Circulating Mistruths - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1805964

Circulating Mistruths

I am thankful to The Southampton Press for the editorial “No Need To Bully,” published in the August 5 edition. No one should be bullied or demonized by officials of the Town of Southampton, especially based on mistruths circulated by town officials.

Town officials should stop circulating mistruths to the community about the Hampton Bays Downtown Overlay District. I find this behavior unbecoming of those in positions of leadership and disrespectful to the Hampton Bays community.

Contrary to representations made by the town officials in the press release, State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Santorelli did not opine that the entire HBDOD was consistent with the Hampton Bays Corridor Strategic Plan in his decision. Town officials took Justice Santorelli’s comments out of context for a specific cause of action (standalone multi-family buildings) and attempted to imply that he opined on the entire HBDOD.

The fact is that the HBDOD is not consistent with the Hampton Bays Corridor Strategic Plan, especially as it relates to the density.

The HBDOD boundaries were referred to as the “Hamlet Center” in the Hampton Bays Corridor Strategic Plan. The Hampton Bays Corridor Strategic Plan, on page 51, available on the town website, stated clearly that “the Hamlet Center … is an appropriate place for the density of its current VB [Village Business] zoning designation.”

Under the current village business zoning, residential density would consist of a total of 101 units, while the HBDOD projected build-out is 248 units. Under the current village business zoning, the commercial density would be approximately 225,000 square feet, while under the HBDOD the commercial density is projected to be approximately 417,000 square feet. There is an additional 111,000 square feet of potential build-out that was unassigned.

This density is all within the 55 acres of the boundaries of the HBDOD. The build-out scenarios summary table is contained in the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement for the HBDOD on the town website.

Contrary to statements in the press release that the HBDOD creates a “Greenport or Southampton Village,” the Suffolk County Economic Development and Planning Staff Report dated May 17, 2019, page 3, stated: “Land use proposed by the HBDOD, in terms of density and character, appear to be similar to other Form Based Codes proposed throughout Suffolk County (e.x. Wyandanch, Heartland Town Square, Ronkonkoma Hub, Riverside).”

I urge town officials to stop circulating mistruths about the HBDOD. The Hampton Bays community deserves better.

Gayle Lombardi

Hampton Bays