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Feb 2, 2016 12:42 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Group Forms In Opposition To Bridgehampton Gateway

Feb 2, 2016 2:32 PM

New opposition has emerged, in the form of a community group, just in time for a second public hearing on the Bridgehampton Gateway project, a proposed commercial development targeting 13 acres in the hamlet.

Members of the new group, called Bridgehampton Action Now, or BAN, say they intend to submit a petition opposing the project at the public hearing at Southampton Town Hall on Tuesday, February 9. The meeting starts at 1 p.m.

The Gateway proposal would feature a dozen buildings, 30 second-story apartments and be anchored by a high-end fitness facility.

The application, which requires Southampton Town Board approval of a planned development district, or PDD—a special zoning designation that allows more intensive development in exchange for community benefits—targets land south of Montauk Highway, across from the Bridgehampton Commons.

The project has the support of the hamlet’s citizens advisory committee, but the petition being circulated by BAN states that it would create a “traffic and accident disaster,” while also putting the ecosystem of nearby Kellis Pond in jeopardy.

“The existing zoning was carefully designed years ago to stay in keeping with the rural hamlet of Bridgehampton and from being overdeveloped,” the petition reads. “Any modifications should receive the blessing of the community at large.”

There are 12 buildings now planned, ranging from 3,600 to 15,000 square feet each, and totaling 90,000 square feet of commercial space. Two buildings would be 13,000 and 14,000 square feet, respectively, and they would house an Equinox gym. The second stories of eight of the buildings would offer 28 affordable apartments—one of the proposed community benefits pitched by the applicant, Konner Development—and two market-rate apartments.

“My concern is that they are proposing something good for the developers but not so good for the community, nor would it be good for the tenants,” said Sybille Van Kempen, a member of the new group. “I think it is diluting the charm of our community. It is putting the emphasis on the shopping center instead of historic charm.”

Ms. Van Kempen added that future tenants could be “misled” by the large summer population on the South Fork, as it is often difficult for local businesses to remain open year-round. “They are building something that is overbuilt already,” she noted.

Pamela Harwood, chair of the Bridgehampton CAC, said that although the group still supports the Gateway project, it has not heard any new information about the proposal lately. The committee has been more focused on opposing the expansion of TJ Maxx across the street at Bridgehampton Commons, she said.

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yeah, that abandoned lot would surely be missed
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Feb 4, 16 11:40 AM
2 members liked this comment
... it looks a lot better that two half-baked, half empty shopping centers across the street from each other.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Feb 4, 16 3:16 PM
"Ban Everything!" That vacant lot with the dilapidated Carvel is just so "charming." How about one of these "advisory committees" propose where they would actually "approve of" some sort of workforce housing, rather than just saying no to any and every proposed development? The days of country living are over here, but the businesses and estates still need workers...and those workers need affordable places to live. There are no companies out here like Google who are forward thinking and actually ...more
By Mouthampton (439), Southampton on Feb 4, 16 3:27 PM
We desperately need workforce housing. All those opposing this project should be made to provide an accessory affordable apartment on their property.

By Callie (30), Sag Harbor on Feb 4, 16 3:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
And shame on the local Town Boards for making it so impossible to create accessory apartments (either attached like in a finished basement with proper egress, or a detached cottage). The process is so unbelievably tedious and expensive that one has no choice but to hire costly attorneys and expeditors. But those estates or Farrell-esque developers who want pool houses and "carriage houses" for their staff are no problem at all!
By Mouthampton (439), Southampton on Feb 5, 16 10:06 AM
One lives where one can AFFORD to live, the Town has no business spending our tax dollars on housing.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Feb 5, 16 8:21 PM