! Why were the permits seemingly fast tracked? Contact our Trustees and ask.
By bigfresh (3501), north sea on May 8, 18 4:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
Bruces Folly, Really.....
By knitter (1249), Southampton on May 8, 18 5:34 PM
A member of the ZBA who is also an atty represented the homeowner. Hmmmm?
By chief1 (2452), southampton on May 10, 18 2:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
The Board voted unanimously. Don't just blame Bruce. Blame Warner, Pell, Welker, and especially Horowitz. Horowitz thinks he's the smart one up there and he knew what he was doing when he orchestrated giving away our land. That's why he's the first one to lash out at anyone that was there to speak out against this on Monday. The Trustees need to be disbanded.
By Gillnetter (95), Hampton Bays on May 11, 18 8:21 AM
After yesterday's meeting the question still remains, Bruce, did the homeowner come to you with his idea for this scam or did you go to him and propose it?! June 18 , 6 PM Trustee meeting!
By bigfresh (3501), north sea on May 22, 18 5:47 AM
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