The main topics of conversation throughout the Village during January and February came from the Planning Commission, as it continued to study the proposed sewer district and the possible rezoning of North Sea Road (to include Limited Retail). In addition, several key applications moved forward at the ARB involving an historic home on Hill Street and several other applications in the historic district of the Village.
Last year, an initial report was prepared by H2M Architects and Engineers of Huntington outlining the creation of a serer district. The proposal was discussed at a special meeting at the Cultural Center in December. The Planning Commission met again in January to further discuss the project. At the January meeting, Chris Gobler of Stony Brook Southampton’s School of Marine Sciences made a presentation about the sewer district and its possible benefits to the health of Lake Agawam. While there is no disagreement that the Lake is in poor shape, the need for a sewer district was debated, as storm water runoff and contaminated sediment are also major problems. The financial details were also discussed, as residents village wide would be expected to contribute up to 25% of the initial costs, estimated at $33 million. The Association was represented by Lisa Liquori, who raise a number of issues to consider and thanked the trustees for requesting additional studies and engaging Dr. Gobler. Dan Gulizio, the Peconic Baykeeper, also spoke about he need for additional studies and the potential for much greater density (development) in the business district, which sewering would permit. This resulting development could actually create greater harm to our lakes, ponds and drinking water than the sewer system would possibly improve.
The North Sea Road Study was discussed expansively at the February Planning Commission meeting. Property owners along the corridor have been urging the village to consider additional users, primarily Limited Retail, which would include grocery stores, health and personal care stores, shoe stores, sporting goods/hobby/musical instrument stores, department stores, office supply, stationery and gift stores and limited-service eating places. The heavy traffic and the environmental consultant, Nelson Pope and Voorhis, will prepare responses. A recommendation will be made to the trustees possibly as as the May 5th Planning Commission meeting.
The ARB continued to hear several applications with widespread complications. On Hill Street, an historic farmhouse has been slated for significant expansion (a near doubling), that would overwhelm its historic contribution to the Hill Street Historic District. We continue to be disappointed will village government for not protecting our neighborhoods and preserving our few remaining historic resources. Many of you will be surprised to see what is growing (and what has been torn down) in our village when you return.
Lastly, please mark your calendars for the annual Southampton Association cocktail reception on June 18, 2016. It will be a great evening. We look forward to seeing you!
April 12, 2016