Hampton Bays resident Mary Jean Green was before the town board on Friday to express despair over a situation she said is growing worse by the day – nitrogen in area waters.
“You remain silent on the matter of our waters,” Green said. “It is your primary responsibility to protect the health and welfare of our residents."
Chemicals and pollutants in waterways, Green continued, have been tied to health problems; childhood autism is on the rise.
Green said in 2005, more than three million pounds of toxic chemicals have been deposited into the ground; there is no higher measurement than three million.
She then asked members of the board with children and grandchildren: “Would you let them drink this water?”
Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said members of the town’s Sustainable Southampton Green Advisory Committee have been “looking at legislation” that would address and other issues.
She said the move comes after a recent forum hosted by dealing with autism, at which the supervisor spoke. Next steps, she said, include the formation of a task force that will include a wide representation of stakeholders
Councilwoman Bridget Fleming said a bid has been awarded to a consultant associated with the University of Massachusetts, who is familiar with waterways similar to those on the East End, to work on the town’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan and develop “a comprehensive plan for the waterways.”
Erosion is a significant concern on Bay Avenue East in Hampton Bays, resident Dennis Vianna said, and private bulkheads are at risk
Vianna said the problem has been worsening for the past four years.
“Once again, Hampton Bays is shortchanged,” he told the board. “The highway department has done nothing.”
Throne-Holst said a work session would be scheduled.
Planned Development District Hearings, Redux
Once again, the town board held public hearings on planned development districts on Tuesday.
A planned development district grants greater density than is allowable under current zoning in exchange for community benefits.
The two hearings, which followed an earlier recently, were aimed at “cleaning up” language in the legislation in two areas, Throne-Holst said, including addressing evaluation criteria and designating formal planned development district applications as Type 1 actions in the state environmental quality review process.
Hampton Bays resident Eve Houlihan expressed ongoing concerns with what she deems “ambiguity” in the language of the legislation.
Andrea Spilka of the Southampton Town Civic Coalition said while she shares Houlihan’s concerns about language, she would like the board to pass both resolutions.
The legislation, she said, “goes a long way toward leveling the playing field between developers and the community."
"The sooner we can put all the pieces into effect, the sooner the community can participate in all potential planned development district applications in the early stages," she said.
The board voted to pass both resolutions related to the PDD legislation.
Can-Do Kids Awarded Grants
Members of ten youth groups were awarded funding under the town’s newly launched Community Service Mini-Grant Program. Groups such as Scouts and students in town submitted ideas for a wide range of community projects including a sailboat regatta for disabled youth, an organic garden, bullying prevention and personal shopping for home-bound seniors. More than $2,000 was awarded to kids.