Tag Archive | "Nuzzi"

Sprucing Up Hamlets with Outdoor Dining

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The photos pinned to the wall of the Southampton Town Board meeting room on Tuesday evening showed pleasing and inviting scenes of the Southampton Village streetscape. Each of the five pictures highlighted a different village restaurant’s bustling outdoor dining area, where patrons noshed on meals while basking in the sun as pedestrians walked by.

These photographs weren’t snapped by a professional photographer hired by the restaurants, but were in fact taken by town councilwoman Nancy Graboski who, along with councilman Christ Nuzzi, has spearheaded a campaign to allow outdoor dining throughout the town. Graboski presented the photos, which she took over Memorial Day Weekend, at a Southampton Town Board meeting to show the board the acclimating quality of outdoor seating.

Employing the help of deputy town attorney Kathleen Murray, Nuzzi and Graboski drafted legislation to allow outdoor sidewalk dining. The draft law was modeled after similar legislation found in Southampton Village.

“This is a law to create a license so that restaurants can put a few tables on the sidewalk,” explained Graboski. “It is consistent with the resort nature of our town. This will help keep our hamlets viable in this difficult economy. One major goal of the 1999 comprehensive plan was to be sensitive to the viability of our hamlet centers and this will help us do that.”

According to Graboski, the new law will apply to the Southampton Town hamlet’s of Bridgehampton, Hampton Bays, Water Mill and East Quogue and will help promote economic sustainability for food establishments. Graboski said a local restaurateur told her that having seating areas situated outside his restaurant in the winter months increased his business by 10 percent.

The outdoor dining legislation comes with a few standards, which Murray enumerated at the meeting. Firstly, the law only applies to restaurants with a primary enclosed business, and excludes take-out operations, drive-thrus and drive-ins, bars and nightclubs. The outdoor seating must be located in front of the restaurant’s indoor operation. There must be at least 10 feet of space between the restaurant’s exterior wall and the curb of the sidewalk. The restaurant will leave six feet clear to accommodate pedestrian traffic and safety. For example, if there is 12 feet of space between a restaurant and the sidewalk curb, the dining establishment may use six feet of sidewalk width for outdoor dining. Restaurants are allowed to install retractable awnings over the outdoor seating, but umbrellas are expressly forbidden.

To maintain the same occupancy limits for the restaurant, the town stipulates that indoor seating must be reduced to correspond with the additional outdoor seating, and the outdoor seating may not exceed 20 percent of the total indoor seating capacity. Licenses issued to restaurants by the town would only be valid for the season — May 1 through November 1, and allow dining from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“This is a good business initiative,” said Nuzzi of the legislation, which was unanimously passed by the town board. “It will assist the business community and hopefully expanding dining opportunities will additionally flow out into the retail establishments.

Bridgehampton CAC Gets Past “Solar” Farm

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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.