Where We Stand
The East Hampton Conservators (EHC) has sent a letter to Supervisor Wilkinson and Town Board members opposing a zoning change for property located at the northeasterly corner of Oak View Highway and Middle Highway.
The change in zoning sought by the owner planning to develop the property would allow for one house per acre instead of one house per three acres under present zoning.
EHC points out that New York State requires that "zoning laws be adopted in accordance with a comprehensive plan.” EHC states the new zoning requested is not in accordance with the town's comprehensive plan.
Furthermore, EHC asserts that the development allowed by a zoning change on the property would pose a threat to groundwater and, again, not be in accordance with the Town Comprehensive Plan.
EHC also raises the question of “spot zoning”. In its letter to the supervisor and Board, it states, “In the document 'Zoning and the Comprehensive Plan' New York State says 'The question of whether a rezoning constitutes 'spot zoning' should be answered by determining whether the rezoning was done to benefit the individual owners rather than pursuant to a comprehensive plan for the general welfare of the community.'
EHC contends that “The request for a zoning change presents no evidence that the requested zone change is in the best interest of the public, that the change will benefit the community, or that the change is supported by the comprehensive plan. The zone change will benefit only the developer.”
EHC concludes, “It appears to East Hampton Conservators that the town could open itself up to a potential law suit if the zone change were enacted, a costly taxpayer expense that is not warranted.”
There is a Town Board hearing on the requested zone change Thursday, October 7.
Protect That Parcel
East Hampton Star, October 16, 2010
How delightful, another human being cares about the town's drinking water. He also cares about the groundwater and woodlands of East Hampton. Welcome, David Doty, to our cause of three years, saving the drinking water and saving the woods from the bulldozer.
His truthful letter last week was like salve on a painful wound that some people have chosen to ignore or tried to fast-talk a lesser evil, of sorts, and pretend it is a gift. Less poison, in this case, fewer houses, is still poison nonetheless, and we aren't swallowing it! No thanks. We are fighting to protect the drinking water and woods, and we will not quit until someone finally listens to the truth.
The town board has the authority to do the right and only decent thing: preserve the 8.9 acres on Oakview and Middle Highways. No rezoning. Not 8 houses and cementing the woods is better than 57 houses. You know what? Fifty-seven was never going to happen, and eight is no better.
There is no earthly reason why this section of town cannot have some open space. There is no legitimate reason why Bud Webb cannot be paid for his land and build his project elsewhere. You do not shove a plan down a neighborhood's throat when it will damage the water and destroy what quality of life we have left there. We are also voters and constituents, and we have rights, too. Furthermore, you do not go against the very town's comprehensive plan that was created to “protect this Special Groundwater Protection Area and sensitive drinking water wells.”
As one wise retired town planner told me: “We did not go out of our way to draw up that comp plan to specifically protect that parcel, to have it undone now. It makes no sense.”
Many things do not make sense here. We have been at this saving of our water and woods for three years now. We know what we are talking about. When this new board came to see the neighborhood, back before they were elected, wise words were spoken: “A development does not belong here. No more building need take place. We can utilize the building we already have, not put up more. Wow, this traffic alone is too much.”
I remember the words that day, and I reminded the board on Oct. 7, at the town hearing for this issue of rezoning and giving back what the builder does not have to barter with, that elusive affordable housing overlay that was removed already and put someplace else. If somebody goofed, that can be easily rectified. Sorry, no overlay. Sorry, no rezoning. You get what you have. You can build two houses. Or none.
And then the town board can let the preservation fund do its job. Pay Bud Webb and make everyone happy. But do not destroy the drinking water and ignore a whole neighborhood trying to save its rural character and have a little piece of open space.
Recently, the town purchased land near the Jackson Pollock house property. That's lovely. No one is disputing that. We only ask that we have some consideration where we live. It is equally important. Maybe Nancy Kelley and Marcia Gay Harden can help us with our plight to save the drinking water. We would welcome them, as we welcome the East Hampton Conservators and David Doty. Thank you for coming out on our behalf and saying publicly what we have been saying for three years: Save the drinking water and save the woods!
Preserve a community! Say no more building in this neck of the woods.
Thanks for the space. May I be able to utter those very words to this town board very soon.
NANCI E. LaGARENNE