Neighbors Of Proposed East Hampton Apartment Complex Worry About Traffic, Screening - 27 East

Neighbors Of Proposed East Hampton Apartment Complex Worry About Traffic, Screening

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The site off Three Mile Harbor Road.

The site off Three Mile Harbor Road.

authorMichael Wright on Sep 29, 2021

Some neighbors of the property targeted for a 50-unit apartment complex off Three Mile Harbor Road told the town East Hampton Town Planning Board this week that they worry the new development will spike through-traffic headed for the town dump on their private, roughly paved road, if some other accommodation is not made.

Residents of Harbor View Avenue said they have already seen an increase in traffic since the east end of the road was paved, creating a connection between Three Mile Harbor Road and Springs Fireplace Road, a use that they fear will grow if it becomes the shortest route for those coming out of the new apartments and headed to the dump and back.

Some neighbors also worried about other impacts on their homes or asked that the development be spread out more, rather than clumped at the western end of the parcel, where it will sit higher than Harbor View Avenue’s homes do.

Pablo Betancur said the screening proposed plan submitted by the developers did not seem to be sufficient to block the view of the five new buildings, because of the sloping terrain.

“The base of that hill is just in line to the roof of my house,” Mr. Betancur said, arguing that the line of 6 foot cedar trees the developers have proposed is insufficient and that the development should be more spread out. “I don’t want to have these people right above me.”

If the project moves forward as planned, however, Mr. Betancur said the developers should do the neighboring property owners the favor of paying to have Suffolk County water mains installed along Harbor View Avenue.

An engineer working on the project, which has been proposed by the East Hampton Housing Authority and builder Georgica Green Ventures, said that the project will be funding the installation of water mains for the first 600 feet of Harbor View Avenue, to feed the development’s sewage treatment system. At least two Harbor View Ave homes would be able to connect to the portion of the mains that the developers will install and other neighbors could petition the water authority to run the mains further up the road, but would have to pay for it themselves.

Diane Darrell, a resident of Harbor View Avenue, said that she worried the increased traffic would cause more rapid deterioration of the roadway, which is not part of the town highway system and must be maintained by residents — resulting in an already unevenly paved and deteriorating roadway.

Katy Casey, the director of the East Hampton Housing Authority, acknowledged the rough condition of Harbor View Avenue. She said the developers will be working with Suffolk County on traffic patters around the intersection of the new development’s driveway and Three Mile Harbor Road, but offered no solution to how traffic could be kept off Harbor View Avenue.

The project proposal calls for five, 10-unit apartment buildings, each with a mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments. The project already received $5.6 million in state funding in the form of tax credits. The subsidies will allow the Housing Authority and Georgica Green Ventures to price apartments at rents affordable to residents across a broad spectrum of incomes, from just $30,000 a year to more than $100,000.

Residents of the Gansett Meadows apartments, a 37-unit complex the Housing Authority completed last year, applauded the new proposal and urged the Planning Board to give it the stamp of approval.

“We were married three years ago and started searching for a starter home and it quickly became clear that owning a home in Will’s hometown of East Hampton wasn’t in the cards for us at this time,” said Dawn Mata, an office manager whose husband works for the town Highway Department. “I am grateful that we’re able to raise our son here and continue to serve our community. He can grow up near his grandparents, who are lifelong residents here. What a gift it is to be able to stay here, which unfortunately was not going to be our reality had we not gotten into [Gansett Meadows].”

One Amagansett resident, Rona Klopman, sought to cast the Gansett Meadows in a different light, suggesting the Amagansett complex hasn’t been populated with as many local fire and ambulance company members as had been expected and hoped that volunteers would get preferential treatment in future projects. She also spotlighted that a resident of Gansett Meadows was caught dealing drugs this past summer and had apparently been able to rent an apartment even though he had a criminal record.

But others said Ms. Klopman’s cynicism was unfounded.

“What the town is doing is really great — it’s helping working families,” said Fabian Rodas, a resident of Gansett Meadows. “I think it’s a great opportunity for more families to be able to live in the area. Working families — honest families — that are part of the community. It is not an easy process, people are selected carefully.”

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