Questions To Answer - 27 East


Questions To Answer

I am probably not the only person puzzled by the recent news that the property adjoining Marsden Street and across Division Street from Sag Harbor’s Pierson High School is being considered for purchase, in part by Sag Harbor School District and in larger part by Southampton Town’s Community Preservation Fund. I assume that more about this potential purchase will be made public before it is finalized and approved.

It could be a wonderful idea. And it is almost certainly a big improvement on the several very large houses originally proposed by the developer for that land. Sag Harbor could greatly benefit from a CPF purchase that is truly in the public interest.

I think that we need answers to the following questions to discover if, in fact, this plan is indeed in the public interest, both of the school district and of the village as a whole:

1) The site in question is a kind of gully and a low spot for much of Sag Harbor. When heavy rains occur, stormwater flows to that location. It is then absorbed, thanks to the grade and to the shrubs and grasses that are now there.

What plans are being made to ensure that the site will continue to absorb stormwater runoff if “athletic facilities” are to be created as proposed?

2) “Athletic facilities” implies a playing field with a flat surface. How is this to be obtained? Will fill be needed? If so, what kind? And will any field’s surface be permeable?

3) I cannot imagine that, in 2022, the property will be clear-cut. Some trees must remain. How many? Can an appropriately sized rain garden be planted to absorb runoff from surrounding streets and from the proposed athletic facility?

If all these questions can be properly answered, I personally would want to see this project move forward, under appropriate public scrutiny.

If not, I believe the project would invite flooding and traffic problems that would lead to major inconvenience and expense to all.

Let’s find out.

I should add that I am a close neighbor to this proposed project and to both the elementary and high schools. I do not, therefore, consider that I live in a residential neighborhood so much as in a school neighborhood (though, technically, it’s residential).

I consider Sag Harbor very fortunate to have its district school at its heart. My three children all went there. However, it is essential to the health of this community that school and village cooperate fully in any new proposal concerning both community and school.

Let’s hope they do so successfully here.

Carol Williams

Sag Harbor