The Manger Plan - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2014769

The Manger Plan

The first and last honest comment about the new “comprehensive plan” for Southampton Village [“Draft Comprehensive Master Plan For Southampton Village Imagines The Future,”, August 17] is calling it the Manger “Plan.” And the Manger Plan is the biggest fraud on our village and biggest gift to developers since then-Mayor Mark Epley shoved through his giveaway to developers, the zoning code of November 2005, which is still substantially unchanged and still enforced in our village.

What the Manger Plan promises is a continuation of over-building on both small and big lots — but we will get bicycle lanes on Nugent Street and Windmill Lane.

Today and tomorrow, in the new era of extreme weather, the Manger Plan gives developers a green light for continuing to put up excessively tall residences far too close to property lines for safety from fires spread by strong wind gusts. But we will get bicycle lanes.

The Manger Plan will allow developers to put up three-story buildings on our historic Jobs Lane, and encourage apartments above the stores in our city center. It ignores the overbuilding on that fragile sandbar called Meadow Lane. But we will get bicycle lanes.

The Manger Plan calls for the end of all three-bedroom houses on small lots, of all small four-bedroom colonials, with their expansive lawns on our local streets, which gave our village its “village character.” These small residences housed the families who were the backbone of our community. They were and are the families who provided the volunteer firemen, the lifeguards, the workers in our seasonal restaurants and stores. But we will get bicycle lanes.

A valid comprehensive plan is based on opinion research, conducted to fairly represent all the views of the village constituencies, by random sampling techniques or by a census, by bias-free questioning of these constituencies.

The first bias introduced into the Manger Plan was Manger himself and the four members of the so-called steering committee. Who elected them? Which members of his committee live in three-bedroom ranches on small local streets? Whose viewpoint does this committee represent?

The next bias was introduced by public meetings like the one held on August 23 in place of structured questionnaires to all village residents. These public meetings sound democratic, but they do not represent all the people of this village. The people who attend are a self-selected sample. The salt-of-the-earth people who have been the core population of our village do not like to raise their voices in public and, above all, they do not want to offend anyone.

This is our last chance to preserve what we treasure in Southampton and what is left of our beloved village. If you want a truthful comprehensive plan, vote down the dishonest Manger Plan.

Evelyn Konrad

Attorney at law