Tag Archive | "vintage vines"

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. 

Proposed 37 lots draws fire in Bridgehampton

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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.