Silence From Town - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1918086

Silence From Town

Seven weeks ago, some 50 local residents submitted a petition to the Town of Southampton to ban art fairs on the field on Corwith Avenue in Bridgehampton [“Neighbors Petition For Denial Of Bridgehampton Art Market Fair This Summer,”, March 16]. The petition cited a number of requirements specified in the town code that were ignored in the granting of a special event permit for the art fair.

Reasons for denial of a special event permit include insufficient provision for traffic and parking, a use incompatible with the surrounding area, disturbing the peace and adversely affecting the use and enjoyment of adjoining properties, and events largely for private profit. All of these requirements, which are clearly specified in Article 283 of the town code, were violated with the issuance of a special event permit for the art fair.

On July 13, after construction for the art fair had started, I requested a copy of the special event permit from the town. On July 14, I was advised in writing by the town clerk’s office that “no such records exist.” It should be noted that special event permit applications must be submitted no less than 90 days before the event.

The petitioners have four specific requests. We asked that all future permits for special events not in keeping with the residential neighborhood be denied. We asked that no building permits be granted for special events prior to the granting of a special event permit. We asked for a revision of the town code to make notification to adjoining property owners of special event permit applications mandatory instead of optional.

Finally, we asked that the farm field on Corwith Avenue, specifically identified in the Hamlet Center Plan of 2004 as a “Heritage Resource,” be restored to a farm field (as it was prior to the art fair), and that this property be earmarked for acquisition by the Community Preservation Fund. According to the Bridgehampton Hamlet Center Plan, the first objective for the property where the fair was held is: “to the maximum extent possible, preserve this site as open space.”

To date, the petitioners have not received any response from the town.

Miles Jaffe