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Jun 24, 2013 10:49 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Village Preservationists Ask Board To Support Their Airport Noise Plan

Jun 25, 2013 3:47 PM
The East Hampton Village Preservation Society recently created a plan to reduce plane and helicopter noise stemming from the East Hampton Airport, which is owned and managed by East Hampton Town. Peter Wolf, the preservation society’s chairman, presented the plan’s recommendations to East Hampton Village Board members on Friday, asking for their support.

The plan outlines four points. The first asks for the town to stop accepting Federal Aviation Administration funds, saying that accepting them would “doom any chance” of local control over the airport’s scale and intensity of operations. Mr. Wolf said that the airport already runs at a “modest surplus” and can function without federal money and control, since the town can increase landing fees and start charging for parking.

The plan also suggests keeping flights from going over inland water bodies, such as Georgica and Hook ponds in East Hampton Village. It says that they enhance sound, which affects the surrounding areas.

The group also believes that by limiting the hours of operation to between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., the “onerous” noise impact of aircraft would be reduced during most residents’ “peaceful hours.” The airport is open 24/7.

“Unlike construction and garden maintenance, aircraft noise is not invited by residents, paid for by residents, or generated to benefit the needs of residents,” Mr. Wolf said. “Nor does it take place on a discrete site, or provide jobs for large numbers of local people.”

Finally, limiting the frequency of operations at the airport would lessen “intense clusters of disruptive flights,” which occur as often as every two or three minutes, according to the group.

Mr. Wolf said air use is the same as water and land use and having the village on board with the preservation society plan would greatly influence members of the East Hampton Town Board.

“This is dealing with the majority interest of the public realm,” he said. “We implore you to try and think about a way to be influential. Your silence on this issue is approval of the status quo,” Mr. Wolf told the Village Board.

Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. said the Village Board is very sensitive to the issue of airport noise and that it is a hot-button issue at the town level. He asked if the East Hampton Village Preservation Society had approached the Town Board yet with its proposal. Mr. Wolf said his group would go to the Town Board next.

“As a planner I’ve dealt with land use planning in communities for many years,” Mr. Wolf said. “I know this is a ticklish issue and I know by requesting you pay attention and consider this proposal is outside out your boundary, jurisdiction and maybe your comfort zone,” he said. “The VPS is so closely aligned with the village that we wanted to come here first.”

The mayor said while the board is supportive of what the group is trying to do, it will be up to the town to tackle the noise issue.

“With respect to the posture of Town Board, I don’t see any resolution of some of these issues in the immediate future,” Mr. Rickenbach said. “In the long term, remediation will take place, but will take place at the Town Board level. If there is sunlight at the end of this tunnel, this board would like to be a part of that as it is applicable to all town residents.”Village Adopts BudgetThe Village Board adopted a $19.7 million operating budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year. The spending plan reflects a $714,394 increase above the current budget of $19 million.

The village will collect $11.986 million through property taxes—a 1.9-percent increase over this year’s tax levy. Under the plan, the village tax rate would increase from $27 to $27.62 per $100 of assessed value, a 2.29-percent jump. An average taxpayer, living in a house valued at $1 million with an assessed value of $10,000, would see a tax bill increase of $62, from $2,700 to $2,762.

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If the airplanes/helicopters avoid flying over water "which amplifies the sound" won't they then be going over MORE residences which will only ruffle more auditory feathers? I thought the whole point was to get the aircraft away from the land and over the water (which is much safer to the on-ground population btw).

Further, the Town will never ever go for this. Limit air traffic between 9-5? While they are at it why not just restrict it to M-F during the summer so no one will be disturbed. ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 24, 13 12:29 PM
M-F? Your too generous. T-T would be better, with an hour off at 3:00 PM for tea.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Jun 24, 13 12:55 PM
No offense, but your comments show your lack of knowledge about this nasty noise problem caused by too much air traffic to and from EH Airport, and why the solution absolutely isn't about people with lots of $$. They are a minority, and although they have been catered to in the past, we are aware now that the airport is not serving anyone but this handful of rich people. Believe it or not, life will go on just fine for them if they have to drive instead of fly. A "curfew inconvenience" for a ...more
By SagHarborBob (91), Life is Good on Jun 24, 13 12:58 PM
Unless you bought your house prior to the public airport opening in 1940, I'd say it's you who'll "be just fine" putting up with a little noise 2000 feet above you for 10 seconds at a time.

The minor rich complaining about the major rich making too much noise by using a public airport, which is no different than living near a major road and complaining about the traffic noise.
By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Jun 24, 13 2:11 PM
Bob - my point is that the people flying in have MORE $$ then those complaining. More $$ means more clout (especially in the Village). The airport is there - restricting times will only concentrate the noise pollution.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 24, 13 2:39 PM
Editor - care to provide some more details on this? Another large newspaper has significantly more information that can help shape the way the comment conversation will go. A lot of detials are missing from the above
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 24, 13 2:39 PM
The Article should mention that Mr. Wolf lives on Georgica Pond.
By Colt (37), Wainscott on Jun 24, 13 2:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Jun 24, 13 7:55 PM
Flying around Orient Point is over the water and away from most of the troubled residents. this route was recommended but has never been mandated by the FAA. A combination of a mostly over the water route and higher altitudes will fix 90% of the problem.
As to those who say why live near an airport if you don't like noise----the ignorance is simply astounding. Wading River for example is not anywhere near EH airport......nor is Stony Brook, nor Southold, North Sea, noyac....and so on. ...more
By Trish (91), Sag Harbor on Jun 25, 13 1:37 PM