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Mar 22, 2019 4:22 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Planning Board Designated As Lead Agency For Konner Development In Bridgehampton

The Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals met on Thursday to discuss the Konner Bridgehampton Gateway complex proposal. VALERIE GORDON
Mar 26, 2019 3:55 PM

The Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously on Thursday, March 21, to designate the town’s Planning Board as lead agency on a proposed fitness and health facility along Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton.

Carol Konner, the developer behind the proposal, which is often referred to as the Bridgehampton Gateway project, plans to build a 27,000-square-foot fitness complex on roughly 4.4 acres. In addition, she eventually plans to build two 5,000-square-foot restaurants on an adjacent lot, as well as an assisted living facility.

As lead agency, the Planning Board is in charge of coordinating the environmental impact review and overseeing the project through the State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA, process.

At Thursday’s meeting, however, Ms. Konner’s attorney, John Bennett of Bennett & Read in Southampton Village, asked the ZBA to consider designating itself as lead agency instead, saying, “I think the board is more suited to it.”

The individual board members did not share their rationale behind their decisions to allow the Planning Board to take the lead on the project. However, on Friday morning, Adam Grossman, chair of the ZBA, shared that, in his opinion, the Planning Board has a more significant role in the project.

The ZBA has been tasked with approving or denying several requested variances for the project—the most significant and controversial being a request for relief from town code restrictions limiting the maximum size of a building within highway business zones, to 15,000 square feet per lot.

The Planning Board is responsible for deeming a development project complete, as well as its adherence to town code.

“It’s a complex application,” Mr. Grossman said, speaking for himself on Friday. “Under the circumstances, looking at it in its totality, what’s before us versus what’s going to be before the Planning Board, it’s appropriate that they deal with SEQRA.”

Mr. Bennett said on Friday that he was not “terribly upset” by the outcome but mentioned that, in his opinion, the ZBA has a greater involvement in the project. “A variance is a decent portion of it, and I thought it would be appropriate for them to be lead agency,” he said. “The rest of it is rather straightforward site plan issues … the ZBA is the linchpin of it.”

Mr. Grossman said that he expects the environmental review to be complete by the ZBA’s meeting on April 18.

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