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Sep 19, 2017 4:36 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Canoe Place Inn Developers Have Plan To Address Water Pressure Issue

Sep 20, 2017 1:27 PM

Developers looking to build 37 townhouses on the eastern side of the Shinnecock Canal in Hampton Bays want to tap the Suffolk County Water Authority to solve their water pressure problem.

In a draft supplemental environmental impact statement filed last month with Southampton Town, R Squared Development LLC, a division of Rechler Equity Partners LLC—the firm behind the Canoe Place Inn planned development district—is seeking permission to tap two Suffolk County Water Authority mains to increase pressure on the eastern side of the canal. One main is located on Oakhurst Road in Hampton Bays, while the other is near the three-way intersection of Hillover Road East, Peconic Road and Montauk Highway between Hampton Bays and Shinnecock Hills, according to officials.

The developer, which says it is willing to pick up the estimated $180,000 cost of the proposed line extensions, needs to increase the supply of water on the canal’s eastern banks following a ruling on a lawsuit filed by neighbors who oppose the condominiums.

While he dismissed most of the claims raised by neighbors—including the siting of the sewage treatment plant that will eventually service the townhouses in their neighborhood—State Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen ruled in May that the current supply of water from the Hampton Bays Water District is not enough to meet fire emergency requirements for the housing complex, which would be constructed on 4.5 acres.

The proposed upgrades, which must be approved by the Southampton Town Board, were pitched after the developers learned that the closest Hampton Bays Water District main on the west side of the canal does not provide enough pressure to meet fire response requirements on the eastern side. Prior to pitching the current proposal, the Rechlers had investigated other options, including the installation of a second main on the west side of the canal, but opted to pull that idea due to projected cost estimates, according to the draft document.

Hampton Bays Water District Superintendent Rob King—who has been forced to shut off two of his district’s 11 wells over the past year after two chemical contaminants, related to firefighting foam, were found—said he has been in contact with engineers contracted by the Rechlers, though nothing has been finalized yet.

Tim Motz, director of communications, government affairs and efficiency management for the Suffolk County Water Authority, said the authority has agreed in principle to allow the Hampton Bays Water District “to convert manual valves on water mains at two locations just to the east of the district’s service territory into automatic valves, in order to provide an immediate and ample water supply during times of emergency.” He added, “There is sufficient water supply in the SCWA system in the Southampton area to allow for this water use.”

Mr. Motz also said that, under the agreement, the Hampton Bays Water District will cover the costs of the project and will pay the Suffolk County Water Authority a wholesale rate for any water used.

In addition to building the 37 townhouses, cousins Gregg and Mitchell Rechler of Rechler Equity Partners intend to renovate the historic Canoe Place Inn that is located on 5.6 acres on the western bank of the canal. That work calls for the restoration of the structure and transforming it into a 20-room inn with five separate guest cottages. The restored inn will also feature a restaurant and catering hall capable of accommodating up to 300 people at once.

Jim Morgo, a spokesman for the Rechlers, said this week that the Rechlers need the Town Board to approve the draft document before filing their final supplemental environmental impact statement with the municipality.

Once that document is finalized, the Rechlers must wait for the town to issue its findings statement before applying for the required Suffolk County approvals to begin construction, according to Mr. Morgo.

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Most of us will be in the CPI in the sky before this project is complete. We have looked at this eyesore for too long.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 20, 17 7:59 AM
2 members liked this comment
The eyesore called the CPI has existed long enough. Anyone can look at the building and see that it is beyond repair and should be taken down for safety reasons. The town should pull the plug on this PDD because of the amount of time the project has taken to get started. Allow the Rechlers to build according to the zoning that is currently allowed on each site.
By Ernie (88), Hampton Bays on Sep 20, 17 8:24 AM
2 members liked this comment
ATH listened to the "save the CPI" folks thinking that they spoke for Hampton Bays. How many people really wanted to save the CPI. don't blame the PDD law or the developer - blame the vocal few who think they run the Town and the Town Board that is too lazy or too inept to really understand what is going on. Let's see how this plays out - the condos at the former Allen's Acres are "going like hotcakes" - LOL
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 20, 17 12:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
ATH listened to the money flowing into her campaign war chest from the Rechler's and every other developer who wanted a favor.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Sep 26, 17 4:39 PM
Since they are already pumping the gray water up the hill on the other side of North Road to the Nitrex septic system they may as well put a second pipe to fill a fresh water tank on the septic system site and pump potable water up to the water tank during low demand periods. The water tank would help maintain water pressure during high demand periods or when needed by the fire district.
By Ernie (88), Hampton Bays on Sep 20, 17 2:49 PM