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Mar 18, 2009 10:02 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays civic supports Baykeeper lawsuit

Mar 18, 2009 10:02 AM

Members of the Hampton Bays Civic Association this week put their support behind a recent lawsuit filed against the Southampton Town Trustees that argues that they were wrong for granting a permit that will allow an East Quogue marina to expand.

Filed last month by the Peconic Baykeeper, the lawsuit charges that the permit secured by Dockers Waterside Restaurant and Marina on Dune Road in East Quogue should be revoked. The litigation does not seek monetary compensation.

The approved application permits the installation of nine seasonal boat slips and seven transient slips at the restaurant. The approved application is a pared down version of an original proposal that called for 54 boat slips, a fueling station and the dredging of an extensive channel in Shinnecock Bay.

Prior to the expansion, as many as a dozen transient boats had been able to dock at the waterfront restaurant during the summer months.

Kevin McAllister, who is president of Peconic Baykeeper Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the water quality of East End bays, and who also holds the title of Baykeeper, spoke to civic members during their monthly meeting on Monday night.

Even though the Town Trustees did not sign off on any dredging permits, Mr. McAllister again insisted that it will only be a matter of time before Larry Hoffman, the owner of the East Quogue restaurant, files a separate permit to dredge a channel between his restaurant and Shinnecock Bay. It is difficult for most boats to reach Mr. Hoffman’s bayside restaurant at low tide.

“This is an ill-placed location for a marina,” Mr. McAllister said. “I do believe there will be a renewed call for dredging.”

When asked via e-mail if he ever intends to refile an application to dredge a canal from his restaurant to Shinnecock Bay, Mr. Hoffman responded: “Kevin’s comment is an opinion and he’s entitled to his opinion.” Mr. Hoffman added that he could not comment further due to the pending litigation.

On Monday night, Mr. McAllister argued that the decision of Town Trustees to legitimize a marina in such an environmentally sensitive area will harm water quality and eventually result in the closure of shellfishing beds in the area.

Most of the three dozen people attending Monday’s civic meeting said they supported Mr. McAllister’s decision to sue the Town Trustees. Civic members said they also plan to write letters and reach out to their local elected officials to complain about the permit.

“You can’t go into a pristine area that is so full of life with boats,” said Hampton Bays Civic Association President Mary Jean Green. “It’s just ridiculous.”

Andrea Spilka, who is the president of the Southampton Town Civic Coalition, said she was on the fence about the marina expansion before listening to Mr. McAllister’s presentation. By the end of the evening, Ms. Spilka said she also supported the Peconic Baykeeper in its quest to get the permit revoked.

“I came here to listen,” she said. “Based on what I heard, I think [the lawsuit] should go forward to ensure the environment is protected.”

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Thank you Hampton Bays Civic Association ! We have to encourage others to support the Peconic BayKeeper in his fight against this marina.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Mar 17, 09 6:10 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Mar 18, 09 10:19 AM
I attended the meeting on Monday Night, I found a large crowd of people, raptly listening to a presentation. There was no one there from the other side of the story, and there is always another side of the story.

Being that it was a one sided presentation I can understand how everyone was swept along etc with the flow and decided this was basicly the word of truth.

I have been following this saga about the marina in the newspapers and in town gossip for a few years now, and there ...more
By hosford (1), Southampton on Mar 18, 09 11:57 AM
BIGjimbo12 , the channel running from the Intercoastal Waterway to the Tiana Beach facility was there long before the Town did the Tiana Beach facility upgrade.
The US Coast Guard had a station there back around WW2.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Mar 18, 09 1:36 PM
holsford , like I explained above , that channel was there for years. The Tiana Beach facility is a town owned facility. Environmental factors were considered to an extent in that the Trustees didn't permit a degraded bulkhead to be replaced.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Mar 18, 09 1:43 PM
PrivateMatt .... still, the town approved the work and Kevin remained silent. He's two-faced. Dockers property has a CO and legal use a marina which was built in the 1960's in which a channel was dug to connect the boat basin to Frank's Channel. this is all very public info. it took the town 4 years to give an approval - lots of environmental work was done - more than what was required for Tiana Marina.

Why don't you get the Town to just buy the property from Dockers?

Kevin ...more
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Mar 18, 09 5:10 PM
The town purchased much of the property adjacent to Dockers with CPF money in an attempt to preserve the land. Unfortunately the Trustees have not seen fit to protect the waters adjacent to Dockers.

The Southampton Town 1999 Comprehensive Plan set Marina Siting and Design Standards.

Marina development can cause significant environmental problems. It can impact not only wetlands and other sensitive resources along the shoreline, but can have serious water quality impacts due to ...more
By Bob Whyte (48), Hampton Bays on Mar 20, 09 3:01 PM
Bob.....Then why didn't they simply buy the property from Dockers as well - it makes no sense for them not to do it if what you say is true.......... Again, there are already boats going there and have been since it was built in 1967 - so it's not a NEW marina. My point is that Kevin is such a hypocrite in that the the work that the Town did at Tiana is in the same body of water, 1-mile east of Dockers with the same alleged shellfish, fin fish, ell grass, etc...... and he said nothing, the Hampton ...more
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Mar 22, 09 9:34 AM