Four Pinocchios - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1871336

Four Pinocchios

On January 11, the Southampton Town Board met to discuss the proposed 104-unit apartment complex on Quiogue. The presentation was littered with empty promises and skewed information.

The first Pinocchio: The 104-unit complex represents the style and architecture of Southampton Town. How? Nothing like this exists in Southampton Town.

Second, they stated that this complex would help the traffic situation. Our population is larger than ever, and introducing this type of housing will only bring more people to our area. Our infrastructure is not ready from a traffic, water, power, ecological or school standpoint.

Not to mention it is on the wrong side of the problem. Traffic is backed up past the Westhampton exit from 6 to 9 a.m. going east and from East Hampton to Southampton from 3 to 7 p.m. going west.

Third, it was stated that this complex will be affordable rental apartments, then that a percentage would remain perpetual workforce housing. Which is it? Is this the Trojan horse of promises, and only a percentage will be workforce going forward after an indeterminate amount of time?

I had family leave workforce housing recently because of skyrocketing rent. Rent will continue to rise and create a situation of instability and transient renters. There are no protections being presented. The developer has left the door open to subsidies/governmental programs, which only sets aside a small portion for workforce.

Fourth, and the biggest Pinocchio of them all, the applicant stated that the complex will generate $125,000 in taxes and 33 school-aged children. Per-student spending at Westhampton Beach is $27,600 in local school taxes (National Center for Education statistics). Those 33 students will cost the district $910,000, which means the rest of us need to make up $785,000.

One councilperson stated that the number would be closer to 80. It’s likely 100 kids from this complex will go to Westhampton Beach, which means $2.76 million in spending, with single-family homeowners picking up the shortfall of $2.635 million.

How long before we price ourselves out of our own homes with this experiment? Owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes, as well as owner-occupied homes with accessory apartments at full tax value, are better options. Owner occupied, because the owners have skin in the game and will keep rentals in check.

Final point: This proposal is being dumped on the working people of Quiogue, which is basically Westhampton, not Westhampton Beach Village. Westhampton Beach pays close to $6 per thousand of assessed value for school taxes, and East Quogue and Hampton Bays over $10 per thousand, while Sagaponack pays 21 cents per thousand.

Stop dumping on unincorporated areas so billionaires can live their best lives. “YIMBY” in the eastern villages first.

David Celi

Hampton Bays