Just Not There - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1712344

Just Not There

In the early 1970s, a referendum asked residents whether they wanted a swimming pool or a planetarium in the new Southampton High School. The community chose a planetarium.

I learned of this when I moved to Southampton in 1985, and I was surprised to hear of the community’s preference for a planetarium, and some of the reasons a pool was rejected. So, when I was raising my family, we used the Omni pool and would also travel to East Hampton to use the pool at the YMCA.

We are in support of a community Aquatic Center — but not what we see of the new proposal, and definitely not at the County Road 39 and Magee Street location [“STAR Proposes New Location For Community Aquatic Center,” 27east.com, July 6].

Since the 1970s, there has been unsustainable, intense overdevelopment in Southampton, resulting in never-ending traffic, accidents, gridlock and safety issues on County Road 39. To ease the congested traffic situation, cars and trucks turn in at that very location now being proposed for a sports complex, jamming local residential streets and turning Hill Street, where I live, into an alternate highway.

The traffic light build-up on Magee Street, the congestion on Moses Lane, Somerset Street and any way to escape County Road 39, have become a real nightmare for village residents. And there is a Long Island Rail Road crossing there as well.

The public successfully argued against a shopping mall, and the Community Preservation Fund was used to purchase the property it was to be built on for several other uses. Now, there is a new push to overthrow the CPF restrictions and allow a large sports complex to go into the exact spot.

There are many questions about this pool project. Where is the community involvement? Who benefits from it? Who will fund it? And who will use it? What will the tax consequences be? And why was the original Red Creek Park location, which would be less intrusive, more centrally located and accessible from Sunrise Highway, rejected in favor of this same site formerly rejected for its negative effects on community character, traffic and other environmental concerns?

The public must be heard on this.

Leith McLoughlin



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