Look Forward to Change
At the Sag Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals meeting of April 16, the lawyer representing the developers of Harbor Heights gas station indicated that the project would be redesigned. This is good news. The earlier designs, which we opposed, significantly exceeded multiple requirements of the village code, and threatened to overwhelm the residential neighborhood and village gateway with oversized buildings and substantial increases in traffic to the site.
Save Sag Harbor fully supports modernization and renovation of the Harbor Heights property, provided the developers do not ask for variances from the regulations that protect the public. Provisions in the village code require vegetative buffers, building set backs, adequate landscape coverage and convenience store size limits. These are sensible, modest requirements that protect the neighbors in this residential district, and serve to protect the character of the village as a whole. For similar reasons, we cannot support extensions of the use of the property, like additional pumps and a new 102 foot long canopy.
We have been critical of past design proposals for not adhering to village code, and thus we are extremely pleased that Petroleum Ventures/ Harbor Heights has decided to change their plans. We are optimistic that any new plans will adhere to all provisions in Village code, and we look forward to reviewing the details.
For Save Sag Harbor Board of Directors
Not in My Air Space
For decades East Hampton airport has been directing its noisy airport operations over other towns, yet nothing has been done to stop them; from last July, 80 percent of air traffic in and out of East Hampton airport has been directed over residents in other communities, not theirs. Worse, this seems federally sanctioned, as the FAA is willing to continue to fund East Hampton’s airport expansion. And grant obligations that accompany FAA handouts will shackle the town to 20 more years of federal control, ensuring the airport remains open to all comers, day and night, 365 days each year.
Faced by growing numbers of angry residents from Southampton and North Fork communities, many East Hampton residents now correctly understand that their peace is threatened; if the airport is not directing the air noise over other communities, it will be directed over theirs, if not this year, then next year.
Predictably, Not in My Back Yard (NIMBY) groups are now forming in East Hampton’s various hamlets. No neighborhood wants to be under a flight path, not even pilots, members of the East Hampton Aviation Association (EHAA), want to live under the noise they create. Recently, a group of Northwest residents mailed a letter and petition to fellow Northwest residents in an attempt to garner signatures to prevent any air traffic above their homes. This group of NIMBYS includes aviation supporters and EHAA pilots, Tom Twomey and John Shea who apparently do not care about the well-being of their fellow East Hampton residents any more than they cared about residents in other communities.
The EHAA has been funding an advertising blitz in local papers announcing that the airport is getting smaller and safer; nothing could be farther from the truth, it has been recently designated by the FAA as a Regional airport! Bear in mind that this disingenuous group spent a bundle during the 2011 East Hampton Town Board election, stating that the seasonal control tower was to be ”temporary”, yet the tower is now to be permanent; and the EHAA repeatedly stated in their ads that the tower would help with noise abatement; yet the FAA said — on the very day the tower opened — that it was never intended to help with noise abatement.
Space in a letter to the editor does not permit a complete list of misleading statements made by EHAA and by the favored candidate of special aviation interests, Dominick Stanzione, but the statements are on public record, on video tape in some instances. While the following quote is too long to be considered for the Short Short Story Contest, it does accurately sum up Stanzione’s acts as EH Town Councilman. Supervisor Wilkinson, referring to his negative votes on resolutions brought before East Hampton Town Board by Dominick Stanzione, stated:
“Dominick’s track record, which has included unauthorized letter signings representing the town, pandering to certain interest groups, reneging on organizational and recruitment strategies, personally rerouting incoming and exiting aircraft, misrepresentations in general – has led to an atmosphere of distrust, by me and therefore led to these negative votes.” (East Hampton Star, March 14, 2013.)
A Living Memorial
To the Editor:
Last Saturday our non-profit foundation, Jordan’s Initiative, packaged 207 Care Packages for our troops in Afghanistan! Michelle and I would like to send our heartfelt thanks to our many dedicated volunteers, businesses, school groups, civic associations, and generous donors who honored my son by making this particular drive such a success. A special thanks to the Sag Harbor Village Ambulance Corps for the use of their facilities, the Sag Harbor Post Office, and Mayor Gilbride for his generosity and time.
Each box was lovingly packed with snacks, socks, toiletries, toys, candy, and personal letters from our local school children and they are being sent off this week to soldiers and Marines currently fighting in Afghanistan. Thirty of them will go to a local soldier named David Worrell whose mother was born and raised here in Sag Harbor. The other 177 parcels will go to a friend of Jordan’s Platoon Commander who is currently deployed to Afghanistan.
We can’t think of a more profound living memorial to Jordan’s supreme sacrifice in Iraq five years ago than to make the life of a current soldier just a little bit brighter with one of these cheerful gifts. The process of sending these parcels is both time consuming and expensive with an estimated cost of goods and postage hovering around the $12,000 mark. With Memorial Day approaching we encourage everyone in our beautiful community to become an active participant in the freedom that we enjoy so much by supporting our troops and local veterans with a donation to your favorite cause….If nothing else, thank them for what they do and what they have done. Yes, it’s that important. As the old saying goes, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
Understanding Mother Nature
In the past few years the role of the Southampton Town Trustees has been attacked on a rather constant basis by the administration of the town. Using economic limitations as a tool the town board, at least its supervisor, has attempted to bypass or at least politically control the trustees, a dedicated board of elected officials. There is no doubt that the influence of endowed beachfront property owners has encouraged this effort. Thank goodness our trustees have strong spines. Their work has helped them in their primary goal of protecting our oceanfront beaches and bays from badly researched and violent efforts to fight the inevitability of Mother Nature. Recently the messages from our trustees have begun to penetrate to the public through national as well as local media.
I think it is important to remember that there is a population on the East End that lives and votes here year around. For years and years on end we have watched the changes of our shorelines brought on by wind and water. We never fail to realize that we live 100 miles out in the ocean; and yet we thrive on our beaches, bays, sounds, and most of all our ocean. We respect the power of storms and we know not to challenge the forces of nature with artificial band-aids because our experience has shown this to be folly. Multiple generations know that one may live with — but never try to control — our ever changing environment.
I believe that we should support our trustees because they have experience and a sense of mission and a wealth of knowledge. Above all, they are part of a unique population sector that seems to understand the environmental problems and opportunities full time residents face in this wonderful East End of Long Island.
Noyac Road : The Simple Solution
Once again it seems we are struggling with the issue of traffic congestion at the Cromer’s shopping plaza. Studies have been done, plans prepared and the community is still unhappy with the proposed solution. As a resident of Northampton Colony I sympathize with my neighbors in Pine Neck who are supposed to accept having three of their quiet streets turned into outlets for the growing numbers of shoppers at the stores fronting Noyac Road. This amounts to taking relatively narrow neighborhood streets, often filled with children, bikers, dogs etc and using them as a safety valve for a busier roadway.
Given community opposition to this plan the rumble strips, lights and curbing, mentioned in last weeks Express, may be a step towards ameliorating the situation. However, this remains a serious safety issue given the volume of speeding cars traveling in both directions on Noyac Road.
Which leads me to a larger issue, that of the traffic problem on Noyac Road, especially in the North Sea to Noyac corridor. We must accept the increased usage of this winding tree lined road as a consequence of the ongoing residential development this area has experienced in recent years. In addition hundreds, perhaps thousands of cars use this two lane country road as a short cut to and from Sag Harbor and East Hampton, bypassing sections of Route 27. Noyac Road was never designed to handle the volume of traffic our communities must contend with on weekends and throughout the summer season. Adding to this problem must be the acknowledgement that no one observes the speed limits posted along the length of Noyac Road.
There is a simple way to address these problems. One that costs far less than the half-million-dollar figure that has been mentioned. This approach would lessen both the concerns about speeding cars and help make the use of the Cromer’s plaza area safer.
I propose that the town install 10 -15 seasonal stop signs along Noyac Road from its Western end to the traffic circle at the approach to Long Beach. I propose seasonal signs in that they may not be needed during our off-season when traffic flow is naturally reduced. The siting of these signs can be accomplished by appropriate town officials. One or two certainly should be placed by the Cromer’s plaza. This will serve as a cost effective response to the need for “Traffic Calming” along the entire stretch of Noyac Road and enable drivers leaving the road front stores to contend with a reduced volume of traffic traveling at slower speeds. The reduced volume may be accomplished as drivers realize that the multiple stop signs will increase their travel time and make Noyac Road a less attractive choice. They may be more inclined to stay on Route 27 which, though crowded, is better suited for high volume traffic than a hilly two lane road that runs through residential areas.
I realize this plan will have both positive and negative impacts on those of us living along Noyac Road We may have to hear the noise of brakes and accelerating cars at stop signs. Sure it will be an irritant to have it take longer to get to Sag Harbor during the summer. Yet reducing the volume of cars and their speed along this country road can only enhance the beauty and safety of our little corner of the Hamptons