Today, Thursday, there will be a scoping session for the proposed subdivision of 48 acres in Bridgehampton known as Vintage Vines LLC. The property is located off Scuttle Hole Road, near Channing Daughters vineyard. Dave Wilcox, Southampton Town Planning Director, said that the board gave the 37-lot subdivision preliminary approval over the summer and the next step is the final application.
The Group for the East End has been asking for preservation of the proposed development property. In a document submitted in May, the Group states that the property is included in the Community Preservation List of Priority Parcels and is classified as priority for the open space/Greenbelt areas. The Group also argues that the preservation of the parcel would ensure a large block of valuable, contiguous open space because the property is adjacent to previously preserved land along its southwest border. According to the document, the project’s applicant, Dennis Suskind, has expressed interest in possible preservation options for the parcel.
In February, Harry S. Ludlow, Chairperson of the Southampton Town Conservation Board, gave a report to the board stating that the land is also recognized as a critical habitat for the New York State Endangered Tiger Salamander. In his review, Ludlow said that in this area, there are at least 24 records of breeding tiger salamander populations. Ludlow reported that tiger salamanders have been documented as occurring in sizeable numbers and as successfully breeding in a widely scattered assemblage of small ponds and kettle holes.
“In the central region of Bridgehampton, where the 48.6 acres Vintage Vines tract is located, the gradual elimination of habitat for the species is a particularly pressing concern,” Ludlow said in his report. The area, he said, includes some of the most significant breeding populations of the tiger salamander on Long Island and New York State.
The Sag Harbor Citizens Advisory Committee also weighed in. The group sent a letter in January asking about the opportunities for affordable housing within the project. John N. Linder, chairperson, wrote urging the board to consider making 20 to 25 percent or more of the lots affordable.
The Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) also sent a letter to the town in February, requesting that affordable housing be considered for the subdivision. Members Jeffrey Vogel and Peter Terry asked in their letter for a provision for a portion of the lots to be sold at below market rate to allow middle class residents to remain in the community.
“We at the CAC are concerned that the very members of the community that we most depend on, our firemen, farmers, EMT workers, and teachers, can no longer find affordable housing,” read the letter.
The CAC members argue in the letter that the only affordable housing in Bridgehampton is the recent project at the Huntington Crossways, and if there were no affordable housing, the community would become a 100 percent second home community.
The letter also asked that at a bare minimum, the planning board prevent any access roads from becoming through roads in the existing subdivision.
“We are overburdened with traffic and the addition of another few hundred vehicles per day will heavily burden this already heavily traveled area.”
The Southampton Town planning department has received 20 letters from abutters and/or neighbors regard the application. At the last public hearing, other issues, as summarized by Southampton Town Planning Director, Kyle Collins, are trail connectivity, road connectivity, road construction, road design, landscaping and neighbors against through roads for Hampton Court, Barn Lane and Pond Lane.