Canoe Place Inn Environmental Statement Rejected; Developers Will Respond

In a 5-0 vote, the Southampton Town Board deemed the project's draft environmental impact statement inadequate.

It's back to the drawing board for cousins Gregg and Mitchell Rechler, of R Squared LLC, who have proposed a project to transform the historic Canoe Place Inn and develop its adjoining property.

On Tuesday, the Southampton Town Board rejected a draft environmental impact statement for project. The Rechlers said they will respond.

In a resolution, which was approved 5-0, the Nov. 9, 2011-submitted DEIS was deemed inadequate as per a recommendation by Kyle Collins, the town's planning and development administrator.

In a memo to the Town Board, Collins wrote, "Although many sections of the DEIS contain fair and reasoned conclusions in terms of its evaluation of potential environmental impacts and the means for appropriate mitigation, others appear at times to be directed toward the quick dismissal of potential impacts rather than providing objective assessment for determining the extent of potential impacts."

Jim Morgo, who represents the Rechlers, said the Rechlers' planning department is already working to address the issues brought up by Collins.

"We fully expected [the DEIS] to be rulled incomplete," Morgo said. "It is part of the process. We have been waiting for this."

Morgo's statement was collaborated in a report on 27east in which Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said that the rejection "doesn’t mean the project is not heading down the right road."

The DEIS was required as part of the Rechler's zone change request to allow for a planned development district with the construction of 40 townhouses, an amenity building, a pool, a private marina and a sewage treatment system on the 7.2-acre canal property.

In exchange, the Rechlers said they will return 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 accomodations.

The entire project, which has been in the works for nearly three years, has met criticism from the community, with some critics arguing that the developers are "bribing" the public by agreeing to restore Canoe Place Inn and supporters saying there is a clear public benefit that will result from the project.

The environmental statement was specifically returned, according to Collins, because it did not address alternative uses for the property, aesthetics, or grading. It also did not provide a proposed remediation plan for underground storage.

In addition, Collins said, the DEIS is not clear on the Canoe Place Inn building itself — its history and what its final use will be.

A copy of both Collins' memo and the resolution rejecting the DEIS is attached to this article in PDF form.

Related Reading:

  • Community Divided Over Canoe Place Inn Proposal
  • Final Scope For Canoe Place Inn Property Adopted
  • Canoe Place Inn Application Submitted
  • Architect Provides Insight on Canoe Place Inn Through Blog

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