A group of residents in Hamptons Bays are resuscitating the long talked about idea of incorporating as a village to gain some independence from Southampton Town and have more of a say over their own neighborhoods.
The Hampton Bays Civic Association has put the ball in motion to start the process that has been talked about since Bruce King, the president of the civic association, was a kid 60 years ago.
With residents complaining of more blight in the area and overcrowding, and the town not moving fast enough to provide a remedy, King said now is the time to revisit the issue.
To that end, the Hampton Bays Civic Association has set up a meeting on Jan. 28 to explore the idea of incorporating the hamlet as a village.
"We want people's opinions, ideas and backing," he said. "And if they aren't going to back us, then we will do something else."
Things came to a head in Hampton Bays in late August as another group of residents, calling themselves Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays stepped forward. They hired an attorney, held a largely attended meeting and set their sights on cleaning up Hampton Bays.
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King said the civic is fully supportive of the Concerned Citizens and is welcoming them to fully participate in the possible formation of a Hampton Bays village.
"They are younger than us, have the money and are enthusiastic," King said.
- Related: Concerned Citizens Leader Supports Hampton Bays Incorporation Proposal
King also hopes to enlist the support of other area organizations and has extended invitations to Hampton Bays' fire department, beautification committee and school district.
"We feel we are in the backseat along with Flanders, Riverside and North Sea. The town was doing good for a while listening to us and we were getting some action, but now they just do what they do," said King, pointing to the 10-year-old Hampton Bays Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement, which has never been completed.
As a village, Hampton Bays could continue to share some services with Southampton Town, such as the police department, but it would have its own planning board, zoning board of appeals and board of trustees to govern many aspects of local planning and development.
King said he knows full well that incorporation won't be an easy task and says he wants to do it right, starting with a public meeting.
"This is not something that will happen by the summer," King said. "We will need petitions, an attorney, a vote and money."
To help get the ball rolling, the guest speaker at the Jan. 28 meeting will be Bill Biondi, the mayor of Mastic Beach, who was elected after residents of the area successfully formed a village within Brookhaven Town in August 2010.
The public is invited to attend the civic meeting Jan. 28, which will be held at 7 p.m. at the Hampton Bays Senior Center.
Patch wants to know: Do you think Hampton Bays should be its own village? Comment below.
Editor's Note: The article has been changed since its original posting to reflect the correct name of the mayor of Mastic Beach.