The vacant Konner property on Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton.
By Mara Certic
It’s hard to tell by looking at the empty lot at the western entrance to Bridgehampton, but over the past few months, planners, developers and community members have spent many hours trying to determine what would be most appropriate for the 13-acre Konner property and on Thursday, April 16, a draft of their conceptual plan will be placed before the town board.
After the land lay untouched for five years, plans to create a development on the property across the street from the Bridgehampton Commons resurfaced in October.
The site is currently zoned for a mix of highway business and residential uses. The highway business zoning restricts the type of businesses allowed in the development to shops one might see alongside County Road 39.
For that reason, the owner, Konner Development, is asking the town to change the zoning to a Planned Development District (PDD), which would allow the town board to rezone the lots for a use it believes could better serve the community and also allow board members and the community to have a say in the development process.
One of the benefits of PDDs is that community benefit, planners say.
According to Amy Pfeiffer, a principal planner in the town’s long-range planning department, the developer is currently permitted to have 90,000 square feet of retail space. Just under one third of that will be an Equinox gym, which has already been approved for the property. The property will also include some affordable housing units; Ms. Pfeiffer said it will likely be between 20 and 30 new units, and that it has a lot to do with how septic flow is handled for the property.
An advisory committee composed of planners, Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, the consultants and approximately eight Bridgehampton residents have met three times to discuss the details of the project.
According to Ms. Pfeiffer and members of the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee who are involved in the planning process, the development has been designed bearing the hamlet’s agricultural heritage in mind.
“The whole front is a really nice green pasture area, and it will have an agricultural look,” Ms. Pfeiffer said in a recent phone interview. “All the buildings will be designed in that way and there’s a lot of planting,” she added.
The consultants have started the environmental review process, she said, which should move quickly because a large portion of that process was done when the project was last discussed five years ago.
Members of the Bridgehampton CAC said at their meeting last month that they wanted the development to be a socializing, activity-driven place. Several residents suggested the developers look at Amagansett Square, which they said is the type of project they would like to see in Bridgehampton.