A Bad Idea - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2071004

A Bad Idea

On December 28, there was a stabbing of two policemen by a deranged man who was menacing his neighbors. The police who responded were seriously injured, and they shot and killed the resident. This happened in Medford, at a complex ironically named the Blue Ridge Condominium.

This is relevant to all of us in Southampton, and especially in the Hillcrest and Seasons neighborhoods, because the man who menaced residents and attacked the police was a resident there, in a unit owned by Concern for Independent Living, the sponsor of Liberty Gardens, which is being considered by our Town Board to be placed in the middle of our Hillcrest and Seasons neighborhoods. Concern for Independent Living owns and rents out numerous condos at Blue Ridge and provides “support services” to the population they house there.

This mix of “support housing” (including “mental health programs”) situated within a private community has proven to be dangerous and riddled with problems. This same formula of “supportive housing” will now come to Southampton, if approved.

Newsday published an article in October 2022 in which neighbors at Blue Ridge detail car vandalism and some of the other dangers and harrowing problems, but such has not been covered to my knowledge in The Press, and I have not seen The Press publish a strong editorial to stop this massive 60-unit project on less than 5 acres, which will not be required to provide even one local workforce unit.

Many of us have written to the Town Council and spoken out about Concern for Independent Living’s continuing attempt to label Liberty Gardens as “workforce housing,” invoking a local need that it does not address. Furthermore, the project likely will have severe negative consequences for our town:

• Increased traffic on County Road 39 and the creation of a dangerous sole entrance and exit to the busiest highway on the East End.

• Added strain on town and village police, fire and ambulance services, as well as our local emergency room, library and schools, all without adequate tax revenue.

• Added density and proximity to the West Prospect drinking water wells.

Yet the project keeps moving forward, although many community groups have opposed it, with the notable exception of The Press, which is perplexing, as your editorial board is vocal on many issues that will have little to no effect on our village or its residents. From the outset, it was billed as workforce housing, when it clearly was not.

The residents of Southampton need a newspaper that speaks for us, that looks out for us. We need you to run a very strong editorial urging that the Liberty Gardens 60-unit project be stopped before it is too late.

Walter Deane

Southampton Village