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Mar 1, 2019 2:26 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Community Opposition Leads Southampton Village Board To Assess Town’s Affordable Housing Proposal

Southampton Village Board members Richard Yastrzemski and Kimberly Allan with Village Mayor Michael Irving at the February 26 board meeting. ANISAH ABDULLAH
Mar 6, 2019 10:43 AM

Southampton Village Board members have agreed to review a proposal currently before the Town Board to construct a 60-unit affordable and workforce housing complex off Country Road 39, after neighboring village residents voiced their opposition to the project in Village Hall last week.

The proposal, that the Medford-based nonprofit Concern for Independent Living presented to the Town Board last month, is for a 9.4-acre parcel of land that the Southampton Full Gospel Church currently owns just outside the village border. The town would have to grant a change of zone for the parcel in order for the project to move forward.

The proposed complex would consist of six 10-unit buildings on 5 of the 9.4 acres of land. Conceptual plans show an entrance to the development from County Road 39 and two additional access roads—one going into the Hillcrest neighborhood to the south and another heading west onto Seasons Lane.

Most of the nearly dozen people who spoke at the board meeting on Tuesday, February 26, were Hillcrest property owners concerned that it would bring traffic and safety issues to their already dense neighborhood. One resident, Linda Weeks, said she was worried that drivers heading into the village from County Road 39 would choose to cut through the complex to avoid the busy North Sea Road intersection.

Although the project is outside of the village’s jurisdiction, residents urged board members to formally oppose the proposal before the Town Board decides whether or not to make further considerations.

“Children will be in danger with traffic, traffic flow will be excessive, sewage plant and traffic will decrease the value of our homes, health concerns with sewer plant and motor vehicle air pollution, road conditions will deteriorate, noise will have a huge impact,” Shonda Campbell, coordinator of the Hillcrest Neighborhood Watch, said to the board. “I stand for my neighbors, and we all oppose, and that’s why we’re here today.”

Village resident Nick Gribas, who recently purchased several properties in the Hillcrest neighborhood, was among those opposed. “Projects that have a concentration of affordable housing are not good for those who live there and not good for those around those areas and not good for our police department. They just don’t serve that purpose,” he said, citing the density of development required.

And it isn’t just the residents that the village has to acknowledge—the village’s fire, ambulance and police departments would be responsible for that development, Mayor Michael Irving confirmed at the meeting. Those agencies coincidentally presented their 2018 statistics to the board that meeting and 1st Assistant Fire Chief Alfred Callahan said his department had among the highest number of calls within the county last year.

The board members reassured residents that they would contact town officials to assess how the project would impact the village and determine an appropriate response. Board Member Kimberly Allan said that they were unaware of the proposal until Daniel Trunk, who resides on Miller Road, called the village the day after it was presented to the town.

“There is no question about it that the area on Hillcrest has got a density issue,” the mayor said, noting the Hamptons Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing adjacent to the project location. “So, we will, without a doubt, look into it and see what we can do, no question.”

“I think we’re all dead set against it,” Board Member William Hattrick said.

Village Attorney Wayne Bruyn suggested that concerned residents put their comments in writing and present them to the Town Board at its next work session.

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... Bruyn should warn the board that if the developer does not get the zoning change requested they might sue the municipalities involved and those that voted the project down for millions of dollars in damages.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Mar 1, 19 3:52 PM
Hmmm Kimberly Allan and the rest of the living dead on the village board said we want affordable housing because they thought there was no land. They made easy zoning behind Mcdonalds to attract developers to move out minorities ( going very well houses went from 300k to 650k) and other people they deem undesirable. Funny how 2 years ago they were all shocked when a trustee candidate used the N word. Seems these people are closet black face users themselves. Makes me so sick!
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Mar 1, 19 4:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
...Bruyn should warn the village that if the developer does not get their zoning change they might sue the municipalities and those that vote against the proposal for millions of dollars in damages.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Mar 1, 19 4:27 PM
This is an opportunity for the Village to dip into its deep well of CPF funds and purchase this parcel of land as it did with the proposed project on Moses lane--down the road from the then mayor,Mr. Epley.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Mar 1, 19 6:55 PM

Would you please add links above for the earlier article(s), thanks.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Mar 1, 19 7:30 PM
The sheer absurdity of adding a multiple resident complex into the already over-crowded Hillcrest area that would feed into impossibly congested CTR 39 and adding the responsibility of the housing complex oversight onto the Village Fire and Police Dept, is about as dumb and irresponsible an idea that's come before the Board in a very long time.
By BillWillConn3 (180), Southampton on Mar 1, 19 8:04 PM
2 members liked this comment
Wrong place for a very bad project. Why add another ghetto to the area, the debacle on Sandy Hollow is bad enough.Time to face the fact that not everyone can afford to live where they work, it's been that way for ever and our government has no business spending our tax dollars on a social engineering project.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Mar 1, 19 10:44 PM
housing complexes really do not belong in Suffolk county. Stop trying to turn Southampton into the boroughs of the city.
By Resident tax (186), Hampton bays ny on Mar 5, 19 10:55 AM
2 members liked this comment