The main topic of conversation during November and December was the proposed Sewer District. In addition, after interviews with the Planning Commission, a North Fork Architect/Planner was selected by the Trustees to review various formulas, including gross floor area and lot coverage, which the Association identified in its “6 point plan” as needing change.
Earlier this year, an initial report was prepared by H2M Architects and Engineers of Huntington outlining the creation of a sewer district in the Village. A special meeting was held at the Cultural Center on December 3rd to present the plan to Village residents and interested parties. The area to be covered would roughly include Job’s Lane, Culver Street, Hill Street to the Southampton Inn, Windmill Lane, Nugent Street, a portion of Hampton Road, Main Street and North Sea Road to Bowden Square. (A full map is available on the Village website). The project is estimated to cost approximately $33 million. The Village hopes to receive upwards of $10 million in NYS grants. The district would cover approximately 155 properties in the village center and the properties would pay a special tax covering 75% of the construction costs (which would be bonded) and 100% of the operating costs. Village residents outside the district would be responsible for 25% of the construction costs. The consultants indicated that the main benefits of the project would be to reduce nitrogen in Lake Agawam and to enable property owners within the district to expand or change the use of their properties more easily (currently, Board of Health approval is required.) Much discussion ensued about the merits of a sewer district. The consultants were not able to quantify the benefits to the lake or the potential increase in density that a sewer district could allow. It was agreed that additional information was necessary and a second meeting was scheduled for January.
The Southampton Association hosted a cocktail reception on November 22 to honor and thank the Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance Corp. Our Treasurer, Susan Stevenson, presented Chief Rick Fowler with a check for $25,000 to equip a fitness room in their new facility.
At the December meeting, members of the Southampton Association continued to press the Trustees to clarify the powers of the Architectural Review Board (ARB). We again presented our legal opinion prepared by Meyer, Suozzi, English and Klein of Garden City, which carefully outlines the authority of the ARB to disapprove or require changes to incompatible projects. Section 116 of the Village code states that the Board is charged with the duty of “exercising sound judgment and of rejecting plans which, in its opinion, are not of harmonious character because of proposed style, materials, mass, line, color, detail or placement upon the property…” We were told the village attorney is still reviewing the opinion (since August!)
Lastly, please mark your calendars for the annual Southampton Association cocktail reception on June 18, 2016. It will be a great evening at a special Southampton property. We look forward to seeing you!
February 12, 2016