At the May and June Board of Trustees meetings, the main topics of conversation were discussions regarding the Summer Surf Camp, which has been operating for over 10 years at various Southampton Village Beaches. and a proposal to change the Village boundaries (annexing a small part of the town) which would bring all of the former Rambo site (now the Bishop’s Pond Condominium Project) into the Village. In addition, the Bailey Road affordable housing project moved forward, wth 3 properties likely to be available by mid 2014. A proposal was also discussed which would bring a ferry service to Lake Agawam (connecting Agawam park to the beach area) as a tribute to Pyrrhus Concer, a Sag Harbor resident who ran a ferry service on Lake Agawam in the mid-1800s.
The Flying Point Surf Club has been operating for more than 10 years, although Village code prohibits commercial enterprises on village beaches. The camp has operated each summer at various beaches depending on surf conditions. New rules will be established and a process will be opened up for other candidates to be considered next summer. The Village Board has decided to amend code to permit the camp to operate but will attempt to control such issues as size, safety, etiquette, sharing of facilities, and plan to enable the Village to strictly monitor compliance. The rapid growth in the size of the camp has caused the operation to come under criticism.
The Village and Town board met a joint session to consider the annexation of a small part of the Town by the Village. This wuld enable the Bishop Pond Condo Development at the former Rambo site to be fully within the Village, reducing administrative and service coverage (ambulance/fire response) confusion. While most spoke in favor of the request, the issue of establishing an accommodation for a developer was a precedent that was questioned.
In the Southampton School election, a $61.9 million budget was approved and the current board member was re-elected. We are concerned wth the runaway nature of spending, but our efforts to gain support for fair and prudent fiscal management have not been successful to date. The Association continues to support outstanding Southampton High School students, this year granting an $8000 scholarship to Manuel Bugallo who will attend Cornell in the fall. In Southampton Village, Mayor Epley, Trustee Nancy McGann, and Trustee Bill Hattrick will all re-elected unopposed. In early May, the Association sponsored a presentation by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a well-known beach erosion expert, to discuss the affects of recent hardened structures which have been rebuilt and/or expanded along our oceanfront. We are continuing to work with Village and DEC officials to help create an informed and transparent policy on beach structures and to advance beach nourishment projects.
Another traditional Village neighborhood (Burnett Street) has its first Mac Mansion approved. If you are interested in this zoning problem, the property is easily noted on Burnett Street (between Little Plains and Pine Street – enter from Pine). Lastly, as part of our commitment to provide objective and informed guidance to Town and Village officials, we hope to have Robert Gibbs, a planning expert the SHA hired in 2012 to assess our Village, to further discuss retailing in our village and town. We also plan to hold a full SHA members meeting in August. Watch your emails for further details.
July 19, 2013