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Sep 9, 2015 10:39 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Suffolk County Lawmakers Approve Transfer Of Hampton Bays Land

The Canoe Place Inn Property in Hampton Bays. BY DANA SHAW
Sep 15, 2015 12:25 PM

UPDATE: Thursday, 9 a.m.:

Suffolk County lawmakers approved a land transfer Wednesday night, as part of the Canoe Place Inn redevelopment project.

The deal will ensure public access to the eastern side of the Shinnecock Canal and that the developers follow through with an estimated $1 million road reconstruction and realignment project that focuses on the eastern side of the canal.

ORIGINAL:

Suffolk County lawmakers were expected to sign off on a land transfer Wednesday, part of the Canoe Place Inn redevelopment plan approved in January by the Southampton Town Board, over the criticisms of those who continue to object to the project’s approval.

Under the transfer agreement previously approved by the town, the land in question—roughly a quarter acre in size and situated along the eastern bank of the Shinnecock Canal—would be transferred from the county to the town. In turn, the town will sign an agreement with Gregg and Mitchell Rechler, the developers behind the Canoe Place Inn project, to ensure public access to the eastern side of the waterway, near where they intend to construct 37 townhouses on a neighboring 4.5-acre property.

Additionally, the transfer, which was expected to be approved last night by the Suffolk County Legislature, would require that the Rechlers follow through on an estimated $1 million road reconstruction and realignment project that focuses on the eastern side of the canal.

But some hamlet residents, including Maud Kramer, former president of the Hampton Bays Beautification Association, continue to object to not only the land transfer but the entire project itself, which also calls for the restoration of the 25-room Canoe Place Inn, the building of guest cottages and the opening of a 300-seat catering hall all on the western side of the canal. The entire project, which includes the 37 townhouses and the construction of a wastewater treatment facility on the eastern side of the canal, was approved by the town as part of a maritime planned development district.

“To transfer county land to the Town of Southampton, who intends to transfer the land to private developers, seems to me as not serving the best interest of our community and I question the morality in the town’s involvement in pursuing the County property on behalf of the developers,” Ms. Kramer wrote in a letter to Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski, chairman of the county’s Public Works, Transportation and Energy Committee. “The PDD process does not work the way it was intended. The goal should be to achieve community benefits and something better than what the current zoning allows—not increased density, increased traffic and other significant impacts.”

In May, some four months after the Town Board approved the project, a group of neighbors sued the municipality over its decision. A decision has not been made in that case.

As part of the PDD approval, the town, county and developers agreed on certain stipulations. Among them, the county suggested improvements to two troublesome intersections, where Montauk Highway intersects with Newtown and North roads, which lie just west and east, respectively, of the Rechlers’ property. With North Road, the county suggested that the town install a “T” intersection, according to Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman.

On Tuesday morning, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst explained that the land to be acquired by the town would be used to create a canal-side park, guaranteeing public access along the eastern bank. She said a path leading to a 250-foot-long floating dock will be installed near where the back deck of the now-closed Tide Runners restaurant once operated.

“What it does is create, for the first time, real public access on the east side of the canal to the canal,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “You don’t have to buy a drink to access that side—you can just park your car and go down there. It will be safe and accessible.”

But several neighbors continue to argue that the park should not qualify as a public benefit, pointing out that they had access when the restaurant was open. They also don’t believe the road upgrades will improve traffic and safety.

“Will this T-intersection worsen or improve the site’s traffic-safety and congestion issues?” Rita Knox asked in a letter to the county. “Will we be able to enter and exit our neighborhoods safely when the proposed T-sections worsen already present traffic congestion?”

Wednesday’s meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature was scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. in Hauppauge.

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“What it does is create, for the first time, real public access on the east side of the canal to the canal,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “You don’t have to buy a drink to access that side—you can just park your car and go down there. It will be safe and accessible.”

Park my car where Queen Anna? Where can I park my car? BS.
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 9, 15 1:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
You could always just park your car there and get to the canal.

The property between the existing One North and Altenkirch's buildings and the slope up to Montauk Highway was the property of Suffolk County and at one time was the roadway to the old bridge. The front door of both those businesses was less than ten feet from the right of way. The Rechsler plan has shown the southernmost building straddling the line between the County property and the "Altenkirch property" since it was ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Sep 9, 15 9:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
My point is when this development is built - where will the public parking spaces be? There will be none (as far as I'm aware) and it will be a dangerous prospect to walk there.

The County is getting public improvements to their roadways (Montauk Highway is a County Road) so that's the benefit - but regardless the whole thing stinks and was done rather through the backdoor.
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Sep 10, 15 9:17 AM
The plans show four or five parking spaces in the area currently occupied by North Road that will now be Rechler's property with the moving of that road to the east.

My point is that valuable waterfront public property has been given to a private entity and that entity is being permitted to reroute a public road to the detriment of the safety of its users. How can this be legal?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Sep 10, 15 11:25 AM
The plans show four or five parking spaces in the area currently occupied by North Road that will now be Rechler's property with the moving of that road to the east.

My point is that valuable waterfront public property has been given to a private entity and that entity is being permitted to reroute a public road to the detriment of the safety of its users. How can this be legal?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Sep 10, 15 11:25 AM
The county approached the town and developers. Not the other way around. For this "valuable waterfront public property" (which will be the public access that the community asked for) the Rechler's get to pay 1.8 million to redo the road.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Sep 10, 15 6:56 PM
Since when does the county go around asking developers if they want some free land? The road was redone to make it safer in the not too distant past; why redo it again to make it less safe? Do you really believe everything you're told by politicians and their bedfellows?

The bottom line is the developers needed the county property to build all the buildings they wanted to and the developers needed the roads moved to provide parking and they got some politicians to give it to them for ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Sep 11, 15 1:25 AM
I am sure if you research it you will find that it happens more than you'd realize. But don't trust me...find the answer for yourself. The county has "surplus" land and they do all sorts of things with it.

The county now doesn't have to fix their traffic problem, I'd imagine they think not spending 1.8 million dollars of tax money is a good thing.

No, they aren't building their town houses on that property. Look at the map.

You keep saying what the community wants. ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Sep 11, 15 11:54 AM
Forget it Ms Kramer. This is a done deal. The money passed under the table a long time ago.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Sep 9, 15 1:47 PM
This transfer of land should have been discused publicly, not done in private and pushed though without public comment. As is, it benefits her friends the developers, not the public, no matter what Ms Throne - Holst says. She has done a lot of damage to this town by supporting zoning changes that increase population density - why? Because developers donate to her party and campaign chest.
By Crabby (63), Southampton on Sep 9, 15 1:57 PM
Sounds like another lawsuit, and another waste of time and money. Get this construction going already!
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Sep 9, 15 8:37 PM
2 members liked this comment
It is indeed a foul old eyesore, the CPI, the "saving" of which is not even worth allowing the erection of a Johnny-on-the-Spot, much less a mass of townhouse condos on the other side of the Canal. I know it's a done deal, but it continues to amaze that so many were willing to give up the store for the sake of this decayed relic.

Actually, it may not have been so very many people, and we need to learn from this sad experience not to bow in future to the clamor of a vocal minority just ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 9, 15 8:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
One thing is for sure, it is not in the best interest of the community to keep the area the way it is! The decrepit CPI and canal area that once hosted a series of successful restaurants looks horrendous now, and leaves many people (both tourists and locals) wondering what on earth is going on here? It's been over 10 years now w/ CPI looking the way it does, which takes so much away from beautiful Hampton Bays. Naysayers and stallers, please allow for progress and drastic improvement to the area-- ...more
By kercor (4), Floral Park on Sep 10, 15 1:11 AM
4 members liked this comment
Of course the area looks horrendous now, that's the way the Rechlers want it to look so people like you will accede to all their demands just to eliminate the eyesores they created.

These people have demonstrated by their lack of care at the properties they do not have any desire to be good neighbors, they just want to pressure the community into caving in to their demands.

Mark my words - as soon as they have all the approvals needed to build their condos they will "suddenly discover" ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Sep 11, 15 1:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
How did they make it look worse? The previous owner never sank a dime into the buildings that I remember.

Again, do some research...they are not allowed to work on the east side without working on the west side. This has been discussed for years now. Millions have already been spent.

The conspiracy theories and talk of payoffs without a shred of proof are getting so old.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Sep 11, 15 11:56 AM
"How did they make it look worse?" You've got to be kidding! Just open your eyes and look! See what everyone is complaining about. Get out of Rechler's office and refresh your memory.

One North fixed up a building that had been in and out of business for years and created a thriving restaurant. Tiderunners replaced the bulkheading, rebuilt the marina and decks and changed carpeting, furnishings and the outdoor bar. The building was painted every year, the parking lots resurfaced.

Do ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Sep 12, 15 1:00 PM
just another example of the political prostitute conducting business as usual, pay the money, receive a service. Pitiful.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 10, 15 6:06 AM
1 member liked this comment
I agree with suppose 2. Put the condos on the west side and leave the east side for restaurants and public access
By fish sticks (53), hampton bays on Sep 10, 15 6:12 AM
1 member liked this comment
that was the origanal plan the everyone opposed....

good god make up your mind already!
By Erin 27 E (1281), hampton bays on Sep 10, 15 7:51 PM
Seems to be a discrepancy on the size of the property. The article states the size of the property to be a 1/4 acre, yet the suffolk county memorandum yesterday states the property to be almost 1 acre. Is this a typo or is the town misleading us again?
By JohnTedesco (5), Hampton Bays, New York on Sep 10, 15 6:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
I say leave the property the way it is this. The people in Hampton Bays have crazy comments about every improvement ever proposed. The beautification commitee thinks putting flowers on the side of the road is the answer for HB. There is no leadership in HB that is why they need a village. Let the Rechlers start their project before they run and leave Hampton Bays in disarray.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 11, 15 11:12 PM
2 members liked this comment
People say they want to make their community better, as long as it doesn't affect them near their houses. Its ridiculous! I personally believe this project is a great idea that would benefit my hometown greatly. There is something wrong with HB community members not seeing what this project would do for this town. Just think about it..Having a nice, big attraction in Hampton Bays would attract the much needed wealthy people of the city. If the wealthy people choose to stay in the cottages, HB will ...more
By hbresident1000 (2), Hampton Bays on Sep 14, 15 1:06 AM
2 members liked this comment
"If the wealthy people choose to stay in the cottages" ?!?!? What planet are you on??
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Sep 14, 15 6:45 AM
Im pretty sure this is Earth.... Im trying to say that HB needs income. Our town no longer looks like the nice "vacation spot" that it once was. I know for a fact that the land across from the canal is or once was trying to be used to be turned into condos/cottages. This would benefit hampton bays because it would generate money.
By hbresident1000 (2), Hampton Bays on Nov 11, 15 1:30 AM