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Aug 16, 2011 1:48 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Quogue Condo Developers Want To Allow Younger Residents In 55 And Over Community

Aug 17, 2011 12:54 PM

The developers behind a 55-and-over condominium complex in Quogue are again seeking the village’s permission to modify the development’s age restrictions—and this time they want to be able to sell up to six of the 32 planned units to younger couples.

But Alexander Hesterberg, one of the developers behind the Jessup’s Landing Condominiums complex—a project that was approved by the village in 2006 and originally billed as the Quogue’s first senior citizen community—said that sluggish sales are not to blame for the latest request. Rather, he said, demand has risen among younger couples, including many with young children, who are now seeking housing that requires no maintenance.

Still, Mr. Hesterberg said that, to date, only two of the 32 units have been sold and another four are under contract. Only six or seven of the condos—which are still being advertised for between $795,000 and $1,375,000 per unit on the development’s website—have been constructed so far. In 2009, the board agreed to lower the minimum age requirement to buy one of the condos from 62 to 55, at the request of Mr. Hesterberg’s fellow developers David Kepner and Sandy Carbone. At the time, they said the faltering economy and slumping housing market were to blame for lackluster sales.

At Friday’s Village Board meeting, Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius informed Mr. Hesterberg that his attorney needs to prepare a draft of the proposed change he is requesting to the resolution that permitted the construction of the development on 10.7 acres located just north of Montauk Highway and west of Jessup Avenue.

Without elaborating, the mayor—who was clearly being purposely vague during the brief exchange—asked Mr. Hesterberg if he felt comfortable discussing his request in front of a reporter; the developer did not offer specifics during Friday’s public session, which was attended by only four members of the public.

Following the meeting, Mr. Hesterberg readily explained that he plans on asking the board to amend a prior resolution that approved the condominiums so the developers can sell 20 percent of them—or six out of the 32—to individuals under the age of 55. Mr. Hesterberg also noted that he and his partner, Mr. Carbone, own 16 of the lots on West Court while Mr. Kepner owns the other 16 lots on East Court.

Mr. Hesterberg said the developers’ latest request seeks to “mirror” state law, which allows for up to 20 percent of units in a 55-and-over condominium complex to be occupied by residents under the required age. Federal law states that in order for a housing development to fall into this category, at least one resident living in 80 percent of the units must be over 55, according to Southampton Town Attorney Tiffany Scarlato.

Mr. Sartorius could not be reached for comment this week as he is on vacation.

But Village Clerk Marcia Koziarz explained that the mayor declined to discuss the issue publicly on Friday because he wanted to reserve comment until Mr. Hesterberg’s attorney formally presented a proposal to the board. “He didn’t want to step out of bounds,” she said.

When reached on Monday, Clarke Lewis, the president of the Quogue Association, said he and other members of his group had not yet been informed of the specifics on the latest request. Therefore, he declined to comment on them.

The Quogue Village Board’s next meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 23.

Rubio Offers Update

Barry Rubio, the owner of Hampton Motorworks LLC on Midhampton Avenue in Quogue, told Village Board members on Friday that things are moving along to bring his business into compliance with the village code.

“We’re working together very well,” said Mr. Rubio, of his efforts to coordinate with Quogue Chief Building Inspector William Nowak. “We’re making progress.”

Mr. Rubio came before the board to ask permission to put up a sandwich board sign outside his establishment, explaining that patrons are having trouble finding it. Mr. Sartorius said he did not object to the sign, as long as it advertised only Hampton Motors and not the two other businesses—a auto rental and used car business—that were illegally operating from the same site. The mayor also told Mr. Rubio that he needs to get clearance for the sign from Quogue Ordinance Inspector Christopher Osbourne.

Mr. Rubio, who relocated his business to Quogue after shuttering operations in Westhampton Beach in January, is still trying to secure a special exemption permit from the village to allow the two other businesses to operate from the same location. Current zoning does not allow for the operation of a used car or car rental business. The auto repair business is allowed because it is a pre-existing non-conforming use.

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Try lowering the price-then they might sell. Selling to 55 and over who want a peaceful community and then changing the rules to allow younger couples with children only invites lawsuits from the original purchasers. Also, the school system can not support the additional students this would create. Places that allow 20% to younger purchases have allowed that from the beginning-they did not change the rules later.

Of course "sluggish sales" are THE ONLY reason for the request.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Aug 17, 11 3:20 PM
I'd LOVE to move into a 55+ community, and will do so when the time comes. However, it's quite disheartening to see that couples, "many with young children," might be moving in. Isn't there anywhere us childless-by-choice can go for some peace and quiet???
By Tay (35), Hampton Bays on Aug 18, 11 11:53 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By G (342), Southampton on Aug 21, 11 8:27 AM
Wow, comment about a Village employee abusing a resident & her child and it gets deleted. I had heard Quogue likes to cover things up but was unaware this paper was part of that process.
By G (342), Southampton on Aug 23, 11 8:24 AM
Lowering the age requirement in an approved 55 year old developement that got the approval to build each seperate house because it was appliedfor as an senior citizen community in its first application.For 65 years old.Then loweredto 55 years. now for a third time because NOT one house has been sold on the western half of the developement. But as federal law states the developement must be FIRST be owned by 80% over 55 years old. Then only after that has been sold can under fifty five years old ...more
By 1percent (52), Quogue on Oct 24, 11 1:15 PM