Preserving Nothing - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1724173

Preserving Nothing

The proposal for a two-story sports complex touted by Jay Schneiderman and pushed as a “pool” by various of its promoters in the name of the deprived children of the Hamptons makes clear why the Community Preservation Fund, a/k/a another real estate tax, must be ended. And that does not even represent the worst aspect of this fuzzy proposal to build on land bought by taxpayer dollars.

While happy to have it approved for Red Creek Park in Hampton Bays two years ago, the promoters now see no other place for it but on County Road 39 and Magee Street in Tuckahoe — home to gridlock and endless lines of traffic flooding village streets.

Southampton Village has contributed massively and disproportionately to the CPF, and, with little land to preserve, the money has gone elsewhere. The repayment for this legislated largess is to now propose manipulating the CPF to allow an inappropriate building at the village edge, which will further add to the unendurable traffic that has made Hill Street an alternate highway.

Use of this money preserves nothing and flies in the face of community goals and wishes.

Using the feel-good “wellness-speak” currently permeating the internet, sham medicine and advertising, the promoters hired marketing and aquatic consultants of this indoor pool-cum-spa, -cum-two-story-spa-and-fitness hangar to relentlessly hype its benefits to children. They produced a coterie of advocates while denying that any opposition has been expressed.

The opposition to building and especially building that adds to traffic on this specific site is the record of the recent past. The president of STAR maintains that the decision to eschew Red Creek in favor of County Road 39 “came after much research on the location that would afford optimal usage and access to the facility” [“A STAR Update,” Letters, September 17]. What does that mean, exactly? And how determined?

Claims that they had “professional analysis” of four other sites (cobbled together after they had approval for Red Creek) have produced an amalgam of gibberish, half-baked ideas, pooh-pooh promises and pie-in-the-sky projections. Doesn’t bear scrutiny.

And why are they now hawking a pool half the size approved for Red Creek on double the land in Tuckahoe?

Whatever the initial impulse to build a pool (and children’s character in the same structure, as their consultants claim), this proposal has morphed into a blatant, ill-advised hybrid. It is a future liability just waiting to be snapped up by an accommodating entrepreneur.

Time for the CPF to be reevaluated and, with any luck, jettisoned before it becomes any more of a slush fund.

Frances Genovese



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