A number of fed-up Springs residents are demanding that the Town of East Hampton do more to eliminate overcrowded and illegal houses. Their request for increased enforcement of laws already on the books is reasonable.
From the late 1990s to the present, Springs has become something of a dumping ground for the town’s low-end multiple housing. The hamlet is not alone in this distinction; you can point to houses from Montauk to Wainscott that are home to more occupants than the four unrelated adults the law allows. The concentration in Springs of single-family houses used as de facto apartment buildings is disproportionate, and unfair.
Residents complain that the town looks the other way as their neighborhoods are degraded. They are angry that taxes rise because the children of Spanish-speaking parents, who may live in illegal apartments, enroll in the schools. Property assessments, they say, have not kept pace with the widespread and illegal conversion of single-family houses. They fear that simple, get-tough responses will not do enough to preser