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UPDATE: No Restraining Order Issued Between Westhampton Beach School And Killoran Family

Lost in all of this is the question of what is the right thing to do. The school district seems 100% focused on keeping Aiden out. This after telling parents of kids with special needs to "be patient" at a board meeting last Spring. When I asked what we are being patient for, I only heard crickets chirping. The long and short of it being WHB school doesn't seem interested in considering educating kids with special needs in house. Those who accept that may want to do some deep thinking on their position. Those who put their efforts into fighting to keep the status quo may want to question whether or not they are fighting a just cause. Those pushing for acceptance and integration have history on their side as well as the support of any human being with an ounce of compassion in their hearts. Open the doors to Aiden and all the other kids that want to be accepted. If you don't, live with knowing that you were directly responsible for telling kids with special needs that you reject them. As far as I'm concerned, that's what this fight is about. I know what side I'm on. " Aug 31, 15 8:51 AM

Bird, I typically do not engage in online debate or arguing. However, This subject is close to my heart as I have a 3rd grader on the autism spectrum. At this time, the trajectory is my son also being outsourced when the time comes. I'd be more than happy to create a dialogue with WHBSD and I'm not alone. I don't see any indication that they want to work towards integration. That troubles me. We can talk about the economics, logistics, or whatever else pertains to the topic. WHBSD accepts tuition paying kids from Remsenburg. That's great. So we are united and a community, right? Apparently not if your child has special needs. They go somewhere else. It's not right. It has to change. " Aug 31, 15 11:15 PM

Incorrect. The Killorans have been working on this since Aiden was in 3rd grade. Your bad planning argument isn't valid. Your Ben Frankin quote should be applied to the WHBSD. If you equate taking action to have children with special needs to be with their families and friends as disgraceful, then I think you've already lost the argument. " Sep 2, 15 2:02 PM

I think it's a misconception that this issue suddenly popped up. It's been going on for 3+ years with the Killorans. I think WHBSD employs the run out the clock tactic. I certainly understand the counter arguments re. This issue. I also fully admit that I can't possibly take the emotion out of it. However, this is the age of acceptance and inclusion. I truly believe that WHBSD is woefully behind the times with their approach. A member of the board asked for patience, but when pressed would not respond to the question of what we are being patient for. They don't respond at all. So it's no surprise to me that things turn into a rumble. In the end, WHBSD is dug in and it will be settled in the courts. That's really quite sad. I think the goal should be to keep these kids with their peers and family members, and I believe it to be an attainable goal. We shall see. You may be underestimating the amount of support we have. I do appreciate the adult dialogue. We just disagree a bit. " Sep 3, 15 10:56 AM

Perhaps, Frank. But that would be a victory for the status quo and WHBSD would continue to shut out kids with special needs. That's a pretty hollow victory IMO. Legally right? We shall see. Morally right? I don't think so. So it's a battle worth fighting and history has proven that good things can come out of adversity. " Sep 3, 15 1:08 PM

Southampton Town Steps Up Efforts On Workforce Housing

Apparently RSE hasn't been involved in the discussion. 69 units could yield an awful lot of new kids into the district. I don't see how the school could handle it. " Oct 28, 15 4:17 PM

Please see paragraph 7 of the article." Oct 29, 15 4:29 PM

Any idea of many units are now being proposed? Thank you." Oct 30, 15 1:18 PM

Knowing the amount of units proposed would be helpful. "drastically reduced" is rather vague. We have a community page and this has been the #1 topic. The main questions being: How many units? What is the maximum occupancy per unit? Misinformation snowballs, so I'd like to clear it up asap. Thank you" Oct 30, 15 4:34 PM

Southampton Town Board Split On Future Of Planned Development Districts

It appears that Mr. Bender is trying to wedge the Speonk-Remsenburg proposal in before the new board is in place. The community is just waking up to that project. We have a community meeting on Dec 2 to discuss the proposal. We hope that our local govt acts in good faith and doesn't hastily change the property zoning with the much larger density request without community, school, and civic association input. Why such great urgency? The Housing Authority has stated that it wants to what is best for the community, but together with our elected officials, are not giving the community enough time to digest or react. That is not being received well in my community at all. Don't state that you want to do things right, then attempt to steamroll the process. Mr. Schneiderman and Mr. Bouvier should have a say on this as it'll will happen or not happen on their watch." Nov 19, 15 1:38 PM

Remember that when it is time to vote.
All these density increases... as if we didn't build and buy homes assuming local govt would actually uphold and enforce zoning regulations. Unfortunately community and homeowners no longer are important. It's a joke. Hold them accountable. " Nov 19, 15 1:44 PM

Not at all, Curtis. As reported here, Mr. Bender stated that he wants to exclude the Speonk project from the moratorium and take it to the board within the next few weeks. How does that allow for community and school input? It's a large project and calls for substantial density changes. At the least the process should be given the time it requires.
Nothing disingenuous at all. " Nov 20, 15 6:29 AM

Again - no conclusion made. Mr. Bender stated what he stated. Perhaps you are correcting the wrong person. We are working very hard on giving you an audience and a respectful forum on Dec 2. However, if Mr. Bender states that he's taking this to the town board in a few weeks, his words, then I tend think he's taking it to the board in a few weeks. So my question is perfectly valid. How do we go through this process correctly if we don't have much time? ie. "a few weeks." It's a concern and it'll come up on Dec 2. " Nov 20, 15 2:58 PM

The housing authority and the developer have assured us that the Speonk proposal will go before the incoming board. Much appreciated." Nov 21, 15 8:53 AM

UPDATE: Southampton Town Councilman Brad Bender Pleaded Guilty On Drug Charges And Resigns, Facing Up To 20 Years In Prison

Ummm.... shouldn't Supervisor Throne-Holst be assembling a task force to investigate every deal and every relationship that Mr. Bender has had that involved the town? I mean that might make a little sense." Nov 25, 15 12:50 PM

Right, and Mr. Bender held one of those votes. He also just admitted that he has a drug problem and pleaded guilty to selling drugs. So I now question what his motivations were with pretty much everything, whether it be a yes vote or a no vote. Was he compromised in any way? After all, he had some secrets to hide. Unfortunately, he's lost the benefit of doubt. At lease he has in my opinion. So I'd think it would be a good idea to examine his activities while he was on the board. Due diligence is always wise. As a tax payer I would like assurances that my local government is acting in good faith. It seems you disagree as is your right. " Nov 25, 15 2:06 PM

Suffolk County Planning Commission Votes Against Tuckahoe Shopping Center Zone Change

Email the town board with a simple message: No more up-zoning. If they sell you out, vote them out." Dec 11, 15 9:14 PM

Richard Yastrzemski And Julie Lofstad To Face Off For Open Southampton Town Board Seat

The PDD moratorium is a bit of a dog and pony show as developers now turn to MF zoning with density increases, which only requires 3 votes. Speonk being the latest target, specifically N Phillips Ave. Last week we heard 2 proposals that would add 197 bedrooms on a total of 11 acres. That's just 2 projects and both require up-zoning, and there's the potential for many more. So we need a board that's willing maintain zoning standards and say no to over-development. Judging by the posts above, I don't have a lot of hope that either candidate will stand by the town plan. I hope I'm wrong. Ultimately we have final say with our voices and our votes." Dec 13, 15 8:29 AM

Suffolk County Planning Commission Votes Against Tuckahoe Shopping Center Zone Change

Assuming you are talking about the N Phillips proposal, as of right is the only defense against overall over-development. The end result in some cases may be less than ideal, but rental row on N Phillips will be a lot worse. The Speonk-Remsenburg fight is actually a Southampton town fight. We either have zoning standards or we don't. They apply to all or they don't. If zoning is purchased through campaign donations, then we have already lost our towns. Today Speonk, tomorrow your town. Every person that loves their quality of life out here should push back against up-zoning. As stated above, email the board and vote accordingly. " Dec 13, 15 10:19 AM

Richard Yastrzemski And Julie Lofstad To Face Off For Open Southampton Town Board Seat

Look up Jim Morgo and Morgo Public Private Strategies. Morgo Public Private Strategies is a private-sector consulting business that specializes in municipal approvals and community acceptance. He's pretty much on every donor list. He's a former Suffolk County Legislator and he's currently working with developers looking to up-zone in Remsenburg-Speonk.
Southampton town board will soon show who's side they are on. My hope is that one or both of the special election candidates truly work for us and maintain the town plan. Maybe we'd be better off with a board of Independents. We can dream, right?
" Dec 15, 15 10:28 AM

Residents Should Avoid Contact With Parts Of Peconic River, County Health Officials Say

Let's put sewage treatment systems on top of a plume in Speonk!!! What could possibly go wrong?" Dec 16, 15 11:55 AM

Anna Throne-Holst Closes Out Six-Year Stint As Supervisor

I sincerely hope that Jay Schneiderman and the incoming board respect the town master plan and don't allow zoning changes that benefit developers. ATH failed us in that regard. " Dec 27, 15 8:48 AM

Sandy Hollow Affordable Housing Lawsuit Dismissed By State Supreme Court Justice

Thanks to ATH and Bender, Speonk-Remsenburg gets to have the same battle with the same players. TSHA is bringing the same mess to the new board, only this time it's larger, and sits on top of a solvent plume. With the Riverside project approved and 5 miles to the north, one might think that zoning changes and over-development on N. Phillips Ave wouldn't be worth the inevitable fight. Hopefully, Jay Schneiderman will be more sympathetic to the wishes of the community, and maintain zoning standards in accordance with the town master plan. If TSHA can't produce workforce housing without consistently requiring zoning changes and added density, then I question the very existence of such an entity. That sentiment is shared and growing. So I'm sad to hear that Sandy Hollow was forced down the collective throats of one community. This should serve as a wake up call to mine. " Jan 6, 16 9:36 AM

If you accept zoning changes and added density based on a single issue, then you accept unbridled over-development and you will watch the east end turn into Anytown USA. It's a land use issue and TSHA has zero respect for Southampton Town's zoning standards. You can defend the need for workforce housing, but should be very careful about how it is implemented. Yes to one is yes to all. The developers are already lining up." Jan 6, 16 9:41 AM

The zoning change sets the precedent. Remember, it's TSHA and Georgica Green asking for special considerations, not the communities. All the communities are asking is the town to maintain its own regulations. So it's not pie in my face as much as a punch in the face to anyone that expected the town to adhere to its own rules. You argue workforce housing, I argue zoning and density. Truth is, I actually have the town plan on my side. Also, Jay Schneiderman has stated that he'd like to see affordable housing spread out via adding accessory apartments to existing dwellings. TSHA approach runs counter to that by maxing out density on smaller parcels, thus using land as never intended. In the end the developers get wealthy, TSHA justifies its existence, and the town plan goes up in flames. So if you want to continue to defend the 10 pounds of bologna in a 5 pound bag approach then have at it. It doesn't seem sensible to me, but it is your right. I'd challenge you to examine who is truly benefiting from this approach though. " Jan 6, 16 11:59 AM

I don't know if those numbers are exact but agree with the premise.
It demonstrates why standing by the town master plan is the only protection in this case. I think you have to consider what the town will look like if you allow multiple zoning + density changes. " Jan 6, 16 4:32 PM

Over-development in the name of workforce housing is still over-development. It's a land use issue, not an emotional one. The town asks homeowners, actually they force homeowners to adhere to certain standards. When we don't they lower the hammer on us. When a community asks the town to maintain their own zoning standards, suddenly we become irrational, mean spirited people who want to build walls. So if I understand this correctly, developers get one set of rules and everyone else gets another, more restrictive set of rules. Right? Maybe, and I know this is a crazy thought, we just reject over-development by way of zoning changes. The occupants aren't the issue here. Never were. " Jan 6, 16 6:29 PM

Yes, Curtis has threatened a few people with "bringing us section 8" on a few occasions. Funny how nobody I know has brought up that narrative though. In the end I guess this debate really benefits a few... Like land use attorneys etc ;)" Jan 6, 16 8:29 PM

Correct. And if the town board acts in the interest of developers or special interest, then we move on the incorporated village idea. I think we are close to having the support, and the taxation issue is almost negligible. " Jan 7, 16 11:01 AM

We started a group called RESCU - Remsenburg, Eastport, Speonk Communities United. The mission is to stop over-development by way of changes in zoning and/or density increases. Although the name only mentions three towns, the group is open to all who are concerned about over-development. Today it's Sandy Hollow, tomorrow it's Speonk, next week it's your town. We have members on the CAC-West as well as local Civic Associations. Although the group is in its infancy, our database is already 400+ people strong and growing daily. We need to communicate our concerns with the town board and find viable solutions for affordable housing. The max density on small parcels benefits too few, and impacts too many. The same set of rules need to apply to all. I don't think we are allowed to plug websites here, but it should be easy enough to find using "rescugroup." If we don't organize and unite, we'll be looking at 100 people on 4 acres as fast as they can build them. " Jan 7, 16 4:30 PM

Sir, we are a new group dealing with current issues. The focus is on over-development via zoning changes and density increases. Nobody in our group is making a stance against workforce housing. To the contrary, the developers and TSHA have only offered one solution, and that is their way or no way. Their way yields max density per acre and max dollar per bank account. You may be angry with the wrong people. " Jan 7, 16 11:08 PM

Tenn Tom - I understand that, but is your situation justification for zoning changes and added density? I won't bore you with my history, but it didn't start with Remsenburg. I achieved Remsenburg through hard work and diligent savings. Along the way we rented in a host of different areas. I'll expect the same from my kids. If you truly want to have a honest conversation about development, then I'm all in. In the case of 41 N Phillips, the difference between max build out via "as of right" vs. the Georgica Green proposal is approx 10 bedrooms. That's assuming the max bedrooms were built under current zoning. However, there is a retail frontage segment that Georgica Green wants no part of. Why? They don't get the tax credits (ie. your money) and they don't want to be retail space landlords. That's fine, but not our problem. So when they state that the property is "the perfect fit" it's actually not. Not for them anyway. So because they can't fit their model into existing zoning, they ask for special considerations by way of zoning changes. When we ask the town board to maintain current zoning we are accused of being irrational and callous. It's wag the dog tactics and if they "win" then everyone who adheres to zoning regulations loses. So I don't understand why people are so quick to open the door to over-development, sewage treatment systems, added congestion on a country rd, and compromising the value of other "as of right" projects. The potential build out numbers via added density is astounding. We need to look big picture here and get past this false narrative of if you are against Project A then you against affordable housing. It's so absolutely untrue. Long rant, but I hope it clarifies our position. I also hope the best for and your son. Thank you." Jan 8, 16 9:23 AM

Apartment Complex Plans Spur Birth Of New Community Group In Speonk

"Group members are also questioning the actual need for workforce housing in the area, suggesting on their website that the people such housing would attract would not be employed in their communities."

Not really. More so questioning the wisdom of doing max density projects west of the canal. Also questioning why the housing authority isn't proactively trying to add accessory apartments to existing dwellings. We have retired people out here that could use the income too.
" Jan 14, 16 4:29 PM

Southampton Town Board Candidates Participate In Press Conversation Saturday

I think this special election is about faith in government. Brad Bender left in disgrace and ATH sold out to developers. The new board has an opportunity to regain the faith of the community. Hopefully voters will vote for people and ideas rather than party. If we continue to accept zoning changes and density increases, we'll lose the beauty and charm of our towns. I'm looking forward to the debate on Thursday night." Jan 17, 16 12:59 PM

Neither side has been immune from taking $ from developers. When you look at the political influence that some of these builders bring, then combine that with the housing authorities push to maximize density with each proposal, because it represents a quick fix as opposed to an equitable and sustainable fix, then it becomes clear that we need our board to act in interests of the constituency. If they fail, or can't be trusted, then mutiny in the form of incorporated village becomes the next line of defense. Mr. Schneiderman et al have an opportunity to restore faith in govt. I hope this board takes that responsibility very seriously. " Jan 18, 16 8:28 AM

Some Fear Another Sandy Hollow Is In The Works In Speonk

When you look at the undeveloped land in entire area, it becomes clear that the potential for over-development is real and potentially overwhelming. The 41 N Phillips project has a retail segment that Georgica Green wants to eliminate. So they are arguing for workforce housing, then eliminating potential jobs in the next breath. The only protection our area has against over-development is maintaining current zoning. The emotional argument includes workforce housing, which should be addressed via accessory apartments to existing dwellings (Jay Schneiderman has supported this too) as well as including workforce housing if Georgica Green did the project as currently zoned, including the retail frontage. Sadly, the housing authority is plugging in the max density per acre formula with the same developer. Sandy Hollow 2 here we come. Nobody in our group, RESCU, is saying anything about the potential occupants of any of these projects. We are talking about zoning, density, and protection against unbridled over-development. If 41 N Phillips is approved, Pandora's box is wide open. So far we've heard 2 proposals on a total of 11 acres. Combined those 2 proposals yield 100+ extra bedrooms over existing zoning. That's just 2 proposals and more will certainly come. So we turn to our town board and ask them to maintain their own standards, and find ways to address workforce housing without the max density per acre model that the housing authority continues to pursue." Jan 18, 16 7:05 PM

Uhhh... Southampton's workforce would drive east from Speonk. Unless we are looking to support Brookhaven's workforce housing, it might not be a good idea to not max the western edge of Southampton town out. " Jan 18, 16 7:10 PM

Editor - BTW last we spoke with the developer, he was pursuing MF44 zoning rather than PDD. MF44 only requires 3 votes from the board. The housing authority representative told the Remsenburg Association that the project would not be PDD. " Jan 19, 16 7:47 AM

Also Riverside revitalization project. " Jan 19, 16 7:52 AM

There are 700+ acres of undeveloped land in Speonk. Some in Remsenburg district and some in Eastport district. Build out via as of right will be gradual and organic with manageable impact. It can call for workforce housing too. Allowing zoning changes will increase density, have a sudden and severe impact on the school, and add an absurd amount of cars on N Phillips. The 41 N Phillips project is the Pandora's box moment and the housing authority is trying to unlock that box. This is not a singular project issue and it never was. It just happens to be first.
At some point we'll have to ask the town board if they are going to allow the housing authority to open that box, or tell the housing authority to do its job without max density per acre projects. " Jan 19, 16 4:49 PM

To Squeaky
Followers? There's no personal gain for me other than trying to prevent over-development. We have a team of neighbors keeping the community informed. We've had over 100 people contact us in the last 3 weeks asking to stay informed. Our combined database is approx 400 strong. Not followers, but concerned neighbors looking for info.
We probably won't ever agree, and that's fine. I just want you to examine the following, and this is a small sample, of the possible impact zoning changes in this area could have. Then you can decide if we are presenting a doomsday scenario, or accurately reporting data and reasonable hypothesis.
85 N Phillips. As presented to CAC West 132 BR on 7 acres. Change in zoning + added density. Sewage treatment system on top of a monitored solvent plume.
41 N Phillips. As proposed to Remsenburg Assoc and discussed at a community meeting. 50 units and 66 BR on 4 acres. Change of zoning eliminating retail frontage (and potential jobs) also requires sewage treatment on top of a monitored solvent plume.
95 N Phillips. Twice denied zoning changes for 69 unit condos. Reasons for rejected zoning change include added density, open space issues, and environmental concerns. Developer now building 13 "as of right" homes. Could this developer pull his project and reapply for a zoning change in the event that 41 N Phillips is approved? Yes.
So looking at those 3 properties, all on the same road in an approx .25 mile span, we are talking about 300 people or more. 300 being very conservative. That's 3 properties, approx 20 acres, developed via zoning changes. That leaves around 680 undeveloped acres left. So if that 41 N Phillips project is approved, tell me how to stop 5, 6, or even 10 more. I've spoken to a lot of people about this and the answer is you can't stop it.
Nobody is preventing Georgica Green from developing 41 N Phillips under current zoning other than Georgica Green. Remember, we aren't asking for special consideration, but Gerogica Green is.
" Jan 20, 16 9:27 AM

Standing room only with a line out the door at the debate between Julie and Yaz last night. Not surprisingly 50% of the questions had to do with development (read that N Phillips) with Yaz being a little more forceful on that direct issue, citing Riverside Rejuvenation as the right place, with community acceptance. Both candidates seem to be against high density projects in Speonk, and fully understand the dangerous precedent a zoning change will set in the area. The message is getting out and it's being received. Hopefully the board considers the big picture when the N Phillips proposal hits their desks. " Jan 22, 16 10:21 AM

Not even close. A zoning change for Georgica Green sets a precedent for future projects (already proposed at CAC West) where density on small parcels is dramatically increased. ie. 132 bedrooms on 7 acres at 85 N Phillips. The precedent acknowledged by members of our town board. 41 N Phillips could be a 30 unit WF housing building with added benefit of retail frontage, adding jobs. Georgica Green isn't in the retail rental business, so they want that change in zoning. That's the basic gist." Jan 22, 16 10:35 AM

In Special Election, Julie Lofstad Wins Open Seat On Southampton Town Board

New board = new chance to restore faith in govt. Best of luck to Julie. " Jan 27, 16 2:29 PM

Southampton Town Housing Authority Seeking Purchase Of Riverside Property

If you liked Sandy Hollow you will like the impending sequel that is coming to Speonk. Same team looking to down zone 4 acres to accommodate a workforce housing apartment building. We've been pleading with the town board for months to prevent the zoning change. " Apr 25, 16 3:44 PM

My reply to the above post by Marlinspike where he referenced Sandy Hollow. Therefore, a legitimate post.
I'm not against anything, but rather in favor of maintaining zoning standards that help prevent overdevelopment, protect the environment, and promote responsible and equitable solutions to our combined challenges. " Apr 25, 16 4:53 PM

Environmentalists Continue To Push For Southampton Town To Repeal PDD Law

The Hills vote will be interesting. Mrs. Lofstad and Mr. Bouvier are thoughtful people. I hope they vote with their conscience rather than reacting to internal pressure. It'll also be interesting to see what Jay does on the impending MF44 zoning change in Speonk. Same team that did Sandy Hollow looking to do similar in Speonk. Jay is on record saying he's for a spread out approach to affordable housing, and supports and accessory apartment initiative. It'll be difficult to explain how another Sandy Hollow isn't politics as usual. " Apr 28, 16 2:57 PM

UPDATE: Town Releases 'The Hills' Environmental Study To Public

Thank you, Mr. Shaw." Apr 29, 16 8:47 AM

Absolutely, TB!!!
" Apr 29, 16 3:40 PM

Southampton Town Housing Authority Seeking Purchase Of Riverside Property

Then they've already failed. A percentage of new construction was supposed to be designated to affordable housing and spread out throughout the town. Builders either bought their way out, or the town never enforced it. So now we have entities like the housing authority ramming high yield per acre projects (Sandy Hollow) down our throats. Once you allow that model to root, it spreads like weeds while builders cash in. So be careful when you look for solutions outside of the "free market" because the alternative isn't nearly as benign as you may think. Again, watch Sandy Hollow 2 go down in Speonk, despite disapproval from environmental groups, civic assocs, and the community. When you allow an entity like the housing authority to dictate the terms of affordable housing in lieu if a formal town-wide plan, then you welcome competing motivators that aren't necessarily in the best interest of all. Shouldn't the town have a plan in place? ie. 25 units per hamlet by 2017. Something like that. " May 3, 16 8:56 AM

East End Hillary Supporters Reflect On Their Choice For President

Trump vs. Hillary.
How tragically sad.
" May 4, 16 1:12 PM

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