Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation sponsored by New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., which would allow the Town of Southampton to diminish the Bridgehampton and Sagaponack Beach Erosion Control Districts. Senator Kenneth P. LaValle sponsored the Senate version.
The law takes effect immediately.
The Town of Southampton established its beach erosion control districts to rebuild protective beaches and dunes along its Atlantic Ocean beachfront homes. More than 2.5 million tons of sand will be used to renourish the beaches between Flying Point Beach in Water Mill and Townline Road in Sagaponack. The project, estimated to cost a much as $26 million, is financed through taxing said beachfront homeowners based on their assessed value and amount of oceanfront footage. The money will be borrowed by the town and paid back over a period of 10 years through the district tax levy.
This law allows the Town of Southampton to adopt a local statute to diminish both the Bridgehampton Beach Erosion Control District and the Sagaponack Beach Erosion Control District by excluding the lots which are encumbered by conservation easements. These property owners have already protected their parcels by exchanging development rights for a reduction in paid taxes
“Reducing the size of the Beach Erosion Control Districts was previously approved by voters in a public referendum,” said Thiele. “This law ensures that those who conserved their lands, whose properties have already decreased in market value, are exempt. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this initiative that will rebuild approximately six miles of oceanfront, thereby preserving the shoreline and fortifying our beautiful East End beaches for generations to come.”