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Aug 15, 2012 9:20 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Around Town Hall: Hampton Bays Residents Urge Town To Shutter Illegal Motels

Aug 17, 2012 1:56 PM

Residents of Hampton Bays and the surrounding area pleaded with Town Board members on Tuesday to take more aggressive steps to end the illegal use of some hotels and motels in the area as long-term and often overcrowded residences.

Earlier this year, town code enforcement officers issued hundreds of violations to the owners of three motels in Hampton Bays and Shinnecock Hills following early-morning raids that turned up overcrowding and numerous fire and safety code violations in many of the hotel units. Despite issuing steep fines for violations, the town has struggled to force the owners of such properties to comply with its regulations.

“Use of these motels as a year-round residence cannot be tolerated,” said Michael Dunn, a member of the Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays. “Sending multiple children to the Hampton Bays school system and asking the taxpayers to foot the bill is extremely unfair.”

Mr. Dunn also said that the overcrowded hotels pose a safety hazard to the tenants as well as an environmental hazard that would affect the entire community because the septic systems at the hotels are not designed to handle the number of people currently living in them on a year-round basis.

Board members acknowledged the problem and lamented the difficulty the town has had in forcing the owners to comply.

“We continue to struggle with this,” Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said. “We are addressing it not only through inspections but through the legal system.”

The supervisor said that the town is also battling with Suffolk County over the use of some local motels as homeless shelters, although those facilities have not presented the same overcrowding and school population issues as the illegally converted residences have.

Ms. Throne-Holst said that the first step to finding solutions to the problem is for the town to complete a four-year examination and retooling of its regulations covering the conversion of hotel and motel units into permanent residences—a study which town planners have said recently is not near completion.

Al Algieri, an East Quogue resident, said that the town needs to find solutions to the problem immediately before a resident of one of the illegal residences is injured—and to clean up an ugly blemish on the face of Hampton Bays.

“This really is a major problem,” Mr. Algieri said. “If you ride through Hampton Bays, you almost want to cry.”

Art Village Heritage Area

The Town Board on Tuesday declared the Art Village, a tiny enclave of homes on the western border of Southampton Village, the town’s sixth recognized Heritage Area.

The collection of a dozen houses was originally constructed as the campus for the Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art in 1892, which was created by the renowned painter William Merritt Chase. The school operated for 11 years and attracted students from across the country and Canada to its “en plein air” outdoor painting instruction.

The 9-acre former campus remains almost entirely intact and presents pristine examples of the architecture of its famous designers: Samuel L. Parrish, Janet R.C. Hoyt, Annie Hegeman Porter, Frank K. Pendleton, John A. Bowman and two of the school’s students who would go on to become celebrated architects themselves, Grosvenor Atterbury and Katherine Budd. The Art Village homes remain a rustic contrast to the grand estates that surround them, marked by their variety of architectural styles, low hedgerows and fences and narrow, winding roads, Sally Spanburgh, a member of the town’s Landmarks and Historic Districts Board, told the board on Tuesday.

The town is also currently preparing historic designations for two additional new heritage areas, in Flanders and in East Quogue.

Support For Election Law Reversal

A group of residents asked the Town Board to pass a resolution supporting bills in the state Assembly and Senate that would call on Congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment reversing a 2010 Supreme Court decision that gave corporations free rein to spend unlimited amounts of money to support political campaigns. Councilwoman Bridget Fleming wrote a resolution that was placed on Tuesday’s Town Board agenda that supported the state bills. Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said that she supported adopting the resolution immediately, but Ms. Fleming asked that the vote be put off until next month at the request of Councilwoman Christine Scalera.

Quogue resident Nancy Mullen said that the Supreme Court decision had “unleashed a flood of corporate money” that threatens to undermine the federal election process and that the only long-term solution now is an amendment that undoes the court’s decision.

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I see the Press is still winding up the propoganda machine by referring to the visits at the motels by Public Safety as "raids". Does anyone have a dictionary over there?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 16, 12 9:27 AM
2 members liked this comment
Close these motels.Give Hampton Bays taxpayers and the town a break.The whole setup is illegal
By TianaBob (256), S.Jamesport on Aug 16, 12 9:39 AM
2 members liked this comment
I have no problem with the word raids-the town enforcement officers should be there daily checking for overcrowding and safety violations. Riad these places everyday.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Aug 16, 12 9:45 AM
3 members liked this comment
maybe if you give dim bishlop $5000 he'll try to help
By uncleronk (136), southold on Aug 16, 12 10:20 AM
Why are town board members even wasting their time with coporate donations. This lady thats worried about corporations making donations to political campaigns should be more worried about unions and agenda driven organizations that contribute far more to politicians. She quotes "200 million" each election but the biggest contributor, Goldman Sachs, has only contibuted a toat of 39 million over the past 23 years. Not even close to the 80-90 million that a large union will spend to support Obama this ...more
By Spinny OHO (94), Speonk on Aug 16, 12 3:24 PM
The Hampton Bays school district is a disfuctional mess with all hiring a result of nepotism. The district is too worried about employing friends than correcting problems. The honor of worst school district on the east end goes to HB yet again. Good work!!
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Aug 17, 12 9:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hampton Bays High School Auditorium, August 29 from 6-8pm ( attend if you are concerned)
By Talbot77 (53), southampton on Aug 18, 12 11:09 AM
2 members liked this comment
How many have out of state plates? Bet there is no insurance on them. Ride around Hampton Bays a little, it will open your eyes!
By Tommy Turbo (59), Deep River, CT on Aug 19, 12 1:04 PM
Hot Tubs,SALE, Southampton Village, SouthamptonFest weekend