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May 10, 2017 12:05 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Town Cites Hampton Bays Man For Clearing Trees, Storing Boats Behind His Home

The backyard before the clearing for the boats was completed. COURTESY BROOKE CHILVERS LUBIN
May 10, 2017 12:56 PM

A Hampton Bays man was slapped with a code violation this week after Southampton Town officials said he illegally cleared land behind his home so he could store more than a dozen boats in his backyard.

After receiving complaints from neighbors, code enforcement officials visited the King Street residence on April 10, according to Christopher Fraser, supervising officer of code enforcement. During the visit, officials saw that a number of trees in the backyard had been cleared and 13 boats with trailers were lined up across the dirt.

The house is owned by Thomas Jackson, whose family used to own Jackson’s Marina on Tepee Street in Hampton Bays. Mr. Jackson said in an interview on Tuesday that his family sold the marina about a month ago, and that the boats in his backyard—all of which he says he owns—were being stored there until he decides what to do with them.

“I’m getting rid of a couple of items,” Mr. Jackson said on Tuesday. “But I don’t think it’s written in the code how many boats you can have … I own the land, and it’s all my stuff.” He also said he “cleaned up the trees” in his backyard to remove vines that were hanging from them.

But Mr. Fraser said on Wednesday that code enforcement officials visited Mr. Jackson’s property on April 10, ultimately issuing him a notice of violation, after determining that he illegally cleared a swath of trees and was storing boats in the area. He was given 30 days to fix the problem and also prove to the town that he owns all of the boats being stored on his land.

“From that time to now, more boats were actually placed on the property,” Mr. Fraser added.

He said Mr. Jackson failed to address the violation, which, he noted, illegally changed the use of the property from residential to commercial. As a result, Mr. Jackson has been ticketed and soon will be ordered to appear in Southampton Town Justice Court, where he could potentially face a fine.

When reached on Wednesday, Mr. Jackson acknowledged that he had been ticketed.

Several of Mr. Jackson’s neighbors, including Brooke Chilvers, who lives on Ponquogue Avenue—and whose backyard adjoins Mr. Jackson’s—said they were upset to see him clear so many trees and transform his backyard into a boat storage facility. Ms. Chilvers, who splits her time between the East End and Virginia, said her tenants alerted her to the illegal clearing.

“I freaked out,” Ms. Chilvers said. “If I had been there while it was happening, I would have been hysterical. I would have laid down in front of the machines and made such a scene that they would have had to call the police and fire department.”

She explained that there is no longer a natural buffer between their two properties providing both her and her tenants with privacy.

“It was one of the reasons I bought my house and loved my house,” Ms. Chilvers said. “I no longer love my house. I am absolutely heartbroken, devastated.”

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Seems Tom could afford commercial storage facility.
By knitter (1941), Southampton on May 12, 17 7:27 AM
13 boats with trailers? How about 1300 illegals raising your taxes, and the town looking like a dump.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 12, 17 9:03 AM
If she wanted a natural buffer between the properties, she should pay for one to be planted. It's not her property and not her business. If he over cleared, he will have to put back new vegetation. Maybe that's his plan nosy neighbor. I hope he re-vegetates with all low plantings just to spite nosy neighbor.
By LocalTeacher (23), Southampton on May 14, 17 7:25 PM
3 members liked this comment
Clearing every blade of grass is not allowed and I am sure the Jackson brothers are well aware of this. It really doesn't matter what 'she' has on her lawn, there is now nothing but dirt beyond it. The town, may make them plant a few trees, possibly. I am not sure you'd appreciate being called a 'nosy neighbor' if your neighbor dumped large amounts of boats on their property.

If they wanted to store boats, they should have kept the marina.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on May 23, 17 1:30 PM