The Southampton Town Board and its appointed boards and Planning Department seem more concerned about trying to overdevelop every square inch of our town than to protect our town’s character and fragile infrastructure. Do they really believe they can continue to allow overdevelopment and not destroy the town’s character and crush the infrastructure?
Nothing screamed overdevelopment like the Hampton Bays Downtown Overlay District that the Town Board has resurrected after it was annulled by the State Supreme Court last year. The HBDOD allowed for three- and four-story buildings reaching 50 feet in height, with hundreds of apartments and hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space, all within the 54 acres between Ponquogue Avenue/Squiretown Road and Springville Road/Cemetery Road along Montauk Highway.
Who benefits from this overdevelopment?
Who wants the sewage treatment plant at 30 Cemetery Road to service the new apartments? The site borders the historic Good Ground Cemetery. Does the town administration have any concept of dignity after death and the sanctity of human remains — or is development more important?
Where are all the cars supposed to go? The town administration deflects its responsibility for the traffic problems in the town. They are like rogue firefighters who set a fire and then attempt to “save the day” with traffic “fixes” like the Good Ground Road bypass in Hampton Bays (“the bypass to nowhere”), only to propose more overdevelopment for the HBDOD. Do they not realize that the East End has finite capacity?
I urge everyone to attend the public forum hosted by the Hampton Bays Civic Association on Monday, July 25, at the Hampton Bays Middle School at 7 p.m., which appears to be the dog-and-pony show for the redux of the HBDOD. The presenters will probably try to sell this as a downtown revitalization to disguise the dense overdevelopment. They will wave a carrot of a potential new restaurant or new facades and streetscaping and use textbook jargon like “smart growth” and “walkable downtown.”
Typical of the town’s unscrupulous way of gathering community input, the meeting is only in-person and there is a “vote” at the end of the meeting. I suspect that there will be those that are willing to sell the character of Hampton Bays and crush the fragile infrastructure for their own personal gain. Others may want to “roll the dice” and gamble with the future of Hampton Bays for the hope of a new outdoor café. All the residents and property owners are stakeholders in this, not just those who will benefit.
I urge everyone to attend the meeting and vote no to send a clear message to the town administration — enough is enough. No more overdevelopment.
One fine body…