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Affordable Housing on Pantigo Draws Support and Concerns

Thu, 06/10/2021 - 12:07

Several members of the public called in last Thursday to support a plan to change the zoning classification of a Pantigo Road, East Hampton, parcel to allow an affordable housing development. Two other callers to the virtual town board meeting, however, voiced concerns about its impact on neighboring properties. 

The 12 acres of land at 395 Pantigo Road, adjacent to the building that houses Domaine Franey Wines and Spirits and the EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants agency, were acquired by the town for $2.5 million in a recent court-ordered auction. The plan is to designate an affordable housing overlay there, which would require the zoning change. The remaining five acres, purchased with community preservation fund money, would be dedicated to recreation or open space.

Cate Rogers, chairwoman of the East Hampton Democratic Committee and a candidate for the town board, and Betty Mazur, the committee's vice chairwoman, both called in to support the zoning change, as did Jerry Mulligan, also a committee member, and Lee Silberman, chief executive officer and executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk County. 

Andrew Strong, an attorney representing a property owner to the north of the parcel, offered "qualified support for the project in general," but raised questions as to where the housing units would be sited, worrying about "a looming effect" on surrounding residences. 

Lorraine Bonaventura, who had also called in to the board's June 1 meeting, reiterated concerns about negative environmental impacts, including on wildlife habitat, woodlands, drinking water, and traffic. She asked at that time that rezoning be delayed so that the environmental impact and the development's effects on the neighbors could be fully reviewed. 

The hearing was adjourned to July 15. 

Also at last Thursday's meeting, the board scheduled a public hearing next Thursday on revising the building code to mandate greater efficiency and solar and electric vehicle-charging readiness. The NYStretch Energy Code is a model code that can be adopted to require higher energy standards on new construction and substantial renovations of commercial and residential buildings, which account for around one-third of New York State's greenhouse gas emissions. 

Jurisdictions are able to adopt an energy code that is more efficient than the state's, and those that do save around 11 percent over the state's 2020 Energy Conservation Construction Code, state energy officials and an engineering and consulting firm told the board last fall. The NYStretch Energy Code is essentially a jump-start on what will be state and national policy within a few years, they said. 

A revised building code is "a critical part" of the goal to derive all of the town's energy needs from renewable sources, Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said in November. 

The board also voted to accept a $207,405 bid from Keith Grimes Inc. to demolish the former Avalon Lakefront Resort on Fort Pond in Montauk. The town purchased the 10-unit property for $2.9 million last year for open-space preservation.



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