Tag Archive | "fred cammann"

Bridgehampton CAC: Trash is Intolerable

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By Marianna Levine

This past Monday, The Bridgehampton Citizen’s Advisory Committee, invited Bridgehampton’s Postmaster, Michael Robinson, to address the problem of junk mail disposal at the hamlet’s post office as well as discussing the subdivision of Ross School lands in Bridgehampton, and traffic patterns in the hamlet.

Robinson pointed out that the post office doesn’t refer to this mail as “junk” that, in fact, “The use of first class mail has declined because more people are paying their bills on line, writing less letters, so the post office has increased bulk mail by giving incentives for its use. That is money, that is revenue for us.” 

He did add that the post office does try to help businesses update their mailing lists so that customers do not get duplicate bulk mail.

Robinson also recommended that people force businesses to update their mailing lists by sending back their pre-paid postage envelopes totally empty, stating “they’ll take notice and update their lists then.”

In terms of addressing the problem of recycling, Robinson explained, “we’ve had problems with people putting diapers and other garbage in the recycling bins, and the clerks don’t want to sort through that. Maybe we need to put a big sign out there saying this is only for paper recycling.”

Members of the Bridgehampton CAC were very vocal in their opinion that the Post Office really did need to provide not only a place to toss out recyclable paper mail but also a garbage pail of some sort.

Jeffery Vogel suggested that the town could help by providing “ a garbage bin outside the post office like they have outside of other business on Main Street.”

The most emotional plea came from CAC chair Fred Cammann who explained that he went around to all the businesses, churches, and schools in the hamlet and found out that all of these places were responsible for their own garbage, and he didn’t see why the post office couldn’t be equally responsible.

 “I give you a week to do the community a service and put in a garbage bin,” Cammann commanded.

Robinson reassured the members of the CAC “ I want to put in large garbage bins and a table again (for sorting mail), but I don’t want garbage going into the recycling.” He also asked the CAC to get the town to put in a garbage bin outside the post office as suggested by Vogel.

Cammann assured him “you’ll get a lot of cooperation from us.”


The other issue the CAC discussed concerned the selling and sub-dividing of land on the Ross School’s Bridgehampton campus. Jenice Delano had sent an emailed letter to the CAC members expressing her concern over this matter. 

Although she felt she stated her point better in writing she did add,” I feel strongly that the school has been here for twenty or thirty years and it just doesn’t seem right to me that they are subdividing it and selling it for a profit especially since they have never paid taxes to the Town of Southampton.”

Cammann and several other board members agreed with her. Cammann said, “ I think it’s immoral what they are doing.”

However several other CAC members did point out it was private property, and the Ross School had a legal right to sell off the land.

Vogel explained, “ I think they are looking at keeping the school going and selling the seven acres would do that. Whether that’s right or wrong  – I don’t know. There is plenty of precedent. The Maycroft School in North Haven was sold to a private individual.”

Cammann complained, “ The impact on the community would be huge. To me it’s not a legal issue, it’s just not logical. It’s absurd because this is farmland, not land to put 80 houses on. The previous school was here for years and years and never tried to pull something like this.”

Several people suggested that someone approach the Ross School with their concerns.


Thereafter the conversation once again turned to junk. This time several people complained about Bridgehampton “looking trashy” because businesses were putting items for sale out on their front lawns or sidewalks. Both Cammann and Vogel suggested people call code enforcement, and that they could even say they were calling on behalf of the CAC.

The meeting ended with a brief discussion about traffic in Bridgehampton. People felt that the hamlet needed much more of a police presence to slow traffic and that new CAC member Ron White had talked with Nancy Graboski and they were working on getting a stop sign on Norris Lane.

Bulls Head Neighbors: Is Project Too Big or Just Right?

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By Marianna Levine

There was a lot on the Bridgehampton Citizen’s Advisory Committee’s agenda this past Monday night, but the bulk of the evening focused on plans for a 22 room hotel and wellness center at the intersection of the Bridgehampton -Sag Harbor Turnpike and Montauk Highway. The Orchard at Bull’s Head Inn would renovate the old Bull’s Head Inn at that intersection and add four new cottages and a parking lot. The historic barn behind the inn would also be renovated and incorporated into the high-end resort.

Opinion on the proposed development was decidedly mixed, as it has been in other recent meetings. Phillip Cammann, a neighbor of the property, and son of CAC chair Fred Cammann made a presentation on the proposed development, displaying the site plans and architectual renderings for all to review. Jeremy Samuelson from the Group for the East End also attended the meeting and expressed, “concern that the size and scale of the project goes above and beyond what is appropriate for the first parcel of land.” He referred to the second parcel of land right behind the Bull’s Head Inn, which will also be used in the development, as a residential parcel that will be used as overflow from what is already “too big” a project on the first parcel.

An audience member suggested that “the scale is related to the economic viability of the project,” and he didn’t understand why people were objecting when that intersection “has been a disaster and disgrace for over forty years.”

“Bill Campbell (the Bull’s Head Inn’s owner) has gone to great lengths to preserve and save the building, and I think that corner is essential to the beauty of the town,” said the speaker. “I understand people living around it are very upset but when you think about it the Bridge-Sag turnpike is a very commercial thoroughfare.”

Another neighbor Leonard Davenport, who lives two doors down from the project added, “We need to come together as a group and say that this corner is the most important corner of Bridgehampton. The owner is probably not going to make a great deal of money from this but he does need to make something for his effort in preserving these buildings.” (Existing property at left)

Attorney David Gilmartin, who represents the owner of the development, was present. He had actually come to observe the discussion by the CAC about another matter, however he agreed to answer questions concerning the Bull’s Head Inn. He explained the second parcel of land was a “preexisting non-conforming use” lot, and the owner was permitted to make an application for the use of that land as part of the hotel complex.

Gilmartin also addressed several CAC members’ concerns about the new cottage’s architecture. Several CAC members were upset by their modern appearance. He said the project’s architects had advised the developer “to make the cabins more modern so as not to take away from the historic building in the front.” He then stressed, “Mr. Campbell doesn’t want the community to be upset with his building, but you have to come to us with specifics about the size and scale of the project. I think if you look at the plans you will see that the scale is not that large. We’re open to having this discussion. We can come and make a presentation if you like.” To which the CAC chair forcefully responded, “We’re not interested in your presenting this project again!”

Fred Cammann then explained that Gilmartin was actually there to discuss the gunnite plant behind Agway in Bridgehampton since he represents the surrounding neighbors. Apparently the owner of the property had built a cement plant without planning permission, and had been placed under a court order not to continue operating the plant until the next hearing on this property on March 19. Gilmartin explained he had only been allowed to park trucks there but apparently he had been recently video taped conducting other business on the site.


In other CAC business, Louis and Ari Miesel had been invited to give a builder’s perspective on property development in eastern Long Island. Their focus has been on developing office space along Montauk Highway. However, they have included affordable apartments within their buildings for people such as teachers, firefighters, and police officers who are often priced out of housing on the East End. Currently they are developing a piece of property in Water Mill next to Hampton Coffee.

Ari Miesel explained that this project had been delayed for about two years primarily because they believe in building green buildings. They follow the LEED standards, which are a higher green building standard than what is currently written in the town codes.  Often times what the town requires, such as asphalt parking lots for office buildings, runs counter to parking lots that use greener building substances such as crushed peat stone. Ari Miesel noted the town’s codes are probably about ten years out of date and the public and town need to realize that “green building is not a fad but the future.” He also wanted to inform the CAC “green building goes hand in hand with historic preservation.”

Southampton councilwoman Nancy Graboski attended the CAC meeting and responded enthusiastically to the suggestions stating, “this is music to my ears.” She added supervisor  Linda Kabot, councilwoman Anna Thorne-Holst, and herself have started a committee “Sustainable Southampton” to address these issues. She suggested people need to be better educated on the subject and invited Ari Miesel to talk to “Sustainable Southampton” and also suggested his joining the Southampton Business Alliance.


After a long meeting Jeffery Vogel quickly wrapped things up by giving an update on the CAC’s revised hamlet study. He displayed a map of the hamlet’s current boundaries. The final revision wouldn’t be ready until March; however he wanted to show the CAC there seemed to be a problem with the southwestern boundary between Water Mill and Bridgehampton. Mr. Vogel suggested most people who live south of the highway but east of Mecox Bay consider themselves to live in Bridgehampton. Yet, the current hamlet map has them living in Water Mill. 


Neighbors Bicker over a Proposed Hotel and Restaurant in Bridgehampton

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Bulls Head Inn


As winds blew at tremendous speeds outside, so did differences of opinion inside Southampton Town Hall last Thursday as residents of the hamlet of Bridgehampton discussed the development of a new hotel and spa on the corner of Montauk Highway and the Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike — a gateway area of the hamlet.

The proposed resort has been discussed among members of the community for a number of years; this week, it was discussed during a planning board meeting where residents and interested parties had a chance to speak on the matter during a public hearing. 

The Bulls Head Inn would feature a 22-room hotel and restaurant with wellness center and conference center capabilities. The inn would also have spa-like amenities like quiet rooms, a pool and a workout gym.

Richard Van de Kieft of the Raynor Group, who represents the applicant, and owner Bill Campell, described the project as a “retreat destination with overnight accommodations.” The current facility, according to Van de Kieft, needs to be “restored” and “rehabilitated,”and the applicant would need to make some major repairs to bring the historic structure up to current health and safety requirements, including adding an elevator and some improvements to the stairs. The developers also intend to meet LEED standards, which will require green building techniques.

The project would not only rehabilitate the current structure, the historic Judge Abraham Rose House, but also add four two-story cottages of just over 1500 square feet on the property.  

Residents of Bridgehampton showed up on Thursday en masse to show both support, and discontent with the project.

The first speaker was James Levoci, a neighbor to the property. Levoci argued that the property is “not commercial and never was,” he then asked the members of the planning board, “how many of you would like to live next to a parking lot?”

Levoci also asked the planning board to investigate the zoning of the area and the “pre-existing, non-conforming” status of some of the structures. 


Neighbor speaks against the Bulls Head Inn

“You have a covenant with me,” said Levoci to the planning board. “If I purchased a piece of residential property then there is a covenant…the town has the responsibility to the taxpayer to uphold that covenant.”

He also said that if the project was approved, it would be similar to the town saying, “It’s okay to come in and devalue someone’s property.”

More arguments from Levoci included the traffic flow, parking and, because of the 24-hour operation, “people coming and going at all hours.” Lastly, Levoci suggested that the applicant “just build five houses,” rather than the proposed hotel.

Another Bridgehampton resident, Bill Thayer, offered an different opinion.

“Contrary to the other speaker, I think it is a beautiful building that will compliment the Hopping House [a dilapidated building across the street].”

“We are the gateway to the Hamptons,” said Thayer, adding that this would help improve the overall look of the hamlet.

He added that the project would be a “wonderful site” and it has an “overall aesthetic beauty,” to it.

Thayer argued that this has always been a commercial area of the hamlet.

Bridgehampton Resident Speaks in Favor of the Bulls Head Inn


“Is it commercial? You bet,” he said, “what is wrong with making money? This is the commercial end of Bridgehampton – always was and always has been. We are trying to beautify this section of town and make it come back to life in a way that everyone will appreciate.”

But Chairman of the Bridgehampton Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC), Fred Cammann, agreed with Lovoci, saying CAC members did look favorably on the proposal. 

“The CAC has always resisted commercial zoning of its current boundaries,” he said.

He continued that the new buildings would be damaging to the existing property owners, and maintained that the project would require some “down zoning” and the “community should be vigilant in preserving values, not allowing projects which would decrease values.”

Further, Cammann, argues that the construction of the four cottages on the eastern side of the property would be used as commercial structures in that they would be additional hotel rooms. He said the commercial structures “will affect the adjacent neighbors.”

“Such a change … is damaging to existing property owners of these residential properties and should not be allowed.”

“Somebody wants to take on this project that would only support the efforts across the street at the Nathanial Rogers house,” Sherry Dobbin, also a Bridgehampton resident, countered after Cammann spoke.

She said the project may seem overwhelming, but in fact it “there are only 22 rooms.”

“No one wants to live next to a parking lot, but there has been a lot of detail in the landscaping,” she added.

Planning board Chairperson, Dennis Finnerty, closed the hearing with a short 10 day written comment period, due to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) deadline beginning on Thursday February 12.

“There is quite a bit of correspondence,” on the matter, according to Finnerty.