Village Meeting Minutes – January and February 2012

At the January and February Board of Trustees meetings, the main topics of conversation were the proposal to change zoning in a portion of the Village’s highway business district, a building department audit of permits and tax assessments, and the future use of the Parrish Museum building.

There is much controversy regarding the zoning change which would permit redevelopment of the former Glennon car dealership (Hampton Road and County Road 39) into a new grocery store operated by The Fresh Market (part of a NC-based food store chain).  The zoning change will permit supermarkets of between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet along County Road 39 in Southampton Village from the railroad tracks to Flying Point Road.  Approximately 9 parcels on the south side of the highway would be affected.  Approval for each potential development would be subject to limitations and a special vote of the Trustees.

While there is broad agreement that a competitor to Waldbaum’s would be a benefit and that the Glennon site is an eye-sore in its present condition, significant opposition exists.  The intersection is already highly congested, it abuts residential developments, and it sets a precedent which could be duplicated along a busy highway corridor.  Furthermore, the Fresh Market will not so much compete with Waldbaum’s as with Schmidt’s, Catena’s and Hampton Prime Meats.  At the end of February, the Trustees closed discussion and requested the Village Planning Consultants conduct an initial traffic study before voting on the change to zoning.

The results of a building permit audit were discussed.  This issue initially came to light following a Southampton Association study on the differences in tax calculations between the Town and the Village.  Several inconsistencies were noticed in Village assessments and, as a result, the Association contacted both Village and NY State officials.  According to the Village, a lapse in controls allowed 108 building permits not to be entered into the Tax assessment system (in Southampton Village, assessments only increase based on the completion of a building permit – in the Town, assessments are frequently updated based on recent nearby real estate transactions, completed building permits, and updated appraisals, among other factors.) According to the Village, the problem began in 2004 and has resulted in nearly $700,000 in missed tax revenues from the affected properties.  We identified other concerns in the assessment system and are waiting for further information from Village and State officials.

Lastly, a presentation was made regarding the possibility of creating a seasonal outdoor performance space at the Parish.  This would be a low cost way of testing the waters for new uses for the facility.  The Board agreed to review the concept.

On a final note, the board would like to thank Julie Kammerer, a long time supporter and board member, on her many years of service.  We reluctantly accepted Julie’s request to retire from the board at our January Meeting.

March 16, 2012

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