Editor's Note: The following was written by Michael Dunn, president of Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays.
Dear Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays,
We hope you all enjoyed a Happy Holiday Season, and we wish you all the best for the upcoming year. We are looking forward to 2013 as a productive time. Our focus remains: Density, Schools, Taxes, and the Environment. We've continued to meet with Government officials and are expanding our base. In doing so we have uncovered numerous additional concerns for CCHB. Government officials we have met with over the past few months are:
-Senator Kenneth LaValle
-Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst
-Councilman Christopher Nuzzi
-Councilwoman Christine Preston-Scalera
-Chief Code Enforcement Officer David Betts
-School Superintendent Lars Clemensen
-Conference call with Deputy County Supervisor Jon Schneider.
As we further analyze the issues arising from the placement of a homeless shelter at Hidden Cove, we learn more how it affects our community. When a non New York State resident student, is placed in the HB school district, the cost of his tuition is born solely by the HB school budget, and will continue as our obligation while the student remains in the homeless system, wherever that student is placed. 42% of the students who have come from Hidden Cove are from out of state. How many non NYS resident students' tuition can our school budget, funded by your property taxes, afford to pay? By enforcement of existing Town and County laws, this cost can be minimized in the future.
After working with our government officials, the Town has agreed to, and is pursuing the removal of the homeless shelter from Hidden Cove. After months of lobbying from the CCHB, the Town has retained legal counsel as recommended by our group and has started legal proceedings as of early January, 2013 against the County, CHI and DSS.
Our review of town records has disclosed that a Stop Work Order was issued in December of 2011, against 132 W. Montauk Highway to convert warehouse space into a place for public assembly. Despite this Stop Work Order and the fact that no Planning Board input, ZBA hearing, Health department review, public comment or that no building department permits were issued, the work continued and was completed in November 2012 in blatant violation of town codes. In addition, the rear property was "clear cut" of all its' tree's for an apparent future parking lot. After bringing these issues to our Town representatives, we understand that the property owner and tenants have been served and this is now in the legal system for its' complete removal. We ask you to monitor this situation with us.
We continue to work with our legal team in contesting the Tiana Pines Conversion from its existing non-conforming use as a motel, to another non-conforming use to apartments. If this is permitted for Tiana Pines, doesn't it set a precedent for all other motels in Hampton Bays? The next hearing should be sometime in early February and we will keep you up to date as we get confirmation of the scheduled time. We urge you to attend and oppose the application. We need community support.
We have also been vigorously researching, literally hundreds of single family homes that are abusing NY state and Southampton Town housing laws and codes. We must unify to make sure that the housing codes and laws are equally enforced on all properties throughout the hamlet.
In November, (CAC). This opens another avenue for Hampton Bays to get our message across to Southampton Town to deal with the issues that are of great concern. The CAC meetings are open to the public and take place on the third Wednesday of every month at the Hampton Bays Library at 7:00 p.m. An expanded membership has been submitted to the town from myself and Mr. Scotto and has been agreed to which now brings our CAC board membership to 25. This board now consists of its' previous members plus over 12 of the local business owners' of the community.
In the upcoming months, we intend to pursue our mission of Schools, Density, Taxes, and the Environment. We are continuing to study our Hamlet and urging our Governmental officials to enforce the existing laws. We will be attending the Town Board meeting to fully set forth the results of our research and we will hold a membership meeting and drive in Early spring at Oakland's.
We look forward to your continued support and active participation for the improvement and betterment of Hampton Bays. Please contact us if you are able to help in any way. Areas that we need immediate assistance are Public Relations and Press and in monitoring code violations and compliance. We will update you as to our progress.
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