The recent court decision concerning the Hampton Bays Downtown Overlay District has stopped this deceitful and bad plan from being implemented. The plan’s intent is to urbanize the Hampton Bays hamlet along the lines of Brentwood or Patchogue. This up-zoning will make projects more profitable for developers. The needed infrastructure upgrades needed to support such an ambitious undertaking will be paid for with public funds by residents of Hampton Bays and the Town of Southampton.
The idea to increase density so developers can get a bigger return on investment at the expense of taxpayers is astounding.
Whose plan is it anyway? Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and his head of planning Janice Scherer would like you to believe that it was developed with comprehensive community involvement. This is a specious assertion based on the fact that 1,200 people responded to a questionnaire, which was so poorly designed as to be worthless. The final outcome was not based on the results of this questionnaire.
Mr. Schneiderman is quoted in an article published in the Long Island Business News on August 3: “I think if they understood his vision and what he is trying to do, I think they would embrace it.” Mr. Schneiderman was making reference to the Caiola Real Estate Group, which owns several properties in the overlay district. The company wants to start development on those properties based on the new zoning of the district. Well, if that is true why not make the details of this project public?
Janice Scherer, the head of planning for the Town of Southampton, is quoted in this publication as saying, “We have not had a proposal, and now we won’t be.”
What are residents of Hampton Bays to believe with these two conflicting statements? The Schneiderman administration has lost all its credibility.
Councilman Rick Martel is the owner of property located in the overlay district. The value of his land has the potential to increase because of the zoning upgrades the plan proposes. This is a conflict of interest, and Mr. Martel should refrain from campaigning for the acceptance of the plan. He also has to recuse himself from voting on this proposal.
How can this little hamlet — already the densest in the Town of Southampton, the bottleneck for all the traffic going east, home of brown drinking water and low water pressure — sustain such levels of development?
Revitalization should benefit all the residents of Hampton Bays, not only the property owners, the developers and the politicians who support them.
One fine body…