Farrell Companies was before the Southampton Town Planning Board on July 13 with two intertwined applications that could result in 156,162 square feet of self-storage space spread over four buildings, with additional outdoor storage areas and nearly 100 parking spots, at 251 Butter Lane in Bridgehampton. One application was for the subdivision of the lots, and the other was for a site-plan review.
To put that into perspective, the Home Sweet Home storage facility application that has been tied up in knots before the East Hampton Town Planning Board for the last few years is asking for 55,000 square feet of building.
Farrell owns two neighboring lots on Butter Lane; as part of its plans, the lots would be subdivided into three lots, but then operated as a single entity.
Anthony Trezza, the principal planner for Southampton Town, told the board that both applications should be deemed incomplete.
The plans were not received warmly by the board. Jacqui Lofaro, the chairwoman, described a long history of complaints about the property.
Speaking to Carl Benincasa, the attorney representing Farrell, she said, "There are Mount Everests of dirt on this land, and they have been there for several years. They are a health hazard. I've personally complained about this any number of times -- I don't know what they're going to do with that."
"There's not a tree on the property. It's massively disturbed," she added, saying that it was in a sensitive archaeological area.
Because so much square footage is proposed, and Southampton Town code requires one parking spot for every 2,000 square feet of storage facility, the four buildings would be surrounded by asphalt. Islands of sod and 43 trees encased by perimeter fencing would complete the plan. There are at present no trees on the property, which looks like an excavation site.
Mr. Trezza said that because more than an acre of land had been disturbed, "Technically it's supposed to be subject to stormwater review and approval, which was never done." Because over 50 parking spots are proposed, it's immediately considered a more intensive action under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, which means a relatively robust environmental review will need to be conducted. He said an engineer's report on the land is soon expected, which could clarify some issues but potentially create others.
In addition, the Suffolk County Health Department would need to grant approval for the subdivision. Mr. Trezza said that agency often doesn't grant approval until after the SEQRA process is complete, which effectively creates a Catch-22 situation.
"We gotta get through the SEQRA review," he said.
"Here you are asking for approvals and to move stuff forward, and the site is a detriment to the health and welfare of the community," said Ms. Lofaro, to Mr. Benincasa.
The board ultimately voted unanimously to deem both applications incomplete. Mr. Benincasa could not be reached for comment by press time this week.