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Hearing on Wainscott Commercial Center

Thu, 02/02/2023 - 10:50
An aerial map submitted to the East Hampton Town Planning Board in 2020 shows the outline of the property that would be part of the Wainscott Commercial Center subdivision .
Nelson Pope Vorhis

A public hearing on the proposed Wainscott Commercial Center, a 70-acre mixed-use development, is set for Wednesday at LTV Studios, at 75 Industrial Road in Wainscott.

Because of considerable public interest, two sessions have been scheduled: one from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and a second at 6:30 p.m., which will conclude when everyone has had their say.

Each participant will have up to three minutes to speak. The East Hampton Town Planning Board will not respond, however. There will be no question-and-answer period.

The proposed development is by far the largest ever to come before the planning board. If approved as it now stands, it would accommodate 50 commercial-industrial businesses in an area twice as large as the Bridgehampton Commons.

The property is just north of the Speedway gas station on a spent sand mine that is only a few hundred feet from the headwaters of Georgica Pond. Wainscott residents have expressed concerns over increased traffic on an already extremely busy stretch of Route 27, and over pollution created by tainted groundwater and stormwater.

East Hampton’s 2005 comprehensive plan envisioned a mixed use for the large parcel, with a significant portion devoted to recreation. The current plan has none of that.

The hearing is being held in compliance with SEQRA, the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act. According to the SEQRA handbook, “Substantive comments received at a SEQRA hearing become part of the official record. They must be responded to by the lead agency in the final [environmental impact statement], and thus may affect agency findings and decisions on a project.”

While the public hearing is open for written submissions until Feb. 28, Wednesday’s hearings offer the public its only opportunity to address the planning board directly.

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