A Few Questions - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1818845

A Few Questions

As the Southampton Town election draws near, this might be the time to raise a few questions for candidates Cynthia McNamara and Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, both of whom are endorsed by the Conservative Party and both of whom support the development of a golf course resort in the Pine Barrens of East Quogue, known as the Lewis Road Planned Residential Development.

To start, perhaps Supervisor Schneiderman might be asked to explain why, for the last four years, a house in Ms. McNamara’s neighborhood has been assessed at a lower value than its purchase price, whereas the assessments of other comparable properties in the neighborhood have increased over the years, in some cases by over 25 percent. It’s also disheartening to note that assessments on some expensive houses in the neighborhood — that happen to be part of another planned residential development — have increased by only about 4 percent, even though those houses appear to be under-assessed by several hundred thousand dollars based on comparable house prices.

Next, an article published in the Eastern Edition of The Southampton Press described a prominent real estate attorney who was outraged by a neighbor’s clear-cutting of a hedgerow on the attorney’s property that protected his privacy [“Dispute Over Property Clearing,” August 12]. I believe the real estate lawyer is correct when he observed that clear-cutting someone else’s property is a police issue.

However, when the preservation of trees, scenic buffers and privacy screening have been mandated by Southampton’s land-use boards as a condition for approval of a planned residential development, the town must enforce its mandates.

For example, it doesn’t matter whether an owner of a reserve associated with that PRD prefers a manicured aesthetic if that type of landscaping isn’t allowed.

In my opinion, it’s troubling that the developer of the proposed golf course resort may be aware that the town supports unfair assessments and ignores unjustified clear-cutting.

Susan Cerwinski

East Quogue