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News Updates, B.I.K Quick Takes, Events & Info

2/20/24...Read these articles published recently in RiverheadLOCAL undisclosed developer incursion into drafting new town zoning codes

As discussed in-depth in our Feb 19, 2024 instagram post, here is the full article referenced. A serious reminder about why members of any community on the East End must engage deeply and raise their voices around important issues and remain vigilant, especially around all aspects of land use and potential code code changes, 

 

9/4/22...MUST READ Article in the New York Times about Montauk and Overdevelopment in East Hampton

Please read this article published in this past weekend's NYT "In Montauk, Big Money Moves in on a Surfers' Paradise". Very well structured article, with important detail without being the typical superficial piece about the Hamptons.  Includes many quotes from local friends and neighbors.  

 

Importantly, the article includes this very important quote from East Hampton Town Planning Department head Jeremy Samuelson: "The new house is fully in keeping with Montauk’s building code, according to the town’s director of planning, Jeremy Samuelson. 'There’s a broader question here for all of us who live in East Hampton,' Mr. Samuelson said. 'That is, what do we think is an appropriate amount of coverage and massing for a single-family home on a given property. If we as a community are not satisfied with what current code allows,' he continued, 'then we should work together to come up with amendments to the code that align with our shared values.' ”

8/25/22...Editorial in the East Hampton Star re: Commercial Redevelopment

On point opinion piece: A warning and call to action: (Re)Building Wave

8/02/22...East Hampton Town Board discussed adding a Town-level "Historic District" designation for the SANS area of Sag Harbor

At its work session, the Town Board held its first discussion about adding a historic district overlay across the three subdivisions in Sag Harbor of Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest and Ninevah, aka the SANS communities, which were founded and self-financed 1947-1952 by African Americans as a beach-side vacation community for themselves during Jim Crow segregation which prevented African Americans from purchasing and renting property. The community grew largely by word of mouth and many of the homes have been passed along to the next generations.  

You can find the Town Board meeting replay here and the agenda item starts at the 2:50:40 time mark

For more historical background and perspective on SANS see this from Preservation Long Island and this from Preservation League of NYS   Also watch Season 2, Episode 5 of the AppleTV show Home for great current view of the neighborhoods. And this from the New York Times T Magazine  

The SANS communities have already received National Register and NYS historical designations, which mark their significance, but it is our local (EH Town and Sag Harbor Village) historic district designations that add more protection to areas, especially around redevelopment and protecting community character.  

For related EH Town Code see 255-7-25-B, C & D           § 255-7-25 Designation of historic landmarks and historic districts.      and 255-7-30-D           § 255-7-30 Activities requiring Architectural Review Board approval.    

and 255-7-60           § 255-7-60 Standards and criteria.     

 

6/14/22...June 28th Public Hearing and Information Session About New PSEG Underground Cable to Be Held

PSEG LI plans to bury a new 69KV transmission power line underground from Bridgehampton, running in part under/through the Long Pond Greenbelt preserve, to the Buell Substation off of Cove Hollow Road in East Hampton.  The company says there is a need for this "to assure that there will not be peak period power outages in East Hampton Town, where demand for electricity has outstripped demand elsewhere on Long Island."

A public information session will be held at LTV Studios, located at 75 Industrial Rd, Wainscott, NY 11975 on June 28, 2022 from 2:00-6:30pm, which will immediately be followed by the formal Public Hearing which will start at 6:30pm.  Though this will have local impact, the "Lead Agency" declared in this matter is the Long Island Power Authority, rather than local entities, such as either the EH or SH Planning Board.

See article here and PSEG statement here, including links to the DEIS here and other documents.

Build.In.Kind take: Let that sink in -- our small town is one of the biggest over consumers of electricity.  This should make us all reflect on our development intensity, density and house sizes allowable under current town zoning code. 

 

This is the result of overdevelopment: oversized houses, with their many accessory structures, pools and all their so-called amenities, appliances and electronics creating their outsized consumption of power. 

 

The article mentions “peak period” shortages, but the waste is year round as thousands of oversized homes suck up power even as they sit vacant except for 40 or 50 days a year.  This excess demand drives up electric rates for us all.

This issue hasn't gotten a lot of talk lately, so it is important that citizens come up to speed and engage in this public info/hearing session.

6/2/22...Update news on Steinbeck property preservation

Assemblymember Thiele Announces Nomination of the Steinbeck Homestead for $500,000 in State Funding to Establish Writers Retreat.  Press release here

 

6/1/22...Memorial Day weekend air traffic in and out of EH Airport up 21% vs prior year

There were 630 flights into or out of the airport from Thursday, May 26, through Memorial Day, May 30, compared to 537 over the same four-day stretch in 2021. Story here.

4/27/22...East Hampton Coastal Assessment & Resiliency Plan

On April 27, the EH Town Board released the draft of the long awaited Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan, aka CARP. As it states the purpose: "The CARP is a key step toward implementing policies and projects that reduce the Town's vulnerability and facilitate adaptation to our changing environment."  This plan document is essential reading, and in particular, we believe it should be an essential driver of material changes to our Town Zoning and Building Codes.  Here are key links: The Draft Plan, The Plan Attachments, and EH Town Website Page for more information and to follow the topic. 

3/10/22...Event...Topic: Energy & Sustainability

On March 15 at 6:30 pm EH Town is sponsoring a webinar to educate and "update residents about NYS incentives, rebates, and subsidized low-interest, long-term loans to help install new energy-efficient home heating and cooling systems that will save on utility costs and help protect the environment." Link to more info

3/3/22...NEWS & B.I.K. QUICK TAKE...Topic: EH Airport Scoping Session

At its March 1, 2022 work session, the EH Town Board had three agenda items related to pending changes to the EH Airport: Presentation of Proposed "Prior Permission Required" (PPR) Framework; Revised EAF/Negative SEQRA Declaration; New Airport Scoping Session. There was a lot of information and you can find the Town materials here. Also, summary articles from the East Hampton Star and 27East.

Most important for the public to know here: related to the required SEQRA review that has been initiated related to the airport transition, a public "scoping" session is underway identify options and alternative actions related to airport operation. The town is soliciting public comments "We invite members of the public to suggest what actions they believe should be assessed" Comments must be submitted by March 18 and should be directed to EHAirportScope@EHamptonny.gov, or sent by mail to the Town Clerk, 159 Pantigo Road, East Hampton NY 11937.

The proposed limits on commercial traffic (e.g jet share and helicopter service) and curfews struck many of us as too minimal to make a difference to the terrible noise issues and environmental concerns.  Most importantly, the Town said it will be tracking over the summer, among other things, if the number of complaints are reduced by these changes vs. years past. I strongly object to using complaints as the evaluation benchmark; to reference the old saying, when a tree falls in the forest, it does indeed make a sound..so too is it true that planes and helicopters flying constantly every few minutes over our Town and other areas create true disturbance, whether some citizens choose to enter a complaint or not. 

More broadly, though I support very significant limits on commercial air traffic at KHTO, Build.In.Kind/EH is not directly engaging in the airport process. The B.I.K. perspective is that the crushing escalation of air traffic that's developed at EH Airport over the last decade is a symptom -- a direct outcome -- of the overall excessive overdevelopment in our town. As I wrote to the EH Town Board "It is my view that though we might find and implement some “fixes” for our [Airport] problems, ultimately, we won’t resolve them sustainably and in whole without finding a way to re-envision and evolve how land is developed and used across East Hampton."

2/18/22...B.I.K. QUICK TAKE...Topic: Affordable Housing

Gov. Hochul has removed from the state's budget a proposal for affordable housing mandating local governments to allow accessory apartments in residential areas normally zoned for single-family usage. Here in EH, we need to have some thoughtful discussion about how accessory apts might be used as an option to help create more affordable housing.  But is is also easy to see how such apts could be abused/used as non-affordable seasonal rentals. So for now, its good that individual communities can figure out the right models to deploy. Read More

2/17/22...NEWS...Topic: EH Airport Update
Newer developments about the airport.  Town shifts closing/reopening dates out until May.  Read the new EHTB Resolution here.  Read More

2/16/22...B.I.K QUICK TAKE...Topic: EH Town Rooftop Solar System Installs

The Town has reported that 165  rooftop solar systems have been installed in East Hampton since the Solarize East Hampton program was started in 2018, with 63 completed in 2021.  How do we think about these numbers in the broader context If we compare those installations with what we estimate as the 6,750-7,050 Building Permits, and the 4,150-4,270 Certificates of Occupancy the Town issued cumulatively over the same period?  Are these Solarize East Hampton related installations the only ones happening? Are there many others happening through other construction and installation vendors? Or are we as a Town lagging?

We recommend the Town should be tracking and reporting on all solar and other energy savings  component upgrades related to new builds, rebuilds and renovation activity,  

2/14/22...B.I.K. QUICK TAKE...Topic: EH Town Building Permits

The numbers are in: for the full year 2021, the Town of East Hampton issued 2,003 building permits in total. That is a 25% jump vs. the 2019 pre-pandemic rate. Annual BP numbers began surging midway through the last decade, and are now closing in on double the 1,068 number the Town averaged annually from 2012-2014.

Within that total BP number, the Town issued 188 "New Home" permits in 2021 vs. 83 in 2019. That 2021 number contrasts with the 100 or so run rate over the prior ten years -- an increase of 80%. Letters of Buildability also doubled in 2021 vs 2019.

The Town issued 1,600 Certificates of Occupancy (CofOs) in 2021, about double the number granted in 2019 and averaged annually for much of the prior decade. Stay tuned for our upcoming B.I.K. blog post about what these numbers tell us...and what they don't.

2/3/22...NEWS...Topic: Wainscott Hamlet Study Implementation

First meeting of working group related to the implementation of the Wainscott Hamlet study plan.  A long time in coming. Overall a lot will depend on the outcome of the proposed "Commercial Center" at the Sand Pit. Read More

2/3/22...NEWS...Topic: EH Airport Updates

 New developments regarding the Town plans to close and reopen the EH Airport in late February/early March. Read the FAA and Town letters. 27E Coverage

2/3/22...NEWS...Topic: Coastline Sustainability

In-depth article regarding the need to address sustainability and resilience of East End shorelines. Interesting quotes from an array of people including EH Town Supervisor.  Read More

2/1/22...NEWS...Topic: CPF Revenues, 2021

East Hampton 2021 (11 months) CPF revenues rose 76% year-over-year to $61 million, outpacing the 65% increase across all of Peconic Region towns. Update from Assemblyman Fred Theile's office.  Read More 

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