The Knight We Need - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1551965

The Knight We Need

The Knight We Need

The community owes much to environmental groups and individuals who defeated the incorporation of East Quogue — a village by developers, for developers — in a record voter turnout [“East Quogue Village Incorporation Is Rejected,” 27east.com, October 17]. Thank you, Bob DeLuca, Group for the East End; Dick Amper, Pine Barrens Society; Al Algieri, East Quogue Civic Association; and extraordinary citizens Ron Kass, Andrea Spilka, Bill Kearns, Ora Salmaggi and others.

Officials have a clear mandate against “The Hills.” This monster development was defeated once by the Town Board. Now, the Planning Board must slay it.

Chairman Jacqui Lofaro is the knight we need. Her sword is easily plunged into the dragon’s heart. How? By simply using the Open Space Law — town code Section 247-9 D’s clear prohibition against use of the “open space” created by clustering for active recreational uses, like golf, and the definitions of “open space” in the code. Section 247-9 expressly prohibits active recreation on the common area created by clustering, whether the open space preserved is 65 or 99 percent: “D. Areas for active recreation which are to contain substantial improvements, structures, impervious surfaces and other alteration from their natural state shall not constitute open space hereunder …”

The zoning board’s discredited opinion, stating that the 91-acre golf course is accessory to a single-family lot, left a gaping hole. It only answered the question of what was an accessory use on a house lot. It did not address the legal issue of whether a commercial golf course is a legal use on the “common area” created by using the Open Space Law. The open space created by the Open Space Law is not in a house lot.

The code’s definition of “accessory uses” only deals with what is allowed on a single-family lot: “a subordinate use, building or structure customarily incidental to and located on the same lot occupied by the main use, building or structure.”

Our knight has weapons.

The clearly stated intent of the 5-acre zone, Aquifer Protection Overlay District and Open Space Law is to protect natural resources, like drinking water — not to enable polluting golf courses in the Pine Barrens. This was evidenced by Assemblyman Fred Thiele, author of the state law enabling towns to cluster, and the Open Space Law, by letter, March 17, 2018: “In conclusion, the proper use of open space areas, pursuant to an open space subdivision, is clearly outlined in state law, as well as Southampton Town local law implementing the state law. These lands are to remain in their natural state, with minor improvements to foster public access for passive recreational purposes. Golf courses simply don’t constitute such a use.”

The Planning Board must finish this monster off once and for all.

Carolyn Zenk

Attorney-at-law

Hampton Bays

Ms. Zenk is a former Southampton Town Board member — Ed.

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