Tag Archive | "kyle collins"

Supervisor Says Bridgehampton Gateway Could Be Fast Tracked

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By Stephen J. Kotz

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst told the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee on Monday that the town was ready to move quickly on the proposed Bridgehampton Gateway development.

The supervisor said she would have a resolution ready for Tuesday’s town board meeting to fund the completion of a study, which she said was already about 80 percent done, so the town could officially launch the process of having the site on the south side of Montauk Highway across from the Bridgehampton Commons shopping center designated as a Planned Development District (PDD).

“We can put this on a pretty fast track,” she said.

Ms. Throne-Holst appeared at the meeting with Kyle Collins, the town’s planning and development administrator, developer Greg Konner, whose company owns the property being eyed for a mixed use development, and representatives of Araiys Design Landscape Architecture.

The CAC said it would support the proposal, and, at Mr. Collins’s suggestion, CAC co-chairwoman Nancy Walter-Yvertes, said she would solicit the names of six to eight people from the Bridgehampton community who would begin meeting with Mr. Collins shortly after Thanksgiving to offer suggestions for the scope of the development.

According to preliminary sketches, the development would consist of nine buildings, ranging in size from 4,700 square feet to 15,000 square feet. Eight of them would be designated for some type of commercial use. A total of 28 subsidized apartments would be built on the second floor of those buildings. An additional eight apartments that would be rented at “market rates” would occupy their own building to the rear of the property overlooking Kellis Pond.

Mr. Collins said the development would try “to build on the agricultural heritage of Bridgehampton with a farmstead theme.” That means architects would take their design cues from barns and other typical farm buildings. The buildings would be arrayed around a one-acre “pasture” off Montauk Highway, with parking and access roads tucked behind and largely out of sight from the road.

Although committee members in the past have said the development would offer a better location for a CVS pharmacy than the site on the other end of Bridgehampton’s shopping district that is being considered for one, Mr. Konner said no such plan is in the works at this early stage.

CAC member Julie Burmeister fretted about whether Mr. Konner would be able to find tenants. “We’ve had enough trouble keeping tenants at the Commons,” she said.

“I’ve had lots of people asking. I’ll have no problem renting them,” replied Mr. Konner.

Others said they didn’t want to be promised a number of small-scale stores and find themselves staring at a Home Depot or some other big box store.

Committee members also had questions about how the apartments would be managed, who would qualify for the subsidized units and what impact the development would have on schools.

Although most assumed the development would be in the Bridgehampton School District, and provide a tax boon to it, it actually is in the Southampton School District, so any children living there would go to Southampton public schools, as would the tax dollars generated by the development.

No matter what school district the project is in, the tax dollars raised “will vastly outweigh the cost of any kids going to school,” said Mr. Collins. He also cited demographic studies that have shown the number of children entering the schools would be limited, even if most of the apartments were two-bedroom units.

CAC members also asked about whether the development would be pedestrian friendly. Mr. Collins assured them it would be much more so than the Commons, which consists of stores surrounding a huge central parking lot. He also said access to the site would be directly across from the Commons, where there is already a traffic light.

Mr. Collins told the board the town has long sought to coordinate the development at the site, given its position as a gateway to Bridgehampton. That was always difficult, he said, because the site consisted of several different pieces. Those individual lots are all controlled by the Konners now, which will make it easier to review the site at once rather than “having a piecemeal application before the planning board,” he said.

Plans for the site were first considered as part of the town’s comprehensive plan update in 1999 and again in 2004 when the Bridgehampton Hamlet Study was done. A concept plan centering around a proposed 50,000-square-foot Barnes & Noble bookstore were also aired in 2008, but

Fire Commissioner Race

The committee also heard from Phil Cammann, an advanced emergency medical technician, and John O’Brien, a long-time firefighter and former chief, both of whom are seeking the one opening on the Bridgehampton Board of Fire Commissioners. The seat is a five-year term, and voting takes place on December 9.

Mr. Cammann promised better communication between the fire district and citizens, while Mr. O’Brien cited his nearly 40 years of service on the department.

Eco-Farm Proposal Concerns Neighbors

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As the town of Southampton continually looks at alternative energy sources for building construction, at least one developer in Bridgehampton is finding ways to reduce the carbon footprint by designing a fully sustainable farm equipped with a windmill and solar paneling in the fields.

Last Thursday, the Southampton Town planning board held a public hearing for the property at 501 Ocean Road. The public hearing was concerning the construction permit and special exception application for the construction of a 3,068 square foot barn, a 2,268 square foot greenhouse along with a windmill and solar paneling in the fields on the 13.2-acre agricultural reserve, which is part of a six-lot subdivision.

The applicant, FDHFZ LLC, is asking for permission to add these structures in the hopes of creating a sustainable organic farm. Representative for the applicant, Kyle Collins of KPC Planning Services of Westhampton, showed the Southampton Town Planning Board a video simulation of what the property would look like with the additional structures and how it will function with the alternative energy sources.

Collins said that the proposal is to farm the site with a possible apple orchard, flowers and switch grass for the production of 100 percent organic products using only renewable energy components such as wind and solar power. Collins also told the board that the products will be grown for commercial use, but with only 13-acres to work with, it is not expected that the farm will be producing large quantities of these items.

“The intention is to generate all the power you need on site,” Collins explained on Thursday.

“I am in full favor of sustainable agriculture,” said Helene Mahoney, a neighbor of the proposed farm. “But I don’t know whether to be pleased or frightened about this new development.”

Mahoney expressed concerns about noise pollution and well water pollution at her home. She told the board that the applicant has proposed a loading dock, and explained that the dock would add more traffic and noise. Mahoney also expressed concern over the addition of a fence around the property. She added that an existing 10-foot fence around a Peconic Land Trust property along Ocean Road is similar to that at a penitentiary and ruined a potential real estate purchase adjacent to the property. Mahoney said that if this applicant constructs a similar fence around the property, it could be a potential deal-breaker for her property or others that border it.

“The loading dock is right outside my dining room table,” added neighbor Georgia Rose. Rose also said that it would be nearly impossible not to include a fence around the perimeter of the proposed farm because the developers will need something to keep the deer off the property, which she said will be attracted to the flowers.

“It’s a beautiful plan – but it’s in the wrong place,” Rose said.

Rocco Lettieri, the designer of the sustainable farm, said that the loading dock area can be changed and informed the board that if a fence is necessary, he would like to propose one that exists in the middle of two hedges, so it could be hidden from the neighbors.

The hearing was closed, but has been left open for a 30-day written comment period.


Vintage Vines


Also on Thursday, the planning board held a scoping session for the proposed 37-lot Vintage Vines subdivision, located along Scuttle Hole Road near Channing Daughters Vineyard in Bridgehampton.

The 48.6-acre property is being proposed for subdivision by owner Dennis Suskind, and is listed in the Town of Southampton as a Community Preservation Fund priority parcel.

Thursday’s scoping session was the first step in the Comprehensive Environmental Review, required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

Group for the East End’s Jenn Harnagel attended the meeting to express her concerns over the proposed development. Harnagel argues that the property is an essential habitat for the endangered species of the Eastern tiger salamander. Harnagel urged the board to consider buying the property through the Community Preservation Fund and notified them that the 37 lots, if developed with their respective septic systems, will have a negative environmental impact on the surrounding community.

The board is allowing three weeks from the date of the meeting for any written comments.