by Marianna Levine
During a January 26th meeting that was attended by Town Board members Nancy Graboski and Chris Nuzzi, the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee resolved their problems with the so-called Ocean Road solar farm, started organizing a revised version of the hamlet study, and heard several reports from community members. The Ocean Road farm, being built near the intersection of Ocean Road and Montauk highway, had been a major topic of debate in the last three CAC meetings. In December CAC co- chair Fred Cammann, and CAC secretary Dick Bruce met with Kyle Collins of KPC planning services, and the farm’s designer Rocco Lettieri in order to clarify their understanding of the farm’s proposed design and purpose.
Bruce pointed out that that the developer had, in his opinion, satisfactorily addressed the CAC’s concerns. They had eliminated the proposed mechanical building, and placed its functions in the basement of the barn. A structure that both Bruce, and Ocean Road neighbor Georgia Rose admitted was beautiful. Lettieri also had eliminated the loading area along the southern side of the property, choosing instead to use the farm’s central field to do any loading of agricultural products. The CAC’s worries over glaring solar panels were also lessened when Cammann and Bruce explained the panels would be absolutely flat on the ground.
After acknowledging that Ocean Road has a special place in many people’s hearts, Cammann said, “I was also concerned about the view from the road, but the windmill is only 35 feet high, and that and the barn are the only structures you’ll see from Ocean Road. Think about the many metal structures and trucks you usually see on other farms.” Bruce concurred, “perhaps when you think of agricultural reserve land you think of an open field and not necessarily structures, but as long as (the building) is agriculturally related it is okay.”
Revising Hamlet Study
Jeffery Vogel then led a discussion on the CAC proposed revision of a 2004 hamlet study. Vogel said it was the CAC’s goal to acknowledge the entire community’s vision for Bridgehampton. Councilwoman Graboski added that it was important to talk to the school, the fire department/EMS to get their input in this study as well. Vogel agreed and explained that the study’s work group is currently creating on an outline of its specific goals.
Chair Cammann thanked the town board members for cooperating with the CAC on this, and Graboski was grateful for Vogel’s initiative and work on the project noting that, “in the current economic environment, the town can’t afford to bring in consultants.” Councilman Chris Nuzzi, agreed, “it’s great to have the community involved in creating this amendment to the current hamlet study, and we’ll provide whatever available staff we have to help you in this effort.”
Greenbelt, Historic Houses, Migrants
The meeting had three other presentations. One by The Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt’s president Sandra Ferguson, and its secretary Dai Dayton. They brought several photographs and maps of the Greenbelt, and asked for help from the community in weeding the Vineyard Field behind the South Fork Natural History Museum in May and June.
Coinciding with the new hamlet study, Bridgehampton resident Ann Sandford introduced and explained the newly gathered Bridgehampton Heritage study. The study is basically an inventory of about 175 historic houses in Bridgehampton which is currently available to the public on Southampton Town’s website. Ms. Sanford explained that the study was set up in such a way so that people could print it up and use it as a reference for a tour of the hamlet. This report was presented to the town’s landmarks board in January where the board had voted to make all the structures historic heritage buildings. Their recommendation will now go to the Southampton Town Board.
Finally, John Millard reported on the revised application by Dave Schiavoni for a gunite plant in Bridgehampton. Apparently the gunite plant, which is located behind Agway off Snakehollow Road, had been operating for several years without the proper paperwork in place, and was currently under a stop work order by the town. The majority of CAC members seemed to agree that they wanted the application to be denied. Co-Chair Tony Lambert however tried to point out that the plant was in an industrial area, and that the majority of residents impacted by any noise or dust were only part time residents.
The meeting ended in a somber fashion when two community members, Christian Stocakel, and Kevin Tate complained of a migrant workers’ camp, housing about 40 people in four structures near their own house on Montauk Highway. Stocakel and Tate expressed frustration that they have fought this situation for six years without getting any help from the town. They said they came to the CAC with the hope that the CAC could offer some advice on how to proceed. Cammann told them that the CAC would talk with the town board and get more information about the situation, which appears to concern the late Christian Wolfers’ estate. The other bit of sad news concerned the recent accident in front of Starbuck’s in Bridgehampton. CAC co-chair Lambert stressed the need for additional lighting at the crosswalks on Montauk Highway so that perhaps fewer people get hit crossing the road there.