The gardens at the home on Ocean Road in Bridgehampton. DANA SHAW
Will Hansen at the Southampton Golf Range on Friday afternoon with Southampton Town Board members Julie Lofstad, left, and Stan Glinka, right and his son Reid. DANA SHAW
Reid Hansen at the Southampton Golf Range on Friday afternoon with Southampton Town Board Supervisor Jay Scheiderman. town board member Julie Lofstad, his dad Will and town board member Stan Glinka. DANA SHAW
Artist Harvey Bernstein with his birdhouse. DANA SHAW
The house has an area for a washer/dryer. DANA SHAW
Southampton Town has purchased a recreational easement—the first of its kind for the town—on the Southampton Golf Range, a private business on County Road 39.
The town bought the development rights for the entire 13-acre driving range property for $6.5 million using proceeds from the Community Preservation Fund. Under the agreement, the town will control the types of recreational activities allowed on the property, as well as the fees charged in order to ensure that prices remain affordable.
“It’s an affordable recreational opportunity for the entire community,” Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said. “Basically, what you see is what you’ll get. From now and into the future, this property will be available to the community—it will be open vista, it will be recreation, it will be a place where people can come and learn to play golf. It’s going to be something that will stay a part of the community.”
Under the restrictions of the easement, only the existing golf range, miniature golf facility, the seasonal ice skating rink and a future pedal kart track will be allowed to operate on the land. Eighty percent of the property will remain open space.
The County Road 39 attraction has been a part of the town since the early 1950s. The family of the current owner, Will Hansen, purchased the property, which was originally potato farmland, in 1957.
The town held a press conference at the golf range on Friday with Mr. Hansen, his wife, Julie, and son Reid, who teaches golf at the range, to finalize the purchase.
The CPF was established in 1999, and more than 4,000 acres of farmland and open space have been preserved, according to Mr. Schneiderman. However, the transaction marked the first time the town has acquired the recreational easement of a preexisting business. Traditionally, the town acquires the development rights to desired properties, such as farms, to ensure that they cannot be transformed into subdivisions or commercial developments.
Mr. Hansen said he has been working to sell the town his easement for eight years, and he sees this transaction as a testing ground for similar purchases in the future.
“I’ve been approached by King Kullen and car dealerships,” he said, referring to those who have expressed interest in the land on which his business operates. “It’s very tempting to take the money and run, but we decided to stay and keep it in the family. I think it’s a win-win for everybody—it keeps us together.”
Mr. Schneiderman, who is not a golfer himself, took a brief lesson from Reid Hansen at the range Friday before playing some miniature golf with Councilman Stan Glinka and Councilwoman Julie Lofstad after the announcement.
“This is the most fun I’ve had since I’ve been elected,” the supervisor joked after putting his ball underneath a giant prop duck on the course.
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