Kudos to The Express News Group for the excellent commentary “Time To Listen” [Editorial, March 9], which addresses the commercial redevelopment plan sponsored by Supervisor Jay Schneiderman for the former Bel-Aire Cove Motel property, a 1.5-acre waterfront parcel located at the head of Penny Pond and a Southampton Town-owned property since 2016. Publicly-owned waterfront: a priceless community asset.
The editorial makes a compelling argument for reconsidering commercial redevelopment in favor of the creation of a neighborhood park — a green vision that offers legacy benefits to both the community and the environment. Moreover, it has overwhelming community support. A community voice that has largely been ignored because the preferred use of the property (neighborhood parkland) conflicts with development interests.
The Town Board has a unique opportunity to protect water quality, enhance habitat and forever memorialize public access to the waterfront. A minimal maintenance green space that can eliminate a pollution threat from wastewater discharges in a rising water table, capture and treat stormwater, and benefit nature through rain and pollinator gardens. Not to mention, a sponge to mitigate flooding sitting at the head of the creek. Of greatest value, providing public access to a resource that we value greatly and are all trying hard to protect, the greater Shinnecock Bay.
I have confidence that the editorial, and what is expected to be resounding concurrence from the collective community, is ample reason why this “public asset give-away train” must never leave the station.
Do the right thing, Town Board: Enable rethinking so that forward-thinking can prevail.
One fine body…