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Aug 10, 2011 11:34 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Around Southampton Town Hall: Board Votes Down Resolution To Eliminate Parking Regulations On Noyac Bay Avenue

Aug 10, 2011 12:03 PM

The Southampton Town Board voted down a measure on Tuesday that would have lifted seasonal parking restrictions on Noyac Bay Avenue, closing a chapter of a controversial public debate this season that many viewed in a larger sense as a discussion about beach access.

The resolution to lift the restrictions, cosponsored by Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, failed after colleagues Chris Nuzzi, Nancy Graboski and Jim Malone cast “nay” votes.

The three dissenting Town Board members said they felt that the amount of allowable parking on the stretch of road—about 100 feet on one side of Noyac Bay Avenue from where the road meets the beach, which was approved by the board in June—was more than adequate. Parking on the roadway was initially prohibited in 2009 after a neighborhood group lobbied for the restrictions.

Ms. Fleming and Ms. Throne-Holst, however, sided with a group of community members who have argued that parking regulations on the road limit access to a stretch of publicly owned beach. A group of homeowners, the Northampton Colony Association, have spoken out against lifting the parking regulations, claiming that doing so would welcome burglaries and vandalism to their homes and their boats moored in the neighboring marina, and also that the water is unsafe to swim in.

Easing the restrictions in June was seen as an effort by the board to foster a compromise between the two groups. But Ms. Throne-Holst had a change of heart and acted to lift the parking completely.

Before the resolution went up for a vote on Tuesday, members of the public on both sides of the heated issue offered some final comments. “This is not their beach,” exclaimed Noyac resident Lisina Ceresa, adding that the beach belongs to everyone. “Plain and simple, this is not their beach.”

Meanwhile, residents from the Northampton Colony Association said they felt attacked and insulted by comments from some of their neighbors and by the general tone of past public hearings—at one point during the public’s comments, Ms. Fleming asked residents to keep personal attacks out of their remarks. They also asked for the Town Board to keep the current parking regulations intact. Joanne Staffa, a secretary of the Northampton Colony Yacht Club, said she feared nonresidents would use the area with no regulations in place.

When casting their votes, board members spoke about their thought processes in doing so. Ms. Fleming said she viewed the issue as protecting the right of beach access in town. “I do feel I’m casting my vote for a fundamental right that I feel very, very deeply about,” she said.

Mr. Malone, Ms. Graboski and Mr. Nuzzi all felt the current parking was enough. Mr. Malone said he liked the previous approach of a compromise. He said he would commit to revisiting the issue in the future, if the current parking situation did not work. Lifting all the restrictions on the road “only invites the possibility for disaster,” he said, by inviting people to swim in the beach’s dangerously deep water.

Ms. Graboski also agreed with Mr. Malone’s comments, noting there has been a great deal of misunderstanding about parking at the site, and that the restrictions on Noyac Bay Avenue were seasonal. “My own position at this point in time is that the objective of opening up the road to beach access is accomplished,” she said.

Mr. Nuzzi echoed Ms. Graboski and Mr. Malone’s comments, noting that while he fully supports public beach access, he also supports “common sense restrictions of parking.” Ms. Throne-Holst said she was concerned that the Town Board was setting a bad precedent in voting against the resolution.

“My concern is we are going to have residents from every road ending come out here and saying, ‘We’d like you to consider this, we’d like you to consider that,’” she said.

Solid Waste Management Plan Adopted

The Town Board moved one step closer to updating the municipality’s solid waste management plan on Tuesday.

The board adopted a recommendation from a consulting firm, CDM, hired to look at the town’s management plan with an eye toward updating it. The updated plan is required by the DEC.

The plan that was adopted would essentially leave refuse operations the way they are, while adding a tracking program by which the town can collect information about waste disposal by requiring private carters to obtain permits through the town.

The recommendation was selected out of a group of four alternatives to the current plan that ran the gamut from closing down all transfer stations and creating new taxing districts for garbage collection to maintaining transfer stations for municipal use only.

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Privileged perquisite v. the commonweal. Once the competing interests were established, the Republican/Conservative vote was a given.
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 10, 11 2:20 PM
2 members liked this comment
It's the Kratoville fiasco all over again. The same bloc of Nuzzi, Malone & Graboski that gave us a boondoggle Business Management Department with a $150,000-a-year party loyalist to run it, has now stomped on the people's right to get to the beach. Just as before, these three officials, elected by the people, have ignored the people's will, massively expressed at four Town Board meetings, and voted instead to place the narrow interests of about a dozen homeowners above those of more than 50,000 ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Aug 11, 11 11:57 AM
2 members liked this comment
interesting how the members of the private club claim the water is too dangerous to swim in-- yet every weekend I see these very members swimming with small children in these same "dangerous" waters.

and by the way- do potential burglars really obey parking regulations while commiting their felonies?

you really need hip boots to get through all this
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Aug 11, 11 1:09 PM
2 members liked this comment
Nuzzi, Malone and Graboski have again thumbed their noses at the people of Southampton. This time they have set a dangerous precedent in attacking the centuries old right of access to our shorelines. The first person ticketed for parking outside the few designated spaces puts the lie to their claims of adequate access. We will not forget.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Aug 11, 11 6:49 PM
3 members liked this comment
Hopefully in the next administration the town board can reverse this decision. I suppose there are no restrictions there for people taking their dogs for a "walk" at the beach.

Hopefully the new waste management policy will re institute fee's for commercial dumping at the recycling bin's. I've seen an inordinate amount of commercial vehicles using the recycling bins fro commercial purposes. These are not there for that purpose they are for the recycling needs of private residents. Additionally, ...more
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Aug 12, 11 1:54 AM
What the . . . are these guys doing? The beaches belong to the people, that's the law. You don't get around that with some bs parking rules. This commodore guy, what a joke! Commodore of what? Some little jersey shore kinda "yacht club" that has Chris Nuzzi in its pocket for whatever reason. You don't do this in Southampton, Republican, Democrat, whatever, you don't mess with the people's beaches.

This Town Board is over the top and these people have to go. OK, Graboski's out ...more
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on Aug 24, 11 12:28 PM
2 members liked this comment
Wow, the republican obstructionists on this board are certainly following directly in the footsteps of their national party leaders. The beaches belong to the people and any attempt to deny access is what I call BIG government.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Aug 24, 11 1:44 PM