Silence Vs. Consensus - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1816612

Silence Vs. Consensus

Why did Southampton Town officials feel the need to defend their design for the Hampton Bays Downtown Overlay District (HBDOD) at a virtual Hampton Bays Civic Association meeting, when the HBDOD is on pause due to the State Supreme Court decision? Was it to crush the groundswell of community discussion about the HBDOD after the court decision, the Good Ground Road extension and the plans for a sewage treatment plant at 30 Cemetery Road?

Based on the town’s own Comprehensive Plan update (the Corridor Strategic Plan), the HBDOD was supposed to create the infrastructure and uniform design specifications for the downtown (Springville Road to Ponquogue Avenue/Good Ground Road to Good Ground Park) for two-story village business buildings with second-floor apartments, to generate a greater draw of people from the surrounding community to help the business owners prosper.

Instead, the final HBDOD morphed into large-scale residential housing options — from multifamily to live/work units to rowhouses, including 3½- (actually, four-) story residential units, doubling the development density projected in the Corridor Strategic Plan. The town officials estimate that there will be approximately 250 housing units, with 20 percent being allocated to workforce housing, but they really don’t know the full impact of the residential development.

Didn’t town officials promise Hampton Bays that there would be no large-scale residential developments? Was this really done to benefit the Hampton Bays community? Was it done to benefit the other hamlets and villages in the greater Town of Southampton at the expense of the Hampton Bays community? Was it done to benefit a handful of property owners in the HBDOD so they can maximize their return on investment at the expense of the Hampton Bays community?

The town officials continue to insist that they had consensus for the final HBDOD. Silence from the residents should not equate to consensus.

So, while the HBDOD is on pause, maybe it is time for the residents of Hampton Bays to break their silence.

Go to southamptontownny.gov (Town Board Res. 2020-288, Notice of Adoption to Add Hampton Bays Downtown Overlay District) to view the annulled resolution and details of the HBDOD. Take a look at the height and density of the buildings in the illustrations; for example, on pages 16, 17, 23, 36. Is this what you want for the downtown, knowing the magnitude of the allowable residential use?

Contact the Town Board at: Jay Schneiderman, jschneiderman@southamptontownny.gov; Tommy John Schiavoni, tjschiavoni@southamptontownny.gov; Julie Lofstad, jlofstad@southamptontownny.gov; John Bouvier, jbouvier@southamptontownny.gov; Rick Martel, rmartel@southamptontownny.gov; and copy the town attorney and town clerk, James Burke, jburke@southamptontownny.gov, and Sundy Schermeyer, sschermeyer@southamptontownny.gov.

Gayle Lombardi

Hampton Bays

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