April 26, 2006
Town To Study Hamlet During Moratorium
Scores of residents were expected to attend the Southampton Town Board's regular meeting yesterday, in opposition to a law that would impose a building moratorium on sections of East Quogue.
Following two public hearings, the board was scheduled to adopt legislation that would enforce a one-year moratorium in the hamlet, affecting residential, commercial, and industrial properties.
The moratorium would put development proposals on hold while the town looked at land use alternatives for about 4182 acres in its East Quogue Study Area. A full-scale environmental review of land use proposals in the area would also be completed in the form of a Generic Environmental Impact Statement.
Unlike most hamlets, East Quogue contains large undeveloped tracts of land, but recently, a number of large building proposals have come forward, giving the town pause. "The unprecedented and rapid growth" of the area includes plans and pre-applications for the creation of at least 220 new lots on about 818 acres of land, the law states. There is also consideration of creating a Planned Development District and adding commercial and recreational uses including golf courses.
The study will look at the potentially harmful impacts this type of increased density could have on the area's environment, traffic, school districts, and fiscal well-being.
Several applications are excluded from the moratorium including projects that received all the requisite building permits before adoption of the law, subdivision applications for three lots or less, and additions of less than 1000 square feet to existing structures.
In other legislative news, a proposed law requires plumbers and electricians to get a registration certificate from the town of Southampton — in addition to the license they must obtain from Suffolk County — in order to work within town limits.
Many home improvement contractors must obtain licenses from the town's Licensing Review Board, but local code does not cover plumbers and electricians. Leaving licensing of these contractors up to the county, Southampton wants just their basic information on file in order to offer mediation and/or recourse to its residents if necessary.
The initial fee for the registration certificate will be $100, with subsequent renewals costing $75 each year.
The board was expected to set the date for a public hearing on the law for May 9 at Town Hall at 1 p.m.
Also, Southampton received a $42,000 grant from Suffolk County for the town's implementation of a hard clam spawner sanctuary in Quantuck Bay and Ecosystem Restoration in Quogue. Town Trustees will contribute $21,500 from their 2006 Capital Budget and the Nature Conservancy will add another $21,250 from its in-kind services. The project is expected to improve the bay's water clarity and reduce harmful algae blooms such as brown tide.