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Jan 27, 2017 11:48 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Residents Want Hampton Bays Business District To Have 'Small-Town Charm,' Survey Finds

Town Planner Kyle Collins discusses the results of the Hampton Bays Business District survey. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Jan 27, 2017 5:30 PM

Hampton Bays revitalization efforts focused on the hamlet’s proposed overlay district this week—namely, a recently completed survey that asked what types of architecture hamlet residents would like to see once their downtown is redeveloped.

Most of the 1,200 survey respondents appeared to be in agreement on three things: the hamlet should be vibrant, feature large sidewalks for pedestrians, and retain its small-town charm.

The results of the survey were revealed for the first time on the evening of January 25 to the approximately 30 community members gathered inside the Southampton Town Community Center on Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays. The meeting was led by members of the town’s Planning Department and representatives of Historical Concepts Architecture and Planning, the Georgia-based architect hired to help the town create a “pattern book”—an illustrated guide for potential property owners and architects to see what type of businesses and buildings, including design elements and allowable heights, the community thinks would benefit the neighborhood.

The Hampton Bays overlay district includes the stretch of Montauk Highway from Good Ground Road in the south to Good Ground Park in the north, and runs from Springville Road to Ponquogue Avenues going west to east. Currently, the entire area is zoned for village business use, but the new overlay zones would open new business opportunities—if it is eventually approved by the Southampton Town Board. In December 2015, the board approved a similar overlay district, known as the Riverside Action Plan, in the hamlet of Riverside as part of ongoing revitalization efforts in that community.

The survey included pictures of Main Streets from other hamlets and villages on Long Island—such as Huntington, Port Jefferson, Westhampton Beach and Amagansett—and respondents were asked to pick out which structures they liked and disliked, and explain their reasoning.

Kevin Clark, a principal at Historic Concepts, said he felt his team received a solid set of data, noting that most of the people who participated in the survey said they were full-time Hampton Bays residents. He also explained that the future pattern book would not force Hampton Bays to mimic other hamlets or villages; it would simply give the planners an idea of where to start with the new guidelines.

“We don’t want to be Sag Harbor Jr.—we want to be Hampton Bays,” Mr. Clark said. “But we asked you what you’d like to see here … What is it about Sag Harbor and Southampton that feels good?”

Marilynda Vianna of Hampton Bays said she has been impressed with the amount of effort that the town and architecture group are putting into the pattern book, though she added that she still has some concerns for the future of her hamlet. She pointed to some popular renditions of the overlay district that would allow for new apartments to be built on top of retail stores throughout the district.

“We don’t need more housing,” Ms. Vianna said. “We already pay too much in school taxes.”

Patti Ann Kelly, also of Hampton Bays, said she agrees with her sister, Ms. Vianna, adding that she hopes that when the hamlet is revitalized it draws larger retailers, such as Brooks Brothers or Michael Kors, both of which have storefronts on Main Street in Southampton Village.

The next step in the process, explained Town Planner Kyle Collins, is for officials to start putting together the pattern book, which he hopes to have completed by April. After that, the proposed overlay district would have to go through an environmental review by the state.

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what a surprise - no one wants a Home Depot or a Target - how much time and $$$$ was wasted on this?
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jan 28, 17 11:34 AM
It doesn't matter a bit. The Master Plan says the area needs beachfront and other waterfront businesses and the Town itself has taken some away and allowed private businesses to take others away.
By VOS (1230), WHB on Jan 28, 17 2:04 PM
What happens when 50% of the residents of Hampton Bays and 90% of the school age children leave?

From Reuters:

Trump has kept his public comments on DACA vague.

In an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Trump said his administration would be coming out with a policy to deal with "dreamers" over the next four weeks.

"They shouldn't be very worried. They are here illegally. They shouldn't be very worried. I do have a big heart. We're going to take care of everybody. ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 28, 17 5:46 PM
According to the US Census:
Hampton Bays:
Language other than English spoken at home, percent of persons age 5 years+, 2011-2015
34.7%

Hispanic or Latino, percent, April 1, 2010 (b)
28.6%

Persons under 18 years, percent, April 1, 2010
21.6%
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Jan 28, 17 5:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thank God they don't want another nail salon.
By harbor hound (31), southampton on Jan 28, 17 10:37 PM
Bueno! Mas haciendas y bodegas!
By Mouthampton (437), Southampton on Jan 29, 17 1:42 AM
It does have a small town feel. A small town in Ecuador.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jan 29, 17 8:52 AM
3 members liked this comment
No fault but your own.
By johnj (1019), Westhampton on Jan 30, 17 10:58 AM
What is your point about the school. The school taxes are killing HB. About 80 percent of the taxpayers DONT have kids in the school district but 70 percent of our taxes go to the school. How is that fair. Who cares what the storefronts look like if no one is shopping in them or no one can afford to have commercial property due to the school taxes. Look at the Diner.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 17 8:53 AM
How is the diner owner's tax problem relevant here?
By VOS (1230), WHB on Jan 29, 17 9:16 PM
Old news - in Thursday's Newsday. VOTE NO on HB Library Proposal!
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 17 10:00 AM
2 members liked this comment
It's great that everybody wants a small town feel for the town. You can propose all the plans you want, but in the end someone has to pay for them. The town screwed up when they closed down all the clubs and created another problem in itself
By dirtydog50000 (3), HB on Jan 29, 17 10:24 AM
2 members liked this comment
couldn't agree more, you can thank ATH for that one.
By JM11968 (71), southampton on Jan 30, 17 11:31 AM
Hampton Dad, this is my point. Those without children are paying for the school, the library, the parks so "children will have a safe place to play" and what do we get? Dirty beaches, dirty streets, overcrowded housing, illegal use of motels, good ground park with no monies for maintenance and events but hey we got a study on what people think the Main Street should look like. Seriously? Is that the best they can do? Those businesses and commercial property owners are struggling to pay the taxes ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 17 10:45 AM
and a big NO to the Library proposal
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 17 11:08 AM
HB Proud, I don't understand your contention. All communities, except 55+ and over specialized communities have children. Maybe you once raised children somewhere, maybe even in HB? When you have or did, or whether you were never in a position to, you cannot rant against school children, since this is what makes the community a community. It's not about the taxes. You can argue about tax rates, and then I'd suggest you are in a larger discussion about the fact that there are way too many small districts ...more
By Rickenbacker (257), Southampton on Jan 29, 17 1:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
BH has less than 200 students, sorry, typo.
By Rickenbacker (257), Southampton on Jan 29, 17 1:19 PM
Was the survey also given to the 35% who don't speak English at home? In their language? If not, why not? And if the new Administration deports them, or the half of the residents that don't have residency status, that means that about 20% of the town population, and 50% of the population that work locally disappears. What's that going to do to the local economy.

Be careful what you wish for.
By dfree (807), hampton bays on Jan 29, 17 11:09 AM
Then legal residents and citizens will make a fair wage that will no longer be stagnant due to employers getting away with hiring illegal labor
We will once again have affordable housing in terms of rentals because they will not be overcrowded with multiple families and landlords charging by the room
The school district will not be overburdened by a population that does not pay in school taxes(first family pays in, multiple families do not) what they take out
And it will be safer on ...more
By jams (128), hampton bays on Feb 2, 17 4:19 PM
And for what it's worth, those of us working and paying taxes are supporting the Medicare and Social Security of every person over 65.
By dfree (807), hampton bays on Jan 29, 17 12:07 PM
For what it's worth, those of us over 65 and on Medicare and Social Security have been paying payroll taxes for these benefits for DECADES. Where do you think the money came from for those before us? Social Security and Medicare are insurance policies we were forced to buy, and we are collecting that which is due us. Else you would be supporting your parents and grandparents.
By Taz (700), East Quogue on Jan 29, 17 12:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
Translation: Residents don't want HB to turn into Brentwood. But I think it's too late for that.
By Babyboo (292), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 17 6:16 PM
Rickenbacker, HB has the highest tax rate per fair market value in the Town of Southampton - around 20 percent. It is ridiculous. . People who purchased modest homes have seen their taxes skyrocket because of the school taxes but have seen their property values decrease and stagnate. The Town throws us a bone for a study for how storefronts should look when we ask that they enforce the occupancy laws, ask for additional code and law enforcement, more resources to clean the beaches and parks. ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 17 6:20 PM
and Rick, this is not about being short sighted or selfish - just the opposite, there are several urban economic studies that show you can only tax the middle class so much before those that can leave - do ;eave and leave behind those that can least afford it. It is not in anyone's best interest in HB (especially the School District) to keep pushing for more services on the backs of those that don't reap the benefit, and can leave.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 17 6:52 PM
I don't disagree with you at all. But it's not the kids, it's the dysfunctional school district taxing system. While you are paying $13.00+ per $1,000 valuation, Sagaponack district taxpayers, the wealthiest village on the South fork, and maybe the country, pay a tiny fraction of that. I agree that HB is in a tough spot, and it isn't fair, but it isn't the kids or the school's fault. It is however, a larger Town-wide problem, and while some politicians as you say, throw you a bone, nothing seems ...more
By Rickenbacker (257), Southampton on Jan 29, 17 7:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
I don't blame the kids, but the District and others that think they can continue to tax those that don't benefit and can leave. It is really not in the best interest of the very people they are trying to help and serve. Then the Town ignores the residents when we ask for basic quality of life services. It is really absurd how little the taxpayers of HB get for our taxes.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 17 7:41 PM
HB Proud, the district doesn't "think they can continue to tax." Advocacy efforts have been focused on uncontrollable costs, as mandated by the state. Further, if you compare school budget increases over the last ten years to the last three, you will see that they are more than twice the rate. The district is diligent and seeing success in slowing increases down. Also, it is unfair to compare school taxes to town taxes. The town has reserves to "stabilize taxes." That is not legal for schools. ...more
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 17 9:54 PM
People will never window shop in downtown Hampton Bays. When they go down the street they usually have a pre-determined purchase in mind. The shopping centers pull traffic away from the downtown. Hampton Bays will be lucky if the Macys stays open. You don't even want to buy gas in Hampton Bays.
By harbor hound (31), southampton on Jan 29, 17 9:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
hblc, I couldn't agree with you more about the CURRENT board. I think they are doing a great job of keeping the costs down. I am also aware of their position against the Accessory Apartment initiative of the Town Supervisor and their position against the illegal use of motels. Kudos and keep up the good work I say! However it took a lot of effort n the part of many residents who put themselves out there to ridicule and name-calling. It is not just the School budget, it is the Library Budget, ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jan 30, 17 7:23 AM
I think you are hitting a good point here, but maybe not the way you meant it. The local schools are so small, that even though costs seem fixed, the overall cost of doing business as a school district in the county is actually higher than any school locally can efficiently meet. To your point, here are some relative costs per student east of the canal (sorry, I don't have the others at hand, and these numbers are approximate and are now a few years old): East Hampton, $33,000, Tuckahoe, $35,000, ...more
By Rickenbacker (257), Southampton on Jan 30, 17 4:03 PM
vos, you ask how the real estate tax problem of the Diner is relative? How many pancakes do they need to sell just to cover the reported $50K tax bill? You speak of the "Master Plan" - look to who and how many were involved and when it was done and how relative it really is. Most of those plans are outdated by the time they are completed. If the Town was serious, it would be a "living" plan and constantly updated.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jan 30, 17 7:47 AM
The diner could be selling a million pancakes but if the owner chooses to pocket the tax money instead of forwarding what he collected to the state it would still look as it does today. It's a sales tax problem, not a property tax problem that has it shuttered.

When the Town chooses to waste money on plans, whether cosmetic or Master, and then elects to be the first to ignore that plan it truly does not matter that any plan exists.

Remember it was the Town itself that not only ...more
By VOS (1230), WHB on Jan 31, 17 12:44 AM
The school budget increases are almost entirely due to the increase in the cost of healthcare for the employees. If you look at the budget, which is available online in line item form, the only double digit increases are health insurance.

I'm not against health insurance benefits for school employees, I'm jealous of them. Can I know what the rates are? Can I buy this insurance for myself? How about the plan for local cops, admin staff, and other public workers? Can I see what is being ...more
By dfree (807), hampton bays on Jan 30, 17 8:13 AM
I apologise, the HB school district actually had a decrease in healthcare insurance costs from the 2014/2015 school year to the 2015/2016 school year. It's about 10℅ of about a $49 million budget.
By dfree (807), hampton bays on Jan 31, 17 6:53 AM
Build it and he will come
By C-Hill (5), middle village on Jan 30, 17 2:34 PM
Rick, I agree the students and taxpayers would be best served if the Districts on the east End merge. However, h*ll will freeze over before that happens. There is probably a break even cost per student where there is optimal cost effective education. I think our "conversation" got off point. The Town commissioned a $50K study for some window dressing over an outdated master plan designed by a handful of people who think window dressing is a problem solver. There is nothing wrong with window ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jan 30, 17 6:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
Even if they were consolidated into 3 or 4 districts, it would be far better than the 14 or so districts now. BH just voted themselves a $25 million bond for expansion (they have less than 200 students), Sag Harbor voted to take over the Stella Maris buildings (counting on leases to support them), so the library wanting $10 million is not surprising, but still, like the others, crazy town. I'll fight for h*** to freeze over if it meant making significant changes to the way the school district taxes ...more
By Rickenbacker (257), Southampton on Jan 30, 17 8:38 PM
How about if folks are offered vouchers equivalent to 75% of the per pupil education cost? That's about $20,000 for non disabled kids in Hampton Bays. The parents could use the vouchers to send their kids to any education facility of their choice.
By dfree (807), hampton bays on Jan 31, 17 7:01 AM
It is funny how the posts on the article had almost nothing to do with the ""pattern book". That should be very telling to the Town Officials as to how little the residents care about the way the storefronts look on Main Street - which goes back to my very first post - How much time and money was wasted on this? Who actually wanted it? There are so many more important issues facing the Town. Doesn't the Planning Department have better things to do with their time? More money wasted.....
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Jan 31, 17 7:50 AM
Maybe more folks would comment if the presentation and pattern book was posted online. That would be easy enough. My original comment also still stands. According to the 2010 US Census, 35% of the Hampton Bays households speak a language other than. English at home. Let's assume this percentage has even gone up in the last 7 years. So we're going to adopt a look that has no input from about half the population?
By dfree (807), hampton bays on Feb 1, 17 8:19 AM
If the town would enforce the housing laws, we might not have so many single family homes with 2 or 3 families living in them. Just another study that is meaningless as the Hamlet sinks further into disarray. I doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that septic systems that are designed for a single family home are over taxed, adding to polluting our bays, schools that are cramped students and neighborhoods looking terrible. Who cares about downtown pattern book when the the foundation of our community ...more
By yogi1 (14), on Feb 2, 17 2:39 PM
Yogi you're not telling the truth. If you know of homes with 2 or 3 families, send an email or call code enforcement. If you have addresses, list them here.

There's alot of code enforcement officers -- 8 the last time I looked. They spend their time trolling airbnb to find out who's been renting their house to yuppies from Manhattan and for houses that have been abandoned in Flanders because why? People who rent their houses short term are around and can be expected to pay fines and ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Feb 2, 17 3:29 PM
Yogi is telling the truth. We had a home with thirty residents in it probably, maybe four separate families sending their kids to HB schools. The neighbors made multiple complaints. In the end the only reason it was shut down was a domestic dispute at the home alerted the landlords attention to the problem.
Not knocking the code enforcement, I think they are overwhelmed. But its ignorant or disingenuous to suggest it's not a problem.
By jams (128), hampton bays on Feb 2, 17 4:10 PM
How can Code Enforcement be overwhelmed? That's one house and the department has 11 professionals in it -- look at the Town website. Who responded to your complaint and did nothing -- name them here.
By dfree (807), hampton bays on Feb 3, 17 8:59 AM
Once again the posts on this have gone completely off course. This is a meaningless study stemming from a meaningless outdated master plan. The Town want to avoid the real problems regarding the illegal use of motels, overcrowded housing, lack of code enforcement and law enforcement and lets not discuss the boondoggle of the lack of funding for Good Ground Park.
Dtree the survey and the survey results are on the website and have been for months. Sign up for "notify me" and be an informed ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Feb 5, 17 9:57 PM
I was asking that the "pattern book" be placed online not the survey. As for "lack of code enforcement", this is simply not true. Go to the Southampton Town website and count the number of Code Enforcement personnel. They do not care about overcrowding, whatever you mean by that, they go after airbnb short term renters. The Town is ENCOURAGING long term rentals -- short term rentals are illegal by Town code. This means that families, sometimes extended families with many school age children, ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Feb 6, 17 10:03 AM
And for your information, the Police do not have "right of access", whatever you mean by that. And since Code Enforcement wear government uniforms, carry badges, and drive around in marked cars with lights they are legally considered police officers. There is this thing called the Fourth Amendment, I place it here in its entirety -- bless our nation's founders:

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches ...more
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Feb 6, 17 10:07 AM
davidf, All those on "notify me" received a detail analysis of the results of the study. I haven't checked if it is all on the website, but it is public information and you could obtain it. As far as my comments, regarding access, yes I recognize the rights we have under the constitution. That is exactly my point. It is very hard to prove that there are multiple families living in a house or a house is shared by multiple unrelated individuals especially when people lie.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Feb 6, 17 11:17 AM
I looked at the photos of the meeting and all I saw was white and old and white.
By Duckbornandraised (184), Eastport on Feb 8, 17 12:27 AM
I think that this study was a big waste of time and money, but please don't comment to those that take time of their evening to show interest in the community. It was open to the public There were over 1,000 respondents to the on-line survey. The consultants represented that they went to each of the business owners on Main Street and told them about the meeting and survey. If you have a specific concern, contract the Planning Department of the Town.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Feb 8, 17 1:44 AM
Was the survey printed in Spanish? The school got in trouble in 2015 for not supporting their Spanish speaking students. Also, your evasive answer after being questioned about your assertion of houses with more than legal numbers of residents and your claim, then withdrawn, that the Code Enforcement department of 11 professionals is too "overwhelmed" to enforce building codes indicates that you're not a trustworthy person. Now you're deflecting. The question remains about the validity of any ...more
By dfree (807), hampton bays on Feb 8, 17 8:11 PM
Unfortunately, hamlets like HB (Bridgehampton, Watermill, Amagansett, etc) share the common disadvantage of having a busy thoroughfare as their "Main St". Such preludes their shopping districts from being enjoyable, walkable downtowns see Westhampton, Southampton, Sag Harbor). Add to this, the Nassau County-like shopping complex (King Kullen / Starbucks),multiple strip malls (Krieg's Bakery, UA Theaters) and it's clear that Hampton Bays long ago opted to be more Hicksville than cozy hamptons hamlet.

Not ...more
By Peconic Dolphin (9), Southampton on Feb 9, 17 10:30 AM
There is adequate right of way next to LIRR tracks for a single paved road that can accommodate self driving cars. Why is the Town Supervisor spending $200k on a new department to build public housing -- who is this for? His existing tax paying constituents are becoming angry about a lack of quality healthcare coverage -- except of course for Town employees whose plans are secret and not offered to anyone not on the Town payroll. Instead of planning to spend our taxes on homes for people who ...more
By dfree (807), hampton bays on Feb 10, 17 12:45 PM
How would your plan deal with overpasses and wetlands? There are a bunch of RR bridges that go over roadways, take HB east of the Boardy Barn for example.
By bigfresh (4593), north sea on Feb 10, 17 2:11 PM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island