Where We Stand
Two important amendments to Chapter 255 (“Zoning Code”) of East Hampton have been shelved after public hearings. As noted in the local newspapers opponents to the legislation were either representing developers or had a personal interest in not wanting the legislation to be adopted.
The first piece of legislation addressed the need to preserve our roads with “Scenic Road Buffers.” The legislation states “The scenic quality of East Hampton’s roadsides contributes significantly to the Town’s appeal as a world class resort and has protected our rural image despite an increase in residential development over the past fifteen years.” The EHC feels that this legislation would help protect our rural character yet balance both commercial and residential development. The perception that the land is seemingly undeveloped would result with natural wooded buffers along major road arteries of East Hampton.
Also, as noted in the legislation, “The Board is committed to controlling storm water runoff and has determined that this proposal to require the maintenance of a natural buffer along roadsides will contribute to that effort.” The EHC feels strongly that along with controlling possible drainage problems, the polluting effects of road runoff to our soul source aquifer will be mitigated by maintaining natural wooded buffers.
The second piece of legislation that has not been adopted after a public hearing because of opposition was the so-called “McMansion Law”. This law would limit the size of single family homes based on the lot area. The purpose of the law is to stop the impact of large homes on small lots that lead to the suburbanization of a neighborhood and negative visual impacts. A similar law exists in the Village of East Hampton and has been very successful and well received by residents. A town appointed committee has continued to meet and will present new recommendations to the town board.
The EHC applauds the efforts of the Town Board to deal with continued pressure to suburbanize the landscape that adversely affects community character. We support the passage of both pieces of legislation and hope that the town board will take another look at passing them into law. We encourage everyone to read the legislation and ask the town board to them. Write to: East Hampton Town Board, 159 Pantigo Rd, East Hampton, New York 11937.
“McMansion” Code Update
East Hampton Conservators is happy to report that on June 6, 2008, the East Hampton Town Board passed a local law amending chapter 255 of the zoning code that will help prohibit large houses on small lots.
The town board found that, “The impacts of these large homes are apparent and are negatively affecting neighbors and the visual character of the neighborhoods.”
Additionally, the board said that, “This Local Law proposes to limit the size of single-family residence based upon lot area, with a maximum of 20,000 square feet regardless of the size of the lot. This current proposal would limit the gross floor area of a principal structure, the residence, to 12% of the lot area plus 1,600 square feet, with a maximum gross floor area of 20,000 square feet.”