At the March and April Board of Trustees meetings, the main topics of discussion were the 2012 Budget, deer fencing legislation, and continuing conversation over the proposal to change zoning in a portion of the Village’s highway business district.
The approved budget includes a 3.78% spending increase (to $24.5 million). Village Property taxes will increase by 2%, just within the state mandated cap. Under the budget, the police department (at $5.9 million) and employee benefits (at $6.7 million) make up over half of the expenditures. The Village Treasurer, Stephen Funsch, again reviewed the building permit/tax assessment problem (initially identified by the Association). Approximately $200,000 of $690,000 was recouped from the assessment error, which had been occurring for more than 5 years. However, the Village has yet to comment on lapses in the review of building permit filings, which also appears to have resulted in the Village under-charging both building permit fees and tax assessments in certain situations.
The Deer fence law continued to be discussed. There is no consensus on the use of the
higher fencing. A specialist from the LI Farm Bureau spoke, recommending that culling of the herd is not effective. In residential areas, the deer fencing works for the enclosed property, but obviously moves the problem elsewhere. The board will continue to review the options.
Discussion continued 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). A preliminary engineering and traffic study is being completed by the Village before any decision will be made. A revised King Kullen project in Tuckahoe was resurrected at the Town. This new
project would create a 60,000 sq. ft. shopping center on CR39 east of the Sunoco gas station. We continue to oppose this development for the negative impact it would have on the Village center.
The dilapidated building at 22 Windmill Lane was discussed after the owner was issued a number of summons tickets. Some safety issues were addressed, but no long term solution for the building (the interior of which has historic woodwork from the 1700s) has yet been agreed upon.
Lastly, through the efforts of our board member, Eldon Scott, the Association sponsored a 3 day visit by Robert Gibbs, a renowned retail planning consultant to provide information and suggestions for both Southampton Village and Town. Mr. Gibbs met with both Village and Town planners, as well as numerous retailers and residents. His suggestions have helped many other historic villages understand and improve their retailing environments. We will have a summary of his initial comments on our website as soon as they are available.
May 24, 2012