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Aug 13, 2008 11:34 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Borders of Hampton Bays moratorium extended

Aug 13, 2008 11:34 AM

Though it didn’t satisfy everyone, the Southampton Town Board on Tuesday widened the boundaries of the 12-month Hampton Bays moratorium it enacted back in June.

Hampton Bays Civic Association members and community activists Mary Jean Green and Bob McAlevy expressed disappointment with the expansion of the halt on development at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting, with Mr. McAlevy thanking the board for “half a stale loaf,” and Ms. Green accusing the members of not listening to the needs of the community and threatening them with payback at the polls.

“We won’t forget,” Ms. Green said. “Hampton Bays won’t forget.”

The moratorium, adopted by the board on June 10, targets the commercial corridor along Montauk Highway, from Jones Road in the east to Peconic Road in the west, focusing on three main sectors. The western sector, from Jones Road to Route 24, includes properties zoned for highway business that town planners have highlighted as an area with potential for significant development. The central sector, or the hamlet center, extends along Montauk Highway from Route 24 to the intersection of Ponquogue Avenue and Squiretown Road and includes historic structures that could face the wrecking ball if not protected. The eastern sector, from the Ponquogue/Squiretown intersection across the Shinnecock Canal to the hamlet’s border, contains a mixed use of commercial, retail and service industries. The historic Canoe Place Inn, located in this sector, could be lost to demolition if a pending change of zone application is approved.

But before the original moratorium was enacted in June, Mr. McAlevy and Ms. Green—as well as other civic association members—began clamoring for a wider coverage area.

“We’re being carpet-bombed with overdevelopment,” Mr. McAlevy said before the June 10 vote on the moratorium was called. “And this corridor moratorium will do little to mitigate that.”

The original corridor moratorium incorporated 18 percent of the hamlet, or 1,489 acres. The widening of the boundaries increases that percentage to 32.3 percent of the hamlet, covering 2,409 acres.

Now the parameters in the west extend from Jones Road eastward into Tiana Bay, reaching as far south as Oakwood Road and capturing some resort waterfront business zoning near Hidden Cove. In the Foster’s Creek area, near the Ponquogue Bridge, a new boundary was drawn from Shinnecock Road in the north to the Shinnecock Bay in the south and from Gardners Lane extending east to the water. The expansion also takes in the areas zoned for resort waterfront business near the Ponquogue Bridge, except for the barrier beach strip, which has already been built out, according to Town Supervisor Linda Kabot.

North of Sunrise Highway, the border still reaches from Peconic Road, but now extends just past Newtown Road in the west and stretches from Sunrise Highway just into the Great Peconic Bay.

“I understand some want the entire hamlet covered in a moratorium,” Ms. Kabot said. “But we have to be judicious in where we draw the line, while at the same time being responsive to the community’s needs.”

Variance applications for single-family homes and residential subdivisions with a yield of three lots or less are exempt from the initial corridor moratorium.

“The idea behind the moratorium is to capture the big developments,” Ms. Kabot said, “not hurt the little guy.”

Due to previous litigation, the 50,000-square-foot Stop & Shop supermarket, under construction on the corner of Route 24 and Montauk Highway, and the 8-acre 50-unit senior citizen condominium complex known as Arborview, on Montauk Highway near Allomara Road, are also excluded from the broader moratorium.

On July 8, the board enacted a six-month townwide moratorium on condominium conversions, which is aimed at further easing overdevelopment in Hampton Bays—in particular, where the bulk of motels, cottages and other dwellings often converted to condos are clustered. Exempt from that moratorium are developments that have already received permits from the town, including a proposal to convert the Allen’s Acres motel near the Ponquogue Bridge into a 24-unit, high-end condominium complex.

Some of the other applications to be excluded from the Hampton Bays moratorium include all building permits for projects that have already been approved, routine maintenance, minor additions to existing structures less than 1,000 square feet, renovations to existing structures not requiring a change of use, façade improvements, and building permits for single family homes.

The Hampton Bays moratorium will expire on June 30, 2009.

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