Everyone in the community recognizes the incredible contributions of Heart of the Hamptons. We applaud their efforts, especially during this pandemic.
That said, the Southampton Village Board is proposing a significant change to village code that would allow a food pantry to operate in any residential district across the village. The village has multiple zoning districts — so why is this new code now being applied to residential areas? This is not consistent with the Comprehensive Master Plan, nor has it had proper due diligence as required by municipal law. That’s not to say a food pantry doesn’t have a place in our village.
At the same time, the Village Board also is supporting a move to the former ambulance barn, at 44 Meeting House Lane, by Heart of the Hamptons without executing the proper studies, also required by municipal law.
We’re hoping the board will answer a few questions as to traffic, garbage, light, air and noise implications, given the proximity to the hospital and to Main Street. How will further development, a casino, and an ever-expanding residential population affect an already congested artery to the hospital in our village? How is a food pantry operation defined, and would this include restaurant operations? What are the operating hours in a residential neighborhood, and when are the deliveries made? How would this be reflected in the lease?
If Heart of the Hamptons has two and half years remaining on its lease, why not conduct a proper study for the best possible location? Might there be alternative locations that could be as convenient, and enhance their mission?
We believe the village is owed a study as required by municipal law, for both the villagewide residential code change and any facility that wishes to operate in a residential neighborhood. At a minimum, a State Environmental Quality Review Act analysis should be performed.
We also believe that taxpayers and residents have the right to transparency and to ask questions.
One fine body…