On Day One - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1871318

On Day One

If I were elected trustee of Southampton Village, this would be my agenda on day one:

First, I would urge our mayor to immediately hire both an environmental consultant and a fire prevention expert with recent experience in East End villages to advise, in view of high winds due to climate change, on: (1) which neighborhoods and small local streets are in current and immediate future danger of fire spreading from one large house to its immediate neighbors, and what mitigating steps could help prevent such a disaster; (2) guidelines for future grants of applications for new residences on small lots about (a) safe height of new house, (b) minimum distance of new structure from its property border lines, and (c) excessive ratio of structures to land in terms of danger of fire spreading beyond its source.

These guidelines and this information should be instantly distributed to all the members of our three regulatory boards, to prevent them from granting any dangerous variances, permissions for McMansions that threaten their neighbors, and/or excessively dense subdivision applications.

In a recent letter, I warned about the danger of fires spreading from one overbuilt lot to the neighbor’s, or even on a local street. And, lo and behold, the January 13 issue of The Press has a front-page story with picture showing just such an occurrence, “during high winds,” in Shinnecock Hills.

Second, I would urge our mayor to hire a land-use and zoning litigator familiar with our local law requiring an owner to repair damages that threaten a historic site or street, and familiar with the state laws that forbid the fencing off of public spaces. This litigator should be instructed to seek an immediate temporary injunction against the owner of the 38-42 Jobs Lane property, forcing (1) restoration of the iconic brick courtyard to its pre-fence condition three years ago, and (2) removal of the illegal fence, making this public space (for more than three decades) once again available to our village residents and visitors.

Third, I would urge our mayor and our trustees to vote for an immediate rescinding of the grant of subdivision rights (early in 2021) to Paul and Joan Robinson for their tiny Old Town Road property right above Old Town Pond, because this subdivision application was granted (1) by an illegal voice vote, after rescission of the fatally flawed negative declaration; (2) illegal voice vote restoring the even then illegal negative declaration of ten years ago; and (3) the willful violation of the letter and spirit of the New York State SEQRA law.

For some idea about my recommended agenda for day two of such a trustee election, just read my next letter to the editor.

Evelyn Konrad

Attorney at law