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Aug 13, 2014 12:46 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Architect Reveals Plans For Good Ground Park In Hampton Bays

Aug 13, 2014 1:16 PM

Officials designing the proposed 36-acre park set to be built just north of West Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays shared some specifics on the project during a public meeting on Tuesday night.

The amphitheater in the middle of the park’s developed southern area, widely idealized as the centerpiece for the new development, will feature both formal stone seats and informal hillside seating areas rising around an elevated stage, as well as an open lawn section for visitors to put down their blankets and chairs. In total, the facility, dubbed Good Ground Park, is expected to accommodate up to 800 people during shows, architect John Williams said during the meeting, which was held at the Hampton Bays Community Center on Ponquogue Avenue.

After fielding suggestions from community members in May about what features they would like to see incorporated into the park, Mr. Williams, president of MKW Landscape Architecture, the New Jersey company awarded the $200,000 contract to design the park, revealed what features made the cut.

Along with the amphitheater, the park will feature two nature-themed playgrounds, public restrooms, a clearing near the entrance, a picnic area in the southwest corner of the park, and nature trails with at least four overlook areas.

Mr. Williams also detailed the “new Main Street” that would run along the southern border of the park, just north of Montauk Highway. Along with offering sidewalks and diagonal parking on both sides, the street will have a boulevard with a row of trees running down the middle, a traffic circle, and a plaza in the middle of the street that could be used as event space, Mr. Williams said, as desired.

Between street parking and two parking lots near the Squiretown Road entrance, the park will have about 175 parking spots, Mr. Williams said.

Southampton Town Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone said the recreation facility would be constructed in two phases, the first consisting of the road, the amphitheater and the restrooms.

Although officials previous estimated constructing the park would cost $2 million, Mr. Zappone said Tuesday that a budget has not yet been set for construction costs. He added that the project likely will be rolled into the town’s capital improvement budget, though officials hope to subsidize the cost with grants or possibly through corporate sponsorships.

When asked how the town would go about paying for the maintenance of the park, Mr. Zappone said that too is up for debate, adding that options now on the table include rolling that expense into the town’s current Parks and Recreation budget, or possibly creating a tax overlay district.

“I don’t mean to be vague about it—it’s just that there are so many various options to consider to accommodate this,” Mr. Zappone said. “In fact, for the maintenance piece ... we have to fix a price to that. We haven’t gotten far enough into planning to fix an honest and realistic number.”

While several people, including hamlet residents Eve Houlihan and Maud Kramer, were somewhat critical of the blueprint, most of those in attendance appeared to support the proposal. Ms. Houlihan said the park is more developed than she had envisioned while Ms. Kramer said she would have liked to have seen other amenities, such as a dog park and a water fountain.

“One of the key elements of the whole plan was [that] we wanted a multi-age park, not just a children’s park, not just a bocce ball park for older people, but multi-age,” said Kevin McDonald of Hampton Bays. “The way the park is designed it has a number of different age groups, all available, accessing the park. Just a really nice design—it’s going to be superb when completed.”

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"Between street parking and two parking lots near the Squiretown Road entrance, the park will have about 175 parking spots, Mr. Williams said."

And yet, you plan an amphitheater with 800 seats. Hmmm... you either have too much seating, or not enough parking.

And an overlay tax district is BS. HB residents have been saddled with so much. Finally a park and new main street are being planned to "complete" HB, and you want to tax the residents even more? No. Figure out another ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 13, 14 2:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
It is a good plan nature stop being so negative about everything, These people have an absolute (under developed) gem. Hampton Bays time has finally come stop trying to rob it of its place as a legitimate part of the Hampton's. There is no stooping it and It looks as if it will turn out to be a real contender.
Aug 13, 14 3:05 PM appended by joe hampton
By joe hampton (3461), southampton on Aug 13, 14 3:05 PM
Funny... I don't remember saying it was a bad plan. In fact, I didn't say anything negative about the plan - rather I pointed out that there is either too much seating at the amphitheater or not enough parking. It is the hope that someone will realize the large difference between the number of spots and number of seats and fix it before it gets built.

As for my second comment - it has nothing to do with the plan at all. It is actually in support of the plan, but rather points out that ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 13, 14 3:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
I hope this amphitheater will be put to good use like The Suffolk and Westhampton Beach theaters are now used. It would be a nice outdoor summer venue.
By prometheus (13), HB on Aug 13, 14 6:08 PM
Please nature you have a problem with everything. You are a self proclaimed genius of planning. Right now HB needs this project and the Rechlers projects ASAP. Hampton Bays needs to get on track, and this is just one way to do it. Anything as far as commercial development is concerned has to be fast tracked or HB will procede to a watery death. Hampton Bays needs to take advantage of their waterfront!!!!!!
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 14, 14 12:11 AM
How can Hampton Bays take advantage of its waterfront if the Town itself continues to close down businesses by buying the properties on which they sit? How can Hampton Bays grow its waterfront access and activity if the Town encourages the abandonment of Resort Waterfront Business zoning?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Aug 14, 14 1:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
please be more specific
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Aug 14, 14 8:44 AM
The Town didn't "close down businesses" by buying them. Neptunes was getting out of the game and voluntarily chose to sell to the Town.

As for Chiefy boy... guess you didn't read my response to Joe Hampton. The plan is a great - but the parking/seating issue needs to be addressed and the residents of HB shouldn't be hit with a tax burden. The park is for the people of the Town, not just HB residents.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 14, 14 9:00 AM
Oh that was his problem, we don't need places like Neptune's or Bordy Barn to thrive vos, I was not against Neptune's and felt it was in a great place for the under 30 crowd to let it all out, but in my opinion BB is a blight on the town. Just go up there and watch the trash take over at PM on any given Sunday. Any civil person would have to agree.
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Aug 14, 14 3:02 PM
Please Nature you don't need 800 parking spots for 800 seats that's ridiculous. The tax increase would be minimal. The problem with taxes is the school district, and no one does anything about that.
Some private investor would of certainly bought Neptunes, but at 3 million the Town over paid by nearly double. The place will now rot till it falls to the ground like the old Summers. The only thing the town has come up with is making an African American coast Guard Museum for the former Neptunes. ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 14, 14 4:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Never said they needed 1 parking spot for every seat. But if the plan is to have all 800 seats occupied, it's impractical to believe that each car parking is going to have 4.5 occupants. And you say the tax increase would be "minimal" - imagine how "minimal" it would be if the whole Town paid for it.

And the price paid for Neptunes came about after two independent appraisals of the site were done. The Town can't pay more than market value for land.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 15, 14 9:30 AM
When the town buys commercial property, it closes down business. That building held at least six iterations of business before it closed and it is unreasonable to believe there would not have been a business there this summer if the town had not taken it out of the realm of commercial activity.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Aug 16, 14 1:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
I'm glad to see Deputy Supervisor Zappone actively involved. That gives me confidence the follow-thru will progress under his watchful eye.
By SH gal (7), southampton on Aug 14, 14 11:18 AM
No one but we elected ATH and she ruled with her crown
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 14, 14 4:02 PM
ATH Puppet Frank
By Justsay'n (42), Southampton on Aug 14, 14 12:32 PM
Bad project. It will do little to help the town and end up not being used. Will it attract people from outside the town?

Has the designer and town leadership shown any creativity with this project?. This could have had a band shell and out door ice rink for the winter with a nice fire pit. This would have attracted people to the town to do something no other local town has.

I think the park will attract illegal day labor folk. Mr. Williams you are clueless. Go back to Jersey.
By GerryBayz (13), Hampton Bays on Aug 14, 14 11:08 PM
"This could have had a band shell and out door ice rink for the winter with a nice fire pit."

It's proposed to have an 800 seat ampitheater, which is certainly nicer than an ugly (and certainly uncreative) bandshell. And you don't design a park on Long Island to have a permanent ice rink - there's plenty of space to put one in during the winter like what they did in the past at the parks facility along the canal.

Furthermore, it's a creative park, especially for the east end. ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 15, 14 9:36 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By GerryBayz (13), Hampton Bays on Aug 15, 14 10:40 PM
uhh... anyone else follow that?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 16, 14 11:37 AM
Ampitheater will bring in no direct revenue to the town. All of us will have to pay for it in taxes. The town needs to work on other projects. For example Tina Beach and the canal.

How nice will it be to sit in a 800 seat amphitheater in January? It needs to be scaled down. HBBA is doing more and more work for the town which Park & Rec along with Dept of Hwy can not handle. Who will do the up-keep, trash and monitor the crime in the park?

By GerryBayz (13), Hampton Bays on Aug 17, 14 10:09 PM
As if other HB parks are filed with trash and crime...

and you were the one advocating for a bandshell. How is that better than an ampitheater?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 17, 14 10:20 PM
Who will monitor the crime in the park?

Maybe you could get somone like George Zimmerman.


By joe hampton (3461), southampton on Aug 22, 14 10:02 PM
Dog Park! Dog Park!
By Toto (25), southampton on Aug 19, 14 1:25 PM