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Jan 22, 2013 11:32 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Little Fresh Pond Association Files Lawsuit Against Southampton Town ZBA

Jan 23, 2013 10:15 AM

The Little Fresh Pond Association filed a lawsuit Tuesday morning challenging a Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals determination that allows tennis camp owner Jay Jacobs to add a swimming pool, playground and sports court for children to his 17.4-acre property on Little Fresh Pond in North Sea without a variance.

The December decision ruled that the additions were acceptable customary accessory structures to the camp’s tennis courts, meaning that the additions would complement the property and would not constitute a change of use, requiring a variance.

The decision was separate from one the ZBA must make in the spring concerning Mr. Jacobs’s request for a change of use variance, from one pre-existing, non-conforming use to another, to transform his tennis camp and club into a summer day camp for children. That decision cannot be made until an environmental review of the property is completed. Currently, the Town Planning Board is leading the study.

Days before the ZBA’s decision on the swimming pool, Southampton Town code enforcement officers issued a stop work order to the camp after a neighbor saw work going on at a cottage. According to the order, “A sizable renovation, including electric and plumbing was being performed without permits …” Members of the Little Fresh Pond Association took issue with Mr. Jacobs, saying the renovation and possible conversion of a cottage into a bathhouse was not included in Mr. Jacobs’s swimming pool application.

The lawsuit filed this week claims that Mr. Jacobs and Southampton Day Camp Realty failed to disclose its intention to construct a bathhouse with its planned swimming pool, which, according to members of the association, misled the ZBA as to what Mr. Jacobs’s full set of plans were.

Secondly, the suit argues that separating the environmental review of the pool and children’s playground and sports court from the rest of Mr. Jacobs’s proposal to change the property’s use from one pre-existing non-conforming use to another is an “unlawful segmentation of the environmental review process,” given what the Little Fresh Pond Association argues are “numerous adverse impacts these changes in use would have on the already impaired environment.”

Lastly, the suit claims the “oversized” pool and children’s sports facilities are not accessory uses and would become the property’s main use and would be an “impermissible” change or expansion of the property’s nonconforming use with many adverse impacts.

“We see allowing the pool, which holds up to 100 kids, as allowing [Mr. Jacobs] to start the day camp,” said Little Fresh Pond Association Vice President Foster Maer. “Most kids would be there because of the pool. Right now, there are very few kids there, and it will become completely different. That’s our concern.”

Members of the Little Fresh Pond Association are asking that the court vacate and reverse the ZBA’s decision, or at least remand the matter to the ZBA for consideration of the additional facts they say the ZBA didn’t consider in reaching its decision.

Mr. Jacobs’s attorney, Wayne Bruyn of O’Shea, Marcincuk and Bruyn LLP, said on Tuesday that neither he nor or Mr. Jacobs had seen a copy of the suit, and declined to comment.

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Eh, good luck on this one boys and girls. Whoever is bringing this lawsuit has a poor understanding of segmentation. You can't argue segmentation if one of the actions is subject to an EIS. The whole point of segmentation is to avoid conducting an EIS by splitting one Type I action into two unlisted or Type II Actions. That's not the case here.

Additionally, they have somewhat of a point with the being "misled" about the construction of the bathhouse - but that can be dealt with through ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 22, 13 12:18 PM
Haha, another armchair expert & general know-it-all loose on the internet. Your ignorance shines through my friend, but you seem to be enjoying yourself, so carry on.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Jan 23, 13 9:42 PM
Please, feel free to dispute any of my points with actual facts. I've enlightened plenty of people on this board. I'm an actual expert - not an armchair version. You probably assume it's arrogance - but my record on being right proceeds me.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 23, 13 10:14 PM
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Jan 23, 13 10:26 PM
proceeds - I made a lot of money off that reputation!

...thanks for the correction. Big difference hah
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 24, 13 9:04 AM
Excellent! the ZBA is a corrupt board of revolving-door-friends-of-contractors that rarely act in the best interest of the community! I hope this is the first suit of many to come. Hey, Nature, which ZBA member are you?
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Jan 22, 13 4:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
Curious, witch hazel, if you are making a statement of fact here that Nature IS a member of the board, and IS corrupt?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jan 22, 13 4:57 PM
Witch - I've got 1287 comments on here (well, now 1288). You really think I would do that if I was on the BZA? Especially since many of my comments are in direct contravention of elected officials? If you've followed my posts on this subject you'll see I've been pretty even-keeled. I see the points made by the community, and I see the points made by the developer.

Fact of the matter is, I know environmental law (apparently better than anyone else on these boards) and I know what is worthy ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 22, 13 7:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
Word is that Little Fresh Pond Association is going to sue someone for creating oxygen. We have to much oxygen damn it!
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Jan 23, 13 10:17 AM
Mr. Nature, did you realize that the Planning Board issued a postive declaration for a SEQRA for this camp project, and one of the environmental concerns was the maintenance of a swimming pool? How does the ZBA then, on it's own, circumvent that process by permitting the building of this swimming pool before the SEQRA has even been completed? This Article 78 is far from silly. What other way is there to review what many feel was an error by the ZBA?
By LETSBEFAIR (1), SOUTHAMPTON on Jan 23, 13 11:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
Befair - the Planning Board issued a POS DEC for the Change of Use application - which the article states the ZBA is still awaiting the EIS to make a decision.

What the ZBA did do, was state that the pool/sports court/playground are accessory uses. The Planning Board deemed them (correctly) as Type II Actions before they headed to the ZBA.

ZBA is not circumventing anything - property owner has full approvals for the accessory structures and is submitting an EIS for the actual ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 24, 13 12:30 PM
The facts that are being submitted are incomplete
The ZBA approved a pool and a sports area- They did not approve a playground.l A variance to change the use of cottages was not requested as part of the swimming pool because the square footage would be above the limit. Si they figured that the would just do it. The bath house changes are required for dept of health approval but the changes are only inclded in the change of use variance. It is another example of sneaking in the back door.
Sad ...more
By Legal Immigrant (11), Southampton on Jan 25, 13 4:50 PM