They made that message clear during a public hearing on Tuesday afternoon during which many residents stood to voice opposition to the Rechler's planned project to build 40 townhouses, an amenity building, a pool, a private marina and a sewage treatment system on 7.2-acres of canal property they own.
The Rechlers said that they will also restore the historic Canoe Plan Inn building to its former glory complete with a catering facility, 200-seat restaurant with bar area, and 20 units for overnight accommodations.
But if they can't get a zone change for their project that has been in the works for several years, the Rechlers said that they will look instead to build what is as-of-right on the property, including two restaurants and a 25-unit motel.
During the hearing, residents voiced opposition to the original proposal for a variety of reasons — some, including Rita Knox of Hampton Bays argue that the proposed sewage facility for the project will empty right into their backyards.
Knox said, "I and my neighbors are opposed to the zoning change proposed, specifically as it affects Eastern Property and are concerned that no one beyond our nearby Shinnecock community has been educated to understand the significance of the proposal as it negatively affects us environmentally, aesthetically, and in terms of our homes‘ values."
Others voiced opposition for other reasons.
A new Facebook group, called Save TideRunners, submitted the signatures of nearly 800 residents through an online petition which said, "It will be an embarrassment to the Town of Hampton Bays and the rich Maritime History if the build 40 town homes there and take away a highly visited waterfront establishment that has been part of this community for over 90 years."
Another petition, containing 2,000 signatures against the proposal was also handed into the town board during the meeting.
Other residents, however, did show support for the project, including residents who believe that taxes generated through the project would be a benefit. Others have stated that seeing Canoe Place Inn restored is a reason to so support.
The hearing was adjourned and will continue on Oct. 22 at 6:00 p.m.
Patch wants to know: Would you rather see townhouses or restaurants and hotels developed on the canal property?