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Oct 18, 2011 6:36 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

North Sea Day Camp Application Will Be Heart At ZBA On Thursday

Oct 19, 2011 11:49 AM

A controversial application to open a seasonal day camp on Majors Path in North Sea will be the subject of a public hearing before the Southampton Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday, October 20, at 7 p.m.

At the meeting, the ZBA will hear an argument spearheaded by a group of neighbors who oppose applicant Jay Jacobs’s plan to create the camp. Mr. Jacobs is proposing a project that would ultimately boast an enrollment of 400 day campers, as well as about 60 counselors who would live on the 17.3-acre site. The primary concern of the group of neighbors is the fear that the camp could pollute neighboring Little Fresh Pond and Big Fresh Pond.

Specifically, the neighbors are looking to appeal a determination by Chief Building Inspector Michael Benincasa that Mr. Jacobs’s latest version of the project, which is being reviewed by the town’s Planning Board earlier on Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m., does not constitute a change of use under the town’s zoning law.

An earlier application to the ZBA sought variances for new buildings and facilities to be built at the camp. In September, Mr. Jacobs resubmitted an application looking for site plan approval from the Planning Board to renovate the existing facilities on site, eliminating the need for variances.

Planning Board Chairman Dennis Finnerty said that the board, which is scheduled to make a determination on Thursday as to whether the application requires a thorough environmental study under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, will postpone that decision until the ZBA rules on the residents’ appeal.

“How they rule will determine what type of application we have and what type of environmental impacts we need to assess,” said Mr. Finnerty. “It’s productive for all parties that we withhold making the determination.”

As for the ZBA hearing, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Vice Chairman Adam Grossman said it’s unlikely his board would make a decision on the appeal that same night.

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