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Aug 15, 2012 12:58 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Quiogue Residents Oppose Plans For New East End Hospice Facility

Aug 15, 2012 1:28 PM

More than 60 Quiogue residents have signed a petition opposing the proposed construction of an East End Hospice inpatient facility planned for the intersection of Hampton Street and Meeting House Lane, fearing it will impact both the environment and their quality of life, and lower property values.

The town has not yet approved the plans for the 11-000-square-foot facility, which would include rooms for eight terminally ill patients, according to Priscilla Ruffin, the president of East End Hospice.

Cherie Magee, who drafted the petition, said she fears the facility will bring unwanted traffic and lighting to the otherwise quiet residential neighborhood, and could pollute nearby Aspatuck Creek. Ms. Magee and her husband live across the street from the roughly 5.5 acres that Westhampton Beach resident Elmo Monfrede bequeathed to East End Hospice when he died in 2001.

“It will destroy this place,” Ms. Magee said this week. “This is a business—a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week business, and it takes a lot of support, and that is a lot of traffic.”

Formed in 1991, East End Hospice provides care for terminally ill patients and bereavement counseling services for the family and friends who have lost loved ones. The center offers home health care, as well as short-term inpatient care, and organizes a summer camp in East Hampton called Camp Good Grief for children who have experienced a loss.

The petition outlines concerns that the hospice would draw in daily visitors, staff and deliveries, burdening the quiet street and disturbing the wildlife in the area. Ms. Magee added that the facility would negatively affect the value of her property and her neighbors’ properties as well.

She said she attended a public hearing on the matter in October, although other residents, she said, some of whom do not live in the area year-round, were unaware of the plans and the hearing, which took place in the off-season when many residents were away. She sent a letter to her neighbors that month, encouraging them to contact the town, and drafted the petition this past spring.

“A lot of the concerns are based on conjecture,” said Ms. Ruffin, who also lives off Hampton Street just down the block from the site. She said that the plans have yet to be fully vetted by the Town of Southampton, which is awaiting a final site plan. The facility, once constructed, would be fully in compliance with town and state codes, she said. Ms. Ruffin also explained that just over half of the parcel owned by East End Hospice would be preserved under a conservation easement with the town, meaning the facility would be located on about 2.5 acres of land, with the remaining property—and the waterfront—left untouched.

“We don’t want this to have any character but a peaceful residential character,” Ms. Ruffin said, adding that there would be no administrative offices in the facility. “We don’t have any solid, real information until the town does their work. But we’ll follow all the guidelines and follow the letter of the law, which we do in all our work.”

East End Hospice submitted a pre-submission report to the Town Planning Board in October 2011. The report, which is good for a year, according to Planning Director David Wilcox, allows the board to make suggestions to East End Hospice on the proposed facility before a final site plan is submitted for approval. He said once the final site plan is submitted, it could be approved in as little as six months. Mr. Wilcox said the during the approval process, the board would take into consideration the effect the facility would have on the neighborhood, including traffic and lighting and environmental impacts.

The board had noted on the pre-submission plan that the facility did not meet the required setback distance from Aspatuck Creek, a concern expressed by Ms. Magee. Mr. Wilcox said that the problem would be addressed in the final site plan, and that it was rare for the town to relax that setback requirement.

Joel Hillman, a former architect and planner who spends his summers in a house off Franklin Avenue close to the Hampton Street property, said he was concerned that the facility would have insufficient parking spaces, leaving visitors, which could number 40 or 50 on holidays and weekends, he speculated, to park on the residential Hampton Street, rather than Meeting House Lane.

“We’re all for the project,” he said. “We think it’s wonderful—we just don’t believe it belongs there.”

Mr. Hillman said he has a copy of the architect’s site plan, which shows the main entrance to the facility off Hampton Street, though Ms. Ruffin said the entrance will be on Meeting House Lane, and the site plan that Mr. Hillman is referring to could be an outdated version. There are wooden stakes placed off both Hampton Street and Meetinghouse Lane marked “drive.”

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What a cruel bunch of people ... shame on you !
By AndersEn (174), Southampton on Aug 17, 12 9:35 AM
2 members liked this comment
They object to a a facility that is limited to eight rooms, basically they are going to be building a house, for people to spend their last days in.
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Aug 17, 12 10:00 AM
Quiogue, Quogue & WHB residents should look at their age and realize they need this type of facility. They are not referred to as the Villages of the walking dead for nothing. Typical Nimby BS.
By G (342), Southampton on Aug 17, 12 10:21 AM
Ms.Magee,
mon Cherie, I'll die, you'lll die, we all die..........let them do it in peace and dignity. Hospice does an incredibly compassionate job at what they do. They will be there for you and yours shoudl you need their services someday.
By Phadreus1340 (144), Southampton on Aug 17, 12 10:52 AM
I suppose Ms. Magee and her 59 narrow minded associates prefer the derelict building that has been decomposing at the site for the last twenty years. I'm sure a site plan can be devised that will put the driveway on Meeting House Lane and adequate screening left or installed so the unfortunate patients do not have to look at Magee and her neighbors.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Aug 17, 12 2:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
A rather selfish and short sighted group of people. It's not like this is going to be a party house with noise and cars going in and out all night. But rather a quiet and serene place close by for patients and families who need the services of hospice out here on the east end . SHAME on all of you!!!!!!
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Aug 19, 12 7:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
at least is not an in and out patient rehab center. nor is it a family medical center. how many people will be visiting the terminally ill and how can that affect the live of the neighbors? Have some compassion for your fellow neighbors. FOR SHAME!!!
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Aug 21, 12 5:47 PM
A new height of selfish and mean in the hamptons
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 21, 12 8:21 PM
“It will destroy this place,” Ms. Magee said Its residents like Ms Magee who destroy neighborhoods. And Cheri should never forget the God is always watching
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Aug 30, 12 3:11 PM