The East Hampton Village board on Friday discussed a proposal by Breezin’ Up, a store at 37 Newtown Lane, to upgrade its septic system. The plan is to add an innovative, pollution-reducing system to replace a cesspool currently in use under the Reutershan parking lot.
Tom Preiato, the village’s building inspector, described the septic infrastructure as “criss-crossy and not right in front of each particular establishment.”
Billy Hajek, the village planner, had previously come up with an idea to slowly allow easements so that the property lines would be extended from the back of each store, allowing for each business’s septic system to be located directly behind it.
Breezin’ Up is “looking to possibly make some changes of use in the building, and this system would accommodate that,” Mr. Preiato said.
“They’ll be able to have retail wet uses, but not restaurants,” said Mayor Jerry Larsen, noting that similar easements were granted to Starbucks and a building housing multiple businesses at 55 Main Street.
Mr. Hajek was not at the board meeting, but said in an email afterward that “whenever a property owner upgrades their system and a component is within the village lot, Suffolk County Health Department requires the village to grant them an easement.”
“We’d like to get it done before we repave that parking lot,” said Mayor Larsen.
No date has been set for the repaving work.
Sarah Amaden, a trustee, suggested contacting other business owners who may also want to upgrade their systems before the lot is paved.
“How does it tie into the overall master plan for the village?” she asked.
“Once we have the sewer system, everything would hook into that,” Mr. Preiato replied.
Vincent Messina, the village attorney, acknowledged that over time, these kinds of improvements may become unnecessary as businesses tie into a future sewer system. However, he added, for “environmental and other purposes, it’s prudent to do this now.”
A Call for Bike Lanes
Bemoaning the inability of residents to bike or cross safely in the village, Paul Fiondella, a town resident, asked the board during the public comment period on Friday to contract with an engineering company to study the village’s needs and offer suggestions.
“How many of you would recommend somebody get on a bike and do their day-to-day business? I think you’d probably have to be crazy to do that,” he told the board.
“I’d like to see you get such an engineering outfit, not a construction outfit, that is specializing in multi-modal transportation,” he said.
Mayor Larsen said he loves “the idea of bike lanes,” but described the complicated nature of the village roads, some of which are run by the state, town, or even county. “All of these people need to work together,” he said.
He said he recently reached out to Peter Van Scoyoc, the East Hampton Town supervisor, to set up “a village and town traffic study committee” that would work on traffic-calming measures.
“We’ve also made recommendations to the state to look at Main Street,” said Mayor Larsen. “We’re the only Main Street on the East End of Long Island that has two lanes on each side of the road, which makes the road extremely dangerous. We’ve asked them to look at it to make one lane in each direction that would give room for bike lanes.”
“Right now, you take your life, riding a bike around here,” he said.