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Sep 26, 2018 11:44 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Community Members Speak Against Town Purchasing Bel-Aire Cove Motel In Hampton Bays

Southampton Town offials are looking to purchase the Bel Aire Cove Motel in Hampton Bays. DANA SHAW
Sep 26, 2018 11:44 AM

A handful of Hampton Bays community members spoke against the town’s proposal to purchase the Bel-Aire Cove Motel in Hampton Bays at a public hearing on Tuesday.

The town hopes to purchase the property for $1,060,000 through the town’s community development program. Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the plan is to tear down the motel and get the proper permits for a nitrogen-reducing septic system. The property will then be auctioned off to the highest bidder and developed according to design plans created by the town, local community groups and architects.

“The idea here is a little bit different from traditional acquisitions,” Mr. Schneiderman noted. “This would be to acquire it with the purpose of private sector development. It would be publicly auctioned off to the highest bidder to develop it exactly as the community had agreed to see it developed.”

In recent years, the motel has been accused of illegally renting rooms on a long-term basis and polluting the nearby canal, which connects to Shinnecock Bay. The motel has been cited for numerous code violations, including bedbug and roach infestations and electrical violations.

Many at the meeting voiced concerns about the impact on the people currently residing in the motel.

“I know that the majority of the population that lives in the Bel-Aire Cove Motel are very under-served,” Hampton Bays resident Loretta Werner said. “They’re very damaged human beings. It’s very easy to, in quotes, say you’re going to ‘relocate’ them. Where will they be relocated to? There is no place to send them. I’m speaking from the heart. I’m very concerned about it.”

Mr. Schneiderman said that the “tenants would be relocated” before the property is transferred to the town. It is unclear, however, where exactly they would be relocated to.

Hampton Bays resident Anthony Cenzoprano also opposed the acquisition, saying it “amounts to a reward for bad behavior.”

“They have all these violations, and they’ve run this place into the ground, and now you’re going to bail them out,” he continued. “I don’t think it makes sense. They should be held responsible.”

Southampton Town Attorney James Burke noted that the property is up for sale and, if the town didn’t buy it, it would likely sell to someone else.

Mr. Schneiderman recessed the public hearing to garner more community input at a Town Board meeting in late October.

“One of the things I’ve heard over the last three years is concern about this property,” he said. “I think what the town is trying to do here is address a community need, and do it sensitively. I believe there are a lot of people who do support this.”

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Do something with this dump!!! It’s been way to long. A hand full of people who complain about everything should not be a factor. Hampton bays is turning into a dump
By bigblue84 (89), Hampton Bays on Sep 26, 18 2:44 PM
Once again this story is poor reporting by the Southampton Press.

This must get done and will get done. The issue is if the Town has the means to complete it one way or another, either CDF or CPF.

This illegal SRO pollutes waste into the bay will never be sold to any private business in the current state.

Get it done, one way or another. Call in the DEC to shut it down if need be. This business has so many code issues it places first responders at risk along with those ...more
By Hamptonsway (107), Southampton on Sep 26, 18 10:21 PM
Something does need to be done, but I don't believe that the Town should be in the real estate speculation business. They don't have the capability to see this to the end. If anything, this property should be purchased with CPF monies for preservation. The School District would be made whole for the taxes through PILOTS (Payments in lieu of taxes). Hampton Bays would be in a net gain position. The Supervisor showed attendees a picture of "luxury condos" he took off the internet at the CAC ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Sep 26, 18 3:17 PM
I agree.

Anyone remember those squalid cottages next to Sears Bellows park?

About 10 yrs. ago, Town purchased the property, re-located the families, razed the structures and turned it into a passive park.

Same thing could be done here. Needs public pressure!!

Hey, there's an election coming up...
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Sep 26, 18 4:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
pull the CO.they do not have a CO for 365 days a year apartments. then force the owners to remediate the site to town requirements.this should not fall on taxpayers . HB was a summer destination and motel rooms are needed for short term vacation rentals.
By tinboat (17), hampton bays on Sep 26, 18 3:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
Easier said than done.

This could bounce around the court system for the next 10 years.

Courts are reluctant to haul families with children out of their homes
unless there are clear health and safety violations.

Owners could put bandaids on the place and squabble with the Town over the c/o and use indefinitely.
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Sep 26, 18 4:45 PM
pull the CO.they do not have a CO for 365 days a year apartments. then force the owners to remediate the site to town requirements.this should not fall on taxpayers . HB was a summer destination and motel rooms are needed for short term vacation rentals.
By tinboat (17), hampton bays on Sep 26, 18 3:56 PM
The motel is operating illegally, the people staying there are living there illegally, the place is a dump and must be shutdown. How this could go on for so long is just dumbfounding. How can the Town enforce some laws and regulations but not others? Eventually they will need to ignore all laws and regulations as they are setting precedent when they to chose not to enforce some laws and regulations. I'm not a fan of the Town using CPF money to purchase private taxpaying properties, but since ...more
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Sep 26, 18 4:00 PM
It’s a novel idea. But an idea nonetheless. Nothing has changed for 10 yrs. nothing will ever change if we keep the status quo. Keep doing things the same way expecting different results is insanity. I know we have been disappointed many times by this board and prior boards in HB, but we have to do something.
I commend the Supervisir for at least thinking outside the box. I don’t know if this is the answer, but to keep stallling them will accomplish nothing. And the blight ...more
By Donna T (11), Hampton bays on Sep 26, 18 4:52 PM
If this dump was in Watermill or Bridgehampton it wouldn't have lasted a month
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Sep 27, 18 5:56 AM
NO. do not buy the DUMP. Make them comply with health, zoning and welfare standards. Go to the State and let the fines start.... NO......
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Sep 26, 18 5:01 PM
That has failed over and over. And here we are 10 yrs later waiting for something to change
By Donna T (11), Hampton bays on Sep 26, 18 5:55 PM
Sorry Donna T. - I disagree - putting this property in the hands of the same ineffective leadership is a recipe for disaster. I wouldn't put it past the leadership if they purposely derailed potential deals just so they can try to buy it. It was reported that the planning department and town attorney was meeting with prospective buyers. What was that about? Why did government get involved? They are like a bunch of rogue firefighters that set the fire and are now trying to put it out with ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Sep 26, 18 7:25 PM
Yes by all means don’t buy and let it sit there an eyesore and driving down propert values . If not condemning the propert then buy and sell. 1 million for a commercial property is a bargain
By Fernie11946 (11), Hampton Bays on Sep 27, 18 11:42 PM
Get it done!
Some people say, keep Hampton Bays as it is. That’s a great idea except that it’s falling apart, if we don’t begin to improve and restore through factors and programs that spur economic stimulation. Who’s going to buy that thing that way it is? Park money? If they impose fines and all that, it will be tied up for years. If the town uses CPF, who will use that piece for a park? No one. Wasted momey. Put the money into making that piece viable for renewal ...more
By resident9 (14), hampton bays on Sep 30, 18 10:42 AM
I fail to see where this is the Town's responsibility. How did it fall into disrepair? The OWNER allowed it. When they sell they will not get the value they did because of their decision. Keep our tax dollar out of it!
The Town has an abysmal track record for managing property.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 3, 18 6:28 PM
The illegal housing at the motel is a serious health and safety hazard for the people who live there, and for their neighbors and the community. For the safety of all, it should have been shut down long ago. The Town is doing the right thing; buying it and demolishing it. Reselling the land for use as Eco-friendly seasonal vacation condos is a great idea to try. CPF purchase for open space preservation is next best alternative. Either way in needs to be done. The place is a ticking time bomb.
By Bayman (56), Hampton Bays on Oct 2, 18 10:00 AM
What makes anyone think that the Town will really turn these into condos? The optic that the Town Board would tear down housing for the under served and put up luxury condos is political suicide for the 4 democrats on the Board. IMHO, this is a case of bait and switch to develop affordable/low income housing in Hampton Bays just as the "settlement" for the Tiana Pines conversion. Hampton Bays cannot handle the density. If the Town Administration is so ineffective that the can't enforce their ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Oct 4, 18 10:18 PM