December 06, 2006
Town, Village Buy The Farm
It's the farmland vista most likely seen by the most people in town. And for East Hampton Town Councilwoman Deb Foster, that makes it "extra valuable." Last Friday the town board voted to collaborate with the Village of East Hampton on the purchase of the Bistrian Farm on Pantigo Road.
Located right next to town hall, the approximately 11-acre parcel straddles the town and village border. Owned by members of the Bistrian family, it's one of the few working farms in the town; its quaint roadside farmstand is a favorite with tourists and locals alike. If developed in accordance with current zoning, the land could host 11 houses, Foster reported.
Money from the Community Preservation Fund, which garners revenue through a two percent tax on certain real estate transactions, will be used for the combined purchase. A sum of $6.5 million will be paid for the development rights to the land. That means it will be farmland forever, Foster emphasized. The agreement allows the small existing farmstand to stay, but any future buildings associated with working the land will have to be built to the rear of the property out of view from Pantigo Road.
The property has long been a high priority acquisition for both the village and the town, Supervisor Bill McGintee pointed out. It wasn't always viewed for preservation, however. During his years as supervisor, Jay Schneiderman attempted to broker a purchase deal that would have allowed the property to be used for recreation fields. He envisioned soccer fields sited along the railroad tracks. Instead, the town moved forward with the construction of a recreation facility on Stephen Hands Path.