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Nov 28, 2018 10:24 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Tables Bel-Aire Cove Vote Once Again

The Bel Aire Cove Motel in Hampton Bays.
Nov 28, 2018 11:12 AM

For a second time in a month, Southampton Town Board members on Tuesday delayed a vote to purchase the Bel-Aire Cove Motel in Hampton Bays, to allow time for a full environmental review to be completed under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

Southampton Town Attorney James Burke said the SEQRA process has been slowed down because the exact use of the property once the town purchases it for $1,060,000, using Community Development Program dollars, has not been determined.

Initially, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said he would like to see the town purchase the blighted motel, located on Shinnecock Road in Hampton Bays, and then work with the community to come up with a plan for the property, demolish the current structure, get the necessary permits in place for redevelopment, and auction the property off to a private buyer.

Mr. Schneiderman also said he supported the idea of putting condominiums on the property, and if the community was not up for that, he would leave it as a 22-unit motel. If reconstructed as the latter, he said, he would seek to change the zoning to allow for a two-story structure with 11 units on each of two floors.

Currently, all units at the motel are on the ground, with 11 facing a creek that the motel is located next to, and 11 facing the motel’s parking lot. He said he would like to see all units face the water.

The current motel is zoned residential, with a just a small portion of the property being zoned as resort waterfront business.

Over the past four years, the Bel-Aire Cove—zoned residential, with a small portion of the property zoned as resort waterfront business—has been valued at just over $1 million. It also has brought in between $16,000 and $20,000 each year in tax revenue to the town.

If converted to 10 condominiums, which could be sold for $750,000 each, Mr. Schneiderman said, the property would bring in much more property tax revenue. “That would be my goal—to be a stronger contributor to the tax base. I think it can be a home run.”

Purchasing the property with Community Preservation Fund money, and preserving it as a public park, instead of using Community Development Program funds—something several community members are advocating—is out of the question, Mr. Schneiderman said. “I don’t like the idea of buying commercial properties with CPF, with the idea to get rid of them,” he said.

He noted that the town purchased the Hidden Cove Motel in Hampton Bays in 2014, and, today, it sits as a vacant lot. Prior to its purchase, the Hidden Cove Motel served as a homeless shelter and also was used as apartments. “The town, rather than working on making it a contributor to the resort economy, they tore it down,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “Now, it’s a vacant lot.”

Mr. Schneiderman said he does not want to see the same happen with the Bel-Aire Cove Motel, noting that it is not a good piece of property for preservation purposes.

He also said the current owner would be responsible for relocating the current tenants once the purchase is made. He said that the town wants to be sensitive to the people living there, but as a motel, there should be an expectation that the residents are not going to live there for long periods of time in the first place.

Through the SEQRA process, the town is looking at all possibilities that the property could be used for, as of right.

Kyle Collins, the town planning and development administrator, did not respond to requests seeking comment on what would be allowed on the property with split zoning.

Town Board members plan to revisit the matter at the next board meeting, scheduled for 1 p.m. on December 11.

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It’s simple stop wasting money on testing. It is clearly a Hazard to the environment. This town board is useless and corrupt
By bigblue84 (89), Hampton Bays on Nov 28, 18 2:27 PM
$1 million? A building lot on the water in Hampton Bays is $500k at least. Promise to deliver it empty and the school board should buy it and build a house for the superintendent of the school district and the other house could be for the fire chief.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Nov 28, 18 7:03 PM
These guys are all friends with the environmental groups. It’s all ridiculous
By bigblue84 (89), Hampton Bays on Nov 28, 18 7:19 PM
This just gets better and better. Jay and Julie introduce a walk on resolution in August for a public hearing about purchasing the motel and now they still don't have their ducks in order? Who is running this show? The resolution only states that they are buying it for community purpose - the rest is some oral representation from Jau which is not worth the paper it is written on. Regarding the use of CPF, they just purchased the Lobster Inn which was slated for condo development and a property ...more
Nov 29, 18 8:06 AM appended by G.A.Lombardi
a property in Sag Harbor that was also slated for a condo development. The tax issue is really immaterial since condos pay much lower taxes; the current average price in HB is $500K so I have no idea where Jay is getting $750K. They are going to do what they want whether the facts, truth, law or community input supports it.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Nov 29, 18 8:06 AM
The Hampton Bays School Board should buy it for the $1 million price, that's just 2% of one year's school budget. So long as it's delivered vacant, of course. Then have the BOCRS students demolish it as part of their work/study program.

Much cheaper than paying some politically connected law firm in Islip $250,000 per year for 5 years to sue the Town for $10 million. Or the Town could buy it for $1 million and give it to the Hamptons Bays School Board. Or give it to the Fire Department ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Nov 29, 18 8:53 AM
This is just more BS bingo from Jay and the SHTB. This is only talk & fake news to assist keeping the issue off their backs and not enforcing code.. Nothing will happen but keep people in danger with health and safety issues at the location..

Clearly SHTB is full of crap with the purchase of Lobster Inn & the lot in Sag vs this location. Different rules for those east of the canal vs those west of it..

There is no suit with the school district and the Town. Again more BS from ...more
By ZGerry (50), Hamptons on Nov 29, 18 10:15 PM
All B.S. ZGerry, I think you were at the HB CAC meeting when Jay passed around the picture he took off the internet like kindergarten show and tell and represented that the deal was contingent on the Bel-Aire being vacated and the Town forming a Community development Agency. I FOILED that part of the agreement and my FOIL request was denied.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Nov 30, 18 10:49 AM
What reason was given for denying your FOIL request?
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Nov 30, 18 11:40 AM
I first asked for the full agreement and they said since it was not executed I could not obtain it, then I just asked for the terms and conditions that supported Jay's statements and I was given NO reason. I worked in mergers and acquisition in private section, the agreement is often made public - in fact in SEC listed companies it is mandatory under certain conditions.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Nov 30, 18 11:51 AM
the Board resolution has no detail about what will be done with the property after the purchase and no terms and conditions of the purchase.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Nov 30, 18 12:14 PM
This sure is a creative plan by Jay with increased complexity, increase time, increased risk with a uncertain outcome vs using CPF.

I do think this was by choice or political ploy. Perhaps the location will turn into housing. I would like it to remain a hotel & to enforce code. The district still needs the funds lost in school taxes as this location sends many children to school.

I understood the CDA expired and was mis-manage by town hall so it had to be updated which sits on ...more
By ZGerry (50), Hamptons on Nov 30, 18 7:58 PM
I think there is no agreement or something in it that would harm the community. This is why the FOIL was not honored. Southampton Press should follow up on the FOIL.
By ZGerry (50), Hamptons on Nov 30, 18 8:06 PM
Delivered vacant, $1 million is a good price for that property. Maybe the Hampton Bays School District should buy it -- less than the cost of the new roof.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Nov 30, 18 6:00 PM
Health Dept and other State agencies should be involved to close it down. Laws are being broken.
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Dec 3, 18 10:53 AM
stree - there is nothing in writing from what I have seen that states the property will be delivered vacant. The resolution that was tabled at the November 27th Town Board meeting was first on the agenda and can be viewed on the Town Clerk Portal. It states that it will be purchased under Town Law 64 for community development - very vague and non-committal.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Dec 3, 18 12:47 PM
and for those that followed the 5 years of adjournments of appeals of the Tiana Pines motel being converted into apartments, the Town Board settled earlier this year to allow the apartment conversion.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Dec 3, 18 1:19 PM