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Apr 5, 2016 3:06 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Gateway Opponents Say Project Should Not Be Excluded From Proposed PDD Moratorium

The area of the Bridgehampton Gateway.
Apr 5, 2016 3:33 PM

A proposed moratorium on planned development district proposals in Southampton Town does not apply to the Bridgehampton Gateway PDD—although many hamlet residents say it should.

The legislation, first pitched by the Democratic slate during the political campaign in the fall, is meant to give the Town Board time to take another look at PDDs, a zoning mechanism that permits more intense development in exchange for community benefits. The moratorium only would apply to new applications for PDDs, and the legislation outlines several exclusions, including applications currently under review that were initiated by the Town Board—which would include Gateway—as well as those that have already been actively reviewed by the board.

There has been an “intense amount of planning that it has already gone through,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman of the Gateway project, which is currently proposed as 105,000 square feet of mixed commercial and residential space. He added that the Gateway was a town proposal, not a PDD application filed by a developer, and that PDD applications that were submitted under the current law should be reviewed under that same law.

Other existing PDD applications, including The Hills in East Quogue and the Townhouses in Water Mill, also are excluded from the moratorium, the supervisor noted.

East Hampton attorney Jeffrey Bragman, who represents Bridgehampton Action Now, or BAN, a group of local residents opposed to the Gateway PDD, counters that the moratorium absolutely should apply to the Gateway application, as the specific purpose of the moratorium is to maintain the status quo.

“From a practical standpoint, they are enacting a moratorium,” he said, “but they are excluding this application from the provision of that law applying to it, and it shouldn’t be,” Mr. Bragman said. “The operative fact is that the Town Board is obviously very concerned about PDDs—they are concerned that they don’t meet the needs of the community, that they produce dramatic overdevelopment, which we’ve seen, and they want to study the use of that mechanism. And if they are going to do that, there is no reason that it shouldn’t apply to this PDD.”

Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera said that although she does not believe in the PDD moratorium to begin with—support for the moratorium appears split 3-2 along party lines, with Ms. Scalera and fellow Republican Stan Glinka as likely “no” votes—the applications that are excluded from the moratorium were specifically excluded so they “proceed under the same law that they were submitted.”

“I think if used properly, it is a useful tool,” she said of PDDs. “To the extent that we could change the law to more appropriately address public trust and concerns, it is incumbent on us to do that.”

A public hearing will be held Tuesday, April 12, on the proposed moratorium on reviewing PDD applications. Another hearing will be held May 3 on whether the board should continue to move forward in reviewing the PDD application specifically for the Gateway.

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I am ashamed of these politicians that tell us they are fighting for something and then do the opposite. We were told a moratorium would stop PDDs. Now every project we were opposed to is going forward. We have been lied to by our Supervisor and the rest of his team of Lofstad and Bouvier.
By CleanWaters (80), Southampton on Apr 6, 16 12:45 PM
Clean Waters of course you're right...however it should be noted that to stop the PDDs on the books may well saddle us with lawsuits.
By tom (53), Hampton Bays on Apr 16, 16 11:24 PM
CleanWaters, that's nonsense. You were not told that "a moratorium would stop PDDs." You were told a moratorium would stop new applications for PDDs. It was made very clear throughout the campaign that a moratorium would have no effect on PDD applications that are already on the table, such as Gateway, Water Mill and The Hills. Why? Because it wouldn't be fair to the applicants, much as you and I might oppose these projects.

So what will a moratorium do? It will stop any new applications ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Apr 6, 16 4:54 PM
They campaigned to stop the Hills. They said that they wanted to hold everything for a year to figure it all out. I saw the ads for Jay, John and Julie in my mailbox. It said the Republicans got donations from developers and were for PDDs. My Democrats were supposed to stop it. This is just more ATH phony Democrats selling us out to developers.
By CleanWaters (80), Southampton on Apr 8, 16 6:55 PM
Once again, CleanWaters, they always said a moratorium would not affect current PDD applications, only future ones. Facts are facts whether you want to hear them or not. I reiterate the last sentence of my above post.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Apr 9, 16 9:51 AM
Once again, CleanWaters, they always said a moratorium would not affect current PDD applications, only future ones. Facts are facts whether you want to hear them or not. I reiterate the last sentence of my above post.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Apr 9, 16 9:51 AM
I wish Turkey Bridge would put up or shut up when besmirching the reputations of elected officials by innuendo...if you have the goods about payoffs show the people what you have...shameful...the art of personal destruction is a well worn tactic by the Democratic/Socialist leader. As it relates to PDDs the very reason the moratorium has life is because of the abusive development practices at least in the eyes of the voters...if a moratorium is approved then the abusers should be included...Turkey ...more
By tom (53), Hampton Bays on Apr 16, 16 11:22 PM
And this is a perfect example of why the PDD moratorium was a stupid idea to begin with. A simple change to the law requiring that the PDD itself be of a benefit to the community, along with a requirement that after the PDD is vetted and approved by the SHTB, the PDD must be put on a ballot for approval by the taxpayers would have ended all this nonsense.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Dec 15, 17 2:15 PM