Out With The Old ... - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1552011

Out With The Old …

Out With The Old …
Under the direction of the Southampton Town Board, there is a systematic failure to govern in a transparent, accountable, effective and efficient manner.
A recent example that will adversely impact Hampton Bays is the proposal for the Hampton Bays Downtown Overlay District, or HBDOD. The HBDOD plan was supposed to be a framework for a vibrant downtown business district driven by community input. Who wouldn’t want that?
Somehow, the HBDOD plan proposed by the Town Board became a framework for dense residential development. The draft documents estimate the build-out of 250 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, with 20 percent being allocated to affordable housing — in addition to a 100-bed assisted living facility. The dense residential development then creates the need for extensive waste treatment, wastewater management and water usage needs, increased school enrollment, vehicular congestion, strain on emergency services, and a reduction in open space.
The dense residential use was neither consistent with previous approved plans nor discussed in an open and transparent manner with Hampton Bays residents.
Hampton Bays residents have always voiced concerns about the negative impact of residential density in the hamlet. The density for the hamlet of Hampton Bays is 1,000 persons per square mile, while the average in the Town of Southampton is 400 persons per square mile.
It raises the question as to how the three-year process could result in such a “corrupted” outcome — akin to a damaged computer program. Is it part of an internal corrupted process, due to poor leadership and management? Were there outside influences acting contrary to the best interests of the Hampton Bays community at large, such as the interests of a private developer or the affordable housing movement from east of the canal? Is the Town Board overreaching by attempting to urbanize Hampton Bays to preserve the character and lifestyle of the wealthier hamlets and villages?
No matter what the reason, the Town Board failed the Hampton Bays community.
In 2015, when both Jay Schneiderman and John Bouvier were seeking seats on the Town Board, they represented that they understood that residential density has a negative impact in Hampton Bays and committed to initiatives to decrease the residential density. I am not sure what is more disappointing — that they reneged on their commitment, or that they tried to disguise the proposed residential development as “commercial revitalization.”
Either way, neither Jay Schneiderman nor John Bouvier deserve to be reelected to the Town Board this November.
Gayle Lombardi
Hampton Bays

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