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Mar 29, 2016 4:24 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Developers Scale Back Bridgehampton Gateway Proposal

Members of the Bridgehamtpon Citizens Advisory Committee met with town officials and Konner Development on Monday to discuss plans for the Bridgehampton Gateway Project. ALISHA STEINDECKER
Mar 29, 2016 5:49 PM

At a certain point, the developers behind the Bridgehampton Gateway won’t keep on giving.

That’s what Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman told the hamlet’s citizens advisory committee at a meeting on Monday about the proposal for a mixed-use planned development district that would sit across from the Bridgehampton Commons.

“There comes a certain point where it becomes unprofitable, or less profitable, and then the developer goes the highway business route,” he said.

The developers, Carol and Greg Konner, who attended the meeting, have recently offered to scale back the Gateway project to 105,000 square feet. The currently proposed 90,000 square feet of commercial space would be decreased to 85,000 square feet. They are also willing to shave 10 units off of the community benefit housing, from 30 units, or 25,000 square feet, to 20 units, or 15,000 square feet.

Additionally, the Konners offered to cut the market rate housing that is currently proposed at eight units, down to four units that total about 5,000 square feet.

“I can only go so far here before there is no more to give,” said Mr. Schneiderman, who has discussed the plans at length with the Konners, as the PDD—a zoning mechanism that allows more intense development in exchange for community benefits—is a town proposal. Mr. Schneiderman added that the Konners have agreed to have a community green space for residents, as well as a state-of-the-art sewage nitric system that would cost upward of $1.5 million.

“It is as good as it gets,” said Kevin McAllister of Defend H2O of the nitric system, noting that it is not mandated by Suffolk County.

Nevertheless, several residents, specifically those who live on Kellis Pond, expressed disappointment that the Konners would not sell the property even if the town offered to buy it through the Community Preservation Fund.

“I bought the first piece of property in 1996 and I’ve been in this project for 20 years,” Ms. Konner said. “This is my annuity for my children and my 12 great-grandchildren.”

Some residents admitted that the Gateway project has come a long way.

“As a 25-year homeowner, to have someone like Carol behind this philosophically, this is not somebody coming in, this is a local person that cares about this, like we do,” Bridgehampton resident Victoria Quoss said. “To me this is a huge benefit for all of us. To me it is like black and white.”

CAC member Alejandro Saralegui echoed that and said the Gateway is a much better option than having a McDonald’s or Jiffy Lube at the site. “Let’s fight the good fight,” he said, adding that the developers should install “permeable pavers,” which reduce runoff and filter pollutants from the water.

“I don’t want my legacy to be that I be that I brought McDonald’s to the Hamptons,” Ms. Konner said. “It is not my intention to bring Bridgehampton down, I want to elevate it.

“I don’t even understand why the CAC would hesitate in saying let’s move forward to explore,” she said. “It costs them nothing, they lose nothing, and afterward they can say they don’t like it. If they don’t want it, fine.”

A public hearing will be held on May 3 at Southampton Town Hall to see if the community wants the town to move forward and do environmental impact statements for the proposed planned development project. Ultimately, four of the five Town Board members, a super majority, would need to vote in favor of the PDD for it to be approved.

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I would support it if there was an indoor swimming pool. That would be more of a community benefit to me than a NYC elitist sports fitness club. Just Sayin'
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Mar 30, 16 11:06 AM
An indoor commercial pool is a very expensive item to build and to run. I too like the idea but I have to wonder if the year round population would support it.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Mar 30, 16 3:21 PM
There are scare rumors going around that if the Gateway Development is not approved then car dealerships will be allowed as-of-right. The Southampton Town Code does not allow car dealerships as-of right in the " Highway Business" zone.. Car dealerships would need a "Special Exception" as would many other uses. Best result would be CPF funds acquiring the properties, which are environmentally and scenically sensitive. No need for more highway sprawl.
By moj (3), Bridgehampton on Mar 31, 16 8:30 AM
2 members liked this comment
Seems like the only thing they "scaled back" was the public benefit portion of the project. Great negotiating, Jay.
By GlassHouses (64), anywhere on Mar 31, 16 8:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
Naay! Not one more building must be built! If it one more building is built, then all of the Eastern Seaboad shall fall into the ocean, and over 1 trillion people shall perish immediately. Not one more stick be raised to house another soul!
By Inch_High_PI (29), Southampton on Apr 1, 16 3:19 PM