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Sep 22, 2010 10:12 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Condominium plan for Rambo site gets thumbs up from Southampton Town Planning Board

Sep 22, 2010 10:12 AM

The Southampton Town Planning Board has cleared a proposed 78-unit condominium development straddling the Southampton Village border from further environmental scrutiny.

Known as the “Ponds at Southampton,” the proposed project targets a 12-acre parcel off Bishops Lane that is currently 
used by an excavation company for composting and materials storage. The proposed condominium development has 
been applauded by neighbors 
as ridding the neighborhood of a hated nuisance caused 
by the site, which creates 
odors, noise and other annoyances.

Last Thursday, September 16, the Planning Board issued a negative declaration for the project, freeing the developer, 
George Benedict, from having to prepare a Final Environmental Impact Statement. The preparation of that statement 
would have added four to six months to the review of the project, which Mr. Benedict has 
said could have jeopardized his ability to get financing for the work.

Planning Board members said that the detailed Draft Environmental Impact Statement, or DEIS, conducted by consultants hired by Mr. Benedict adequately addressed all of the issues raised by the development.

“The DEIS was found to be very thorough,” Planning Board Chairman Dennis Finnerty said. “It took a hard look at this project, and the environmental benefits outweigh the possible negative impacts.”

Mr. Finnerty said that the thumbs-up given to the project by the consultants hired to review the DEIS by Southampton Village was a key to the 
Planning Board’s decision to let the project move forward, since the bulk of the impacts from the development will be felt in the village. He reported that the 
primary negative impacts resulting from the project are expected to be increased residential density and more vehicle traffic in the area. The development 
will have its own sewage treatment plant, so impact on groundwater is not a concern, he added.

The project will now be returned to the Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals to address the developer’s request for a change of zone required for the work to be completed. The ZBA would change the current zoning—about two-thirds of the site is light-industrial, and the rest is zoned half-acre residential—to high-density residential.

If the zone change is approved, the project will return to the Planning Board for reviews of landscaping, lighting, roadway layouts and architectural details. ZBA approval is expected, 
and Mr. Finnerty said he anticipates the Planning Board review to begin sometime in December.

Approximately a third of the property, currently owned by James H. Rambo Inc. and leased to Paul Guillo Enterprises, lies within the village, and the rest is in unincorporated Southampton Town.

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Boy, is this ever a joke. And the sad thing is it's a bad joke against the long time old family residents of Southampton east of the canal. That whole area was a light industrial zone going back to the 1890's. The two women leading the pack against the sand pit business bought their property knowing full well that the businesses was there. What they were doing was buying cheap... cheap land, cheap housing. They were looking to make money off their investment. During the hard times after 1987 all ...more
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Sep 22, 10 2:48 PM
4 members liked this comment
Unfortunatly a lot of people complain about there surroundings knowing full well what they were getting themselves into ...examples: shooting ranges, bars and restraunts, flooding areas, commercial traffic the list goes on and on. But they get a cheap deal and dont complain about that. Be aware of your surroundings before you buy a house.
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Sep 22, 10 4:59 PM
Gosh, does it help when one's son-in-law is the Mayor of the Village, who appeared at the last hearing on this issue?

Peyton Place Redux?
By MJP (13), On Quiogue on Sep 22, 10 6:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
As I recall, there used to be a racetrack in Bridgehampton, which should have been a National Historical Landmark. Not as big as Daytona, but important nonetheless.

That's the story of the Hamptons, don't you know?

Buy on the cheap in "undesirable" areas, and b***h about the "nuisance" you full well know is there, until you get rid of it. Same thing with the "middle class", because who needs them out here? We have enough money to force them out too. And on top of that, let's ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 22, 10 6:23 PM
3 members liked this comment
Bridgehampton race course used to be a world class racetrack, equivalent to a Watkins Glen today. It is a shame that those city folks built houses around it and then were able to manipulate the law over noise ordinances. The east end lost a real treasure!
By Walt (292), Southampton on Sep 27, 10 6:25 PM
I don't care what is there now, we do not need 78 more condos! If the Rambo site is hazardous, then shut them down. This developer acts like he is doing residents a favor?! So I guess he'll be donating all of his profits to charity, right?
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Sep 22, 10 6:24 PM
3 members liked this comment
Yes indeed, the Village could have shut down the pre-existing Rambo operation down years ago (or at least limited it to its pre-zoning scope of operations ~1956) under various Common Law doctrines including the Law of Nuisance, not to mention under certain sections of the Village Code.

But, no, here we are FIFTY-FIVE years later, with the Village acting as if they have been helpless all this time to perform local surgery on a skin cancer.

So now we have an apparent life-or-death ...more
By MJP (13), On Quiogue on Sep 22, 10 7:14 PM
There are those never wanting.
Some persons of violent and
undertaking natures,who,
so they may have power and
business, will take it at any cost.

~ Sir Francis Bacon
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 22, 10 9:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
Nuisance, Noise, Smells?
I have lived in the area, actually my yard backs up to the property in question, for 30 years now. I have never had a complaint about the area at all. There is actually someone out there in business today who wants to compost and reuse our natural resources and instead of embracing them we are trying to run him out? WOW what does that say for our society today?
78 more condos huh? I wonder how much will it cost to live in these condos? most of us locals will not ...more
By MACK (50), Southampton on Sep 23, 10 7:36 AM
3 members liked this comment
MACK "We need to start preserving our areas and not building them up more.
Login to reply to a comment"

So, you want to preserve our areas by having them be used as transfer stations and compost sites when they are surrounded by residential areas? What a great idea.

By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 11:53 AM
The "residential areas" came along "ex post facto"...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 24, 10 1:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
Are you in favor of preservation or building the condo?
We continue to build and build and our wild lands and what was once beautiful lands keep disappearing. Yes a transfer station is also a build and taking away from our lands but if I had to choose over an area that was reusing our natural resources or a condominium complex its and easy choice. Its been said here in other posts too and I will repeat it myself. When you move into an area and build next to ... whatever ...more
By MACK (50), Southampton on Sep 24, 10 8:08 AM
I'm wouldn't say I'm "for" them - but it's far from the worst project in the Town. I'd rather see this go up than the proposed Condo project in Hampton Bays which goes against Town Code and is a complete tit-for-tat deal.

I'm happy to see adaptive re-use - a condo project on a horribly blighted sight. Rambo will take his operation elsewhere (he signed a 3 year lease, he can go ahead and by a property for his operation if he wants to). Everyone is acting like this guy is being kicked ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 24, 10 9:13 AM
Additonally, it's extremely difficult for the Town to deny this project. It qualifies for a negative decleration under SEQRA (which means it does not cross thresholds to raise it to a positive decleration) which means the Town cannot deny it for environmental reasons. The BZA is going to set the density and they are the only ones with any sort of power - the Town Board and the Planning Board can't do anything about it.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 24, 10 9:16 AM
great insight! i agree with you whole heartedly and definitely do not trust that generic comment "complaints from the neighbors". would love to see that documented & it would be encouraging to know that a few complaints could carry such weight but highly doubt it. no complaint should even be accepted unless the house is older than the site.
what a joke.
78 condos HA!! guess ther is no amount of complaining that will stop this joke.
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 27, 10 8:26 AM
wtf do u live MAck ?? near any 100 yr old farms in a condo and you complain about the farm ?? 78 units of cut-any-and-every-corner type of construciton is a sure future crack neighborhood - and then enjoy when they raise your taxes due to stress on the infrastructure.
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 27, 10 8:31 AM
I actually live in the neighborhood in question and have for my entire 30 years of life. I think you miss understand me or maybe I am miss understanding you? I am NOT in favor of the condos, and I have never had any complaints about either of the pits. I think a Condo complex is a joke and would bring even more problems to our area.
By MACK (50), Southampton on Sep 28, 10 7:35 AM
Mack - gotcha - i agree w u man!! i think I misunderstood you. sorry !!
i live sort of nearby and love driving by there . i'd hate to see condos and would hate to see that mall thing nearby.
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 28, 10 10:54 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Phanex (83), Southampton on Sep 23, 10 10:02 AM
Money begets money.............
By DiDi (16), Southampton on Sep 23, 10 10:50 AM
1 member liked this comment
Thank You, Chris B. ...
Sep 24, 10 1:59 AM appended by Mr. Z
Kudos, to an old friend...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 24, 10 1:59 AM
First they add 78 condos - and, as far as I can tell, not one single requirement for affordable housing which is simply disgusting - and they are still considering the Tuckahoe Mega-Mall PDD?! What are we allowing them to do to our town? Vote them all out and insist that any new candidate take NO money from any developer or developer's organization and place term limits on planning board.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Sep 23, 10 2:22 PM
2 members liked this comment
The tuckahoe PDD is a bad project on its on - please don't add hyperbole by calling it a "mega-mall". It hurts your credibility. A mega-mall is the Mall of America in Minnesota which is 4.2 million sq. ft. - the proposed PDD is really, quite small (not that it is insignificant).

Members of the community have come out in support of this project (see: http://www.27east.com/story_detail.cfm?id=219290&town=Southampton). Additionally, the BZA will be determing the number of units (not the ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 4:07 PM
"He also noted that the town is going to be permitted to tap into the sewage treatment plant that his client is proposing to construct, which will allow the town to construct affordable housing in the vicinity."

The construction of an STP that can handle sewage from other projects is a public benefit and will allow for affordable housing construction in the future.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 4:10 PM
Excuse me, Nature, but it is a Mega-Mall and I will continue to refer to it as such and I don't need you advising me on how best to portray my "credibility" Furthermore, read my post, "Vote them all out" was referring to the town board and term limits to the Planning board.

Your smarmy responses are more than a bit tiresome.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Sep 23, 10 7:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
accuracy does not fall under the umbrella of "smarmy".

I just don't understand how you can classify it as a mega-mall. A strip-mall? Yes. but a mega-mall? You have to be kidding me... so I guess that makes two stores next to each other a mini-mall?

You may have been referring to the Town Board but you are upset because the Planning Board issued a neg-dec to this project (which, by the way comes at the hands of staff who follow NY State Law. The project didn't pass enough thresholds ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 23, 10 8:14 PM
It is a freaking mega-mall and, yes, you are being smarmy!
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Sep 23, 10 8:54 PM
Rape the world, for all it's worth, EVERY inch of Planet Earth..."

~ Pantera
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 24, 10 1:57 AM
1 member liked this comment
nature - HA! how about "nature not".
your credibility is in question. you focus on the emphatic use of 'mega' BFD! what bout the points that progressnow is making ?? u dont address it. go google 'hyperbole'
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 27, 10 8:42 AM
Progressnow didn't make any points, so... I'm not sure what you would like me to address.

By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 28, 10 9:29 AM
uncle ronk bullseyed it:
"odors, noise, and other annoyances? sounds like a 78 unit condo to me"

and progressnow is correctly saying the mall thing is more of the same.
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 28, 10 10:58 AM
I'm not disputing Uncleronk's statement. But the "mega-mall" is an application being considered by the Town Board where this development was/is before the Planning Board. The two are mutually exclusive so you can't blame one for the other.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 28, 10 12:10 PM
odors, noise, and other annoyances? sounds like a 78 unit condo to me.
By uncleronk (136), southold on Sep 23, 10 3:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
BEST most accurate and concise comment here. perfect direct assesment of the situation and no comment from 'nature' ... no hyperbole here nature
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 27, 10 8:45 AM
thisis still one of my all-time-favorite comments ever !!!!
By david h (405), southampton on Oct 5, 10 12:37 PM
Is it a bit odd that this article does not have link to the CAC meeting in early August, which Mayor Epley attended (Mr. Benedict's son-in-law) plus only twenty other people?


And check out the headline for the meeting:

"Ponds at Southampton Village gets support at CAC meeting."

12 of 20 attendees check "in favor" on the sign-in ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 23, 10 6:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
Just a note on the sewage treatment comment as a posible public benefit for the project. The plans I've seen have a maxed out chroglass waste system. That means there is no public utility for the un used compacity. So that's just false.
By Bob Schepps (77), Southampton on Sep 23, 10 8:51 PM
I thought there had been some talk about including some affordable units. Has that been given up?
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Sep 27, 10 12:49 AM
i think it's a perfect location for the Shinnecock Casino!

People, please, go get a job and stop complaining since you rarely see the positive side of things.

By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Sep 27, 10 9:02 AM
Give us a break, littlejim, "Go get a job"?! Hey, if you're so above it, then why bother posting? But, since you are posting her, iit looks like you could do with some gainful employment yourself.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Sep 27, 10 10:06 AM
Well, as I work for Google as a moderator at WebAnswers, and volunteer at MajorGeeks, I tend to 'flip flop" like a CPU pipline between sites when I'm not at my regular job.

Negativity is the state of reality these days. The town administration has placed little, if any constraints on population density over the years, and this project will most likely not help with that.

Put 14 rats in a cage for a week, don't feed them, and get back to me on how many rats you have left...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 27, 10 8:00 PM
What I find interesting is I FOILED the file today and there was not ONE letter of opposition to the project... and yet, based on the opinions of people on this site, there is a LOT of negativity aimed at this project. So, I must conclude that you people enjoy being armchair complainers instead of actually making your voice heard. Way to be productive.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 27, 10 8:39 PM
Where shall we send said letters of oppostion?

I have a great little program that converts WordPad documents, to Adobe .pdf format, and does the job quite nicely.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 27, 10 8:51 PM
I agree with you on the armchair thing. My only concern is that the first I herd of the project was when it was posted here. It is completely my fault for not being more involved in my community, but I use this as a venue to vent until I can file properly.
By MACK (50), Southampton on Sep 28, 10 7:39 AM
To the Planning Board... but, it's a little late now since the decisions have been made.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 28, 10 9:26 AM
I have personally written emails to ALL town board members. It is amazing that you feel it is all right for you to come here and moan, but everyone else is an "armchair" complainer. Your hypocrisy is astounding. Seriously.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Sep 29, 10 7:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
What have I done that's hypocritical?

And your e-mails didn't make it into the record... maybe you should have been writing the proper authortative board (the Planning Board) instead of running to your elected officials.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 30, 10 9:39 AM
Who appoints the planning board? I agree with progress now - people on this board do not need your approval or your direction. The fact that you foiled just to look for an opportunity to scold people is an embarrassment.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Sep 30, 10 10:22 AM
I never said I looked at the file to "scold" anyone. That was not my objective - I just discovered while going through the file there was not a single letter of opposition which I found interesting because it obviously runs counter to the overarching opinion on this board.

While the Planning Board is appointed by the Town Board, they serve long terms (7 yeras) so a member of the Planning Board wasn't neccissarily put in power by current Town Board members, and the current Town Board ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Sep 30, 10 11:38 AM
i think that people just want to puke whenever they see the words "mall" and "condos" ... and then they want to puke more puke when are coming to your very own woods and open spaces & they have already been approved by our good ol local town board (cha-ching $) it is very easy to feel exploited by some good ol local boys. and then to suspect that such developers dont even live nearby so they dont even have to deal with the sh!t they leave behind .. and they build gross looking buildings that fall ...more
By david h (405), southampton on Sep 28, 10 6:02 PM
Well, there were all those "spec" houses in the '80's...
Sep 28, 10 11:33 PM appended by Mr. Z
New "Bat Time", same old "Bat Channel"...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 28, 10 11:33 PM