Sensitive Area - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1805913

Sensitive Area

Why didn’t the Southampton Town Board invite the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee to comment on the special events permits for the Konner property, across from the Commons, regarding Bay Street Theater? The Town Board allows the fire marshal to approve the special permits. The fire commissioner’s general concerns are quite different.

The Town Board is ultimately responsible for community planning, environmental impact assessment and the protection of neighborhood character. Clearly, this was not the case. The stage, chairs and cars are set up as close to the wetlands as possible in the residential-zoned lots abutting Kellis Pond.

The Town of Southampton issued a blue-green algae danger warning for Kellis Pond on its website June 29. Does the Town of Southampton ignore the danger of blue-green algae blooms in most of our ponds, which are connected, like Kellis Pond, which is surrounded by residential areas and runs into Mecox Bay?

The Town Board issued a special event permit to Konners Inc. on this volatile watershed site in Bridgehampton without discussion with its Bridgehampton CAC. Our committee works very hard and appreciates the desire of our residents to enjoy the peaceful beauty of our hamlet.

Bay Street Theater of Sag Harbor is searching for a new location. The community and Bridgehampton Action Now fought to keep this property green several years ago. Pollution comes from automobiles and groundwater runoff, which help to cause eutrophication, which can cause substantial ecological degradation in water bodies and associated streams. The permit is not one week but for three weeks.

The town allowed the more than 150 cars to be parked on or near the wetlands border. The erected stage tucked away on the left property line is threatening our wetlands. Our wetlands plants are protected under state and local laws; i.e., trees, shrubs and grasses. A number of bird species nest in this vegetation, while herons, a few shore birds and ospreys feed in the pond, along with several other species of waterfowl.

At recent CAC meetings, the residents have been alarmed about the violations of traffic laws going on at intersections, along with a lack of police presence. Bridgehampton has only one police car. However, there were two police cars parked in the lot during the performances hidden in the northwest corner of this environmentally sensitive property, which has never been built on.

The art world is welcomed in our hamlet — but in an environmentally safe area not surrounded by ponds and residents.

Why not make the Konner property into an indigenous nursery? There were many trees cleared from the Konner property. The town requests residents to replant indigenous trees and shrubs on land they cleared. Why not do the Konners’ property?

Bonnie Verbitsky


Bridgehampton Action Now


Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee