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Apr 21, 2010 2:47 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Planning Board recommends holding off on state review of Speonk condominium project

Apr 21, 2010 2:47 PM

The Southampton Town Planning Board is recommending that the state-mandated environmental review of a proposed 60-unit senior condominium complex in Speonk be suspended, a move that will allow changes to be made to the proposed project.

A report issued by the Planning Board on March 25 recommends that the Southampton Town Board officially adjourn the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process, which carries specific deadlines. Simply continuing the review process will cost the developer, Barry Bernstein, extra money, and might not be necessary as his project, called Serenity Estates, might change.

Before the Planning Board issued its recommendation, the Town Board decided to leave the public hearing on Serenity Estates open because Mr. Bernstein has said that he would be willing to listen to the concerns of hamlet residents and make possible changes to his plan.

For Serenity Estates to be completed as it is now proposed, the Town Board would have to change the zone of approximately 15 acres of land from residential to a planned development district.

The project has come to a stall because of a plume of contaminated groundwater located directly beneath the proposed condominium complex. The contamination, called the Speonk solvent plume, runs for approximately 1.5 miles, from north to south.

Diane Neill, who works in the town’s planning department, noted that the Planning Board’s report, which also mentions the contamination concerns on the property, is only an advisory opinion for Town Board members to consider.

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