Manipulating Laws - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1816654

Manipulating Laws

I was quite surprised about one item on the September 9 agenda for the Southampton Village Board meeting. The trustees are attempting to change the code with regard to which governing board will hear certain special use exemptions.

When I questioned the trustees at the meeting, I was informed that the changes to the code are only for food pantries and museums. I responded by saying that these changes must pertain to the Heart of the Hamptons moving to Meeting House Lane, and the Pyrrhus Concer homestead project at 51 Pond Lane. The attorney for the village stated that the changes did not have any particular project or address attached to them.

For those who aren’t aware, the village has prematurely signed a lease for the former ambulance location on Meeting House Lane with the intent to move the Heart of the Hamptons to this location. In addition, there also has been an application to the Zoning Board of Appeals for variances at 51 Pond Lane to construct a visitors center, museum and amphitheater on the property, which has recently been pulled by the applicant.

This action by the trustees is a flagrant disregard for the laws that safeguard our community. The purpose of a zoning board is to assess projects that are requesting variances or special use exemptions. To take this power away from them is in opposition to what the board was established for in the first place. 

If we allow this to happen, then it’s only a matter of time before the trustees decide to misuse their power on other issues. It is appalling that rather than allowing the process to take place, the village trustees and our mayor are deciding to attempt to change the village code to suit their needs. This is a disgrace.

Regardless of whether you are for or against these projects, the main issue is that we now have an administration in place that will manipulate the laws to fit their agenda. Seeing that these projects were being met with opposition, they have decided to take control away from the ZBA and disregard our village codes to push them through.

Finally, the village is posting the notice of the meeting in Newsday, their second paper of record. It boggles the mind that on an issue of this importance they would decide to publish in Newsday rather than The Southampton Press, when most residents of the village turn to The Press for their local news. It is just another example of how deceptive they have become in order to push their agenda.

I hope that the residents take notice of what is happening at the local government level.

Gregory D’Elia

Southampton Village