The Southampton Press awarded a gold star to the Southampton Town Board for dropping their legal case to appeal Suffolk County State Supreme Court Justice Joseph A. Santorelli’s annulment of the Hampton Bays Downtown Overlay District [“Gold Stars and Dunce Caps,” Editorial, November 24]. The Press concludes that the judge’s annulment paused “a runaway disaster” in Hampton Bays.
I date the inception of that disaster to the town’s decision to ignore its own Hampton Bays Corridor Strategic Plan, completed in 2010. The Strategic Plan offered “a set of adjectives which characterize [Hampton Bays’] current identity, and which the community would like to see strengthened as it grows: Vibrant, Historic, Seaside, Ecological, Green, Safe, [and] Distinctive.”
The Town should use these qualities to guide planning in Hampton Bays. Rather than promoting a smart growth project, the town should work with local residents to create a “regenerative” development, a proposal that improves local quality of life and ecology. The revised plan should also strengthen cultural and historic resources.
Hopefully, the Town Board has heard the most important message coming from Hampton Bays: Development is eroding local quality of life. For example, siting a sewage treatment plant adjacent to Good Ground Cemetery was widely panned as an awful location that would degrade the community’s historic resources.
Month after month, Gayle Lombardi has dismantled the idea that the community has no control over its own future. The Press should have awarded that gold star jointly to the Town Board — and Gayle Lombardi.
One fine body…