Defining A Hamlet - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2015797

Defining A Hamlet

Because I love my hamlet, I have followed the Hampton Bays Downtown Overlay District as best as I could. But perhaps because of COVID distraction, it was not easy to be aware of events. So I, like many, came a little late to the issue.

Getting ready to write this, I looked up the definition of “hamlet” and found two: “a small village” and “a small settlement, generally one smaller than a village.” That’s where I live — and that’s where I want to remain. Not frozen in time, but not unrecognizable in the future.

We are not talking a small site. The HBDOD is 57 acres. I don’t want to live in a mini-Patchogue, with four-story apartment buildings and a half million square feet of new commercial space, and half of the normally required parking.

I also don’t want a large sewage treatment plant at the entrance to our cemetery, only a half block from Main Street, with a building of 4,400 square feet to meet the needs of five times the current HBDOD population. They promise it won’t smell, it won’t make noise, it won’t be visible. Yet they cannot show us a comparable site so we can see for ourselves.

Without the HBDOD, traffic is already a nightmare. Despite no rational solution to traffic, the town is pushing a plan adding hundreds of new cars to the rush hour mix. And somehow we are supposed to be grateful?

Over the years, we’ve learned the town has made many mistakes when it comes to Hampton Bays. Can we trust them explicitly to make wise decisions for the future of our hamlet?

What about the Allen’s Acres debacle we are stuck with? What about the overcrowded site of “Boathouses” at the canal? Who developed that awful traffic control plan at the intersection of Montauk Highway and North Road? And so much new retail space at a time when current retailers are suffering due to high online sales? More empty stores in our hamlet’s future?

Then there’s potential school overcrowding and a worsening water supply. Has the plan for a Main Street North been given over to development? Is the Good Ground Park entrance road going to be its substitute and accommodate the overflow parking caused by inadequate parking on the HBDOD site? Will “noisy” concerts be curtailed or discontinued to keep the apartment dwellers happy? What’s the upside for us?

The one thing people have been vocal in wanting for Hampton Bays is a diner. But what do we get? A sewage treatment plant.

Start with a diner and go from there. Maybe then we can learn to trust you.

Marion Boden

Hampton Bays