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Jan 26, 2012 1:01 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Aquires 20-Acre Parcel In Riverside

Feb 1, 2012 11:31 AM

Southampton Town officials have taken a significant step toward preserving an environmentally sensitive parcel in Riverside. Last Tuesday, January 24, officials announced the acquisition of a 20-acre parcel located at 60 Whitebrook Drive in Riverside for $175,000 appropriated from the town’s Community Preservation Fund.

The Whitebrook property, which consists of 19.7 acres, is one of the larger purchases made in the Riverside hamlet in recent years. When nine owners of the property expressed an interest in putting the parcel on the market last year, the Town Board authorized the acquisition following a November public hearing.

“It’s a wonderful environmental effort on our part and I support it wholeheartedly,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.

The parcel, located within the Peconic River Target Acquisition Area, includes a stretch of wetlands that are considered a top priority for open space preservation.

Protecting environmentally sensitive parcels in Riverside is critical to the area’s future, said Riverside Revitalization Community Corporation President William Schaw. Mr. Schaw said certain species of wildlife, including turtles, are prevalent in Riverside. Preservation of the parcel was a win for residents, Mr. Schaw said. “It was a victory for Riverside.”

The Peconic River, said Councilwoman Bridget Fleming, who sponsored the measure with Ms. Throne-Holst, is a critical component of the area’s estuary system, and provides area waterways with essential nutrients and minerals.

“The vegetation acts as a natural filter so preservation is an important step in protecting water quality in the river,” Ms. Fleming said.

Of the low price tag, Ms. Fleming said the time was right to buy. “The price reflects market conditions and highlights why the accelerated acquisition program we started by authorizing $30 million for preservation make so much sense.”

The Southampton Town Board authorized the first stage of a $125 million CPF borrowing plan in order to facilitate purchases of open space while prices are low. The board approved the first part of its borrowing plan—$30 million—on December 22, with the entire $125 million slated to be borrowed over a four year period.

A similar recent purchase of land including the Black Creek pond system along Flanders Road and County Road 105, also was meant to enhance preservation efforts in the area.

The Peconic River has long been targeted for preservation efforts and was included on the Southampton Town Community Preservation Project Plan. It is the largest groundwater fed river in New York State and features animal habitats and a spawning area for finfish and other species. The waterway is also a favorite among tourist, boaters, and commercial and recreational fishermen.

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Thank you, Anna and Bridget!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jan 26, 12 2:24 PM
Wow the CPF actually bought something west of Southampton. Did they ok with the elite in BH and WM?
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Jan 26, 12 2:56 PM
1 member liked this comment

Nice wisecrack. Aside from the fact that CPF has bough a LOT of land West of Southampton, the overwhelming majority of acreage West of Southampton is already developed OR in the Pine Barrens and thus is already preserved. Wouldn't you rather have big lots East of the canal preserved instead of having more McMansions erected?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 26, 12 3:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
If the Town puts a cell tower on the land, the ospreys can use the top for nesting!
By Zorro (66), Southampton on Jan 26, 12 4:00 PM
way to go Anna & Bridgett....keep up the good work!
By RegisterdIndependent (6), southampton on Jan 26, 12 5:00 PM
Not to gobble or anything, but these people are good, and I've known it for a long time. This is what we're working for.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jan 26, 12 5:08 PM
Wow, just Bridget and Anna did this? You mean they defeated the evil Republicans by a 2-3 vote? How cool is that?? Wait a minute there, you can't fool me......oh I misunderstood, it was a 5-0 vote and those evil Republicans voted in favor of this as well they just didn't get any face time in the article.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jan 27, 12 1:12 PM
3 members liked this comment
That's an inane comment, Blank. You've got to know that while it takes a majority to pass a measure, we give credit (or blame) to the one(s) who pushed it in the first place and moved it along. So people credit Chris Nuzzi for the recreational agreement with Pine Barrens BMX, and Jim Malone for his work on the police budget negotiations, and Bridget Fleming for the Flanders Farmers Market, and Nancy Graboski and Anna Throne-Holst for a host of good things. Same deal here. If I can't congratulate ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jan 28, 12 1:39 PM
Ease up TB. just wanted to point out that this was not done in a partisan manner. If all 5 board members voted in favor, then just say so. The "effort" was made by the folks who work in CPF, not any two board members.
Show your usual class, ( that is a sincere remark) and point out that this was something the board did as a team without bi-partisan crap involved.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 12 9:52 AM
Thanks for the clarification and the compliment. Unfortunately, I may have to disappoint you on the class thing, because I've just had another thought: This wasn't all five members voting for a good idea, this was two members, Throne-Holst and Fleming, presenting to the other three an idea so patently good (and cheap) that it was a no-brainer, a measure they had no choice but to support, because a No vote would be indefensible. Much as I'd like to be classy and congratulate everyone equally, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jan 29, 12 1:29 PM
I'll agree on one thing: You disappointed me.
And I would ask, that you provide any evidence that the other town board members were in any way at any time opposed to this, or for that matter any CPF purchase.
Lacking your ability to provide that that: my point exactly, Sir.
Before you elevate this into a scenario wherein you credit Anna and Bridget with saving the "crown jewel" of the east end, please read Nature's postings on this.
The cost to a purchaser of falling in line ...more
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jan 29, 12 7:48 PM
2 members liked this comment
I take your point on DEC restrictions; you're right, that's why the price was so low. I can't show you where the "other town board members", Nuzzi/Scalera/Malone, have ever opposed a CPF purchase, but can you show me where any of them have ever initiated or pushed such a purchase? (I understand that technically the CPF people do it, but you know what I mean.) I think that's the more pertinent question.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jan 30, 12 11:32 AM
It is not at all pertinent. The CPF $ comes from purchasers of property as I am sure you are well aware. It does not cost taxpayers/voters anything so there would be no real objection from the Conservative/Republican side, as there is no
Are you now seriously claiming that only the Dems are in favor of land preservation or the CPF fund at all. Because I could take you to school with that one.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jan 30, 12 1:34 PM
I'm not claiming that only Dems favor land preservation. I'm just asking you, for the second time, to cite an instance where a Republican or Conservative has taken the initiative to propose or promote a CPF purchase. If you don't have an answer, admit it, as I did in my last post regarding your question.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jan 31, 12 12:58 PM
TB, it was I who first proposed to you that you provide something and you not so artfully turned it around.
Let me see now, can I find where a Republican sponsored the purchase of CPF property? Well I would have to start after the Republicans first sponsored the CPF program to begin with. Then I guess for all those years when the Dems were "locked" out of town hall, it must have been the Republican who sponsored all those purchases I guess. Unless of course you can provide contradictory data?
Either ...more
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jan 31, 12 1:24 PM
Boring is right. You still haven't named one case where a present Rep. or Cons. Town Board member (your term: "the other town board members") has initiated a CPF purchase. [3rd request.] I admitted I didn't have a case where they'd oposed one, but you won't admit you don't have a case where they initiated one. It's important, because failure to take the initiative is effectively the same as opposition -- if no one pushes, it doesn't happen and the device atrophies.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jan 31, 12 6:20 PM
At about $9,000 per acre, this acquisition appears to be an excellent move.

Well done IMO.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jan 26, 12 5:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
That even seems like a good price for the buyer. I am not a fan of any politicians in this town, but I am impressed. Good job.
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on Jan 26, 12 5:27 PM
175K for 20 Acres can't beat that. How much is the parcel in Sagaponack?
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Jan 26, 12 6:22 PM
Who owned it?
By lucy2 (63), Southampton, NY on Jan 26, 12 6:27 PM
Great more land that no one can use... O BTW who is paying the taxes on all the property that the CPF is buying up.....
By tookatz (83), westhampton beach on Jan 26, 12 7:18 PM
Better query is, who WON'T be installing a cesspool, right on the Peconic estuary...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jan 26, 12 8:00 PM
Mr. Z has it right.

Also, residentially developed land generally breaks even or costs more in taxes than it brings in (which is why commercial development is so important).

This property would have yielded 1 single family dwelling (despite the acreage) due to severe wetlands constraints (hence the tiny purchase price which is what the property was valued at). Plus, the 9 property owners WILLINGLY sold this to the Town. They made a choice that they wanted this parcel preserved ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 26, 12 8:27 PM
Im talking about the hundreds of acres the CPF has purchased over the years across the town not just these 20 acres.. The tax the town was getting from ALL the properties the CPF did purchase now does with out.. Maybe I wont pay my taxes and be like well its only a small piece of land, no one else's taxes will go up if I don't pay them.. Little by little they will have to go up and up..
Nature I guarantee you if you went to purchase those 20 acres it would have cost you or anyone else way ...more
By tookatz (83), westhampton beach on Jan 26, 12 9:31 PM
Two Cats,

Have you spent any measurable amount of time researching the CPF law, the benefits of open space programs, PILOT programs and how local taxes are structured?

The *thousands* of acres that have been purchased by CPF haven't had a noticeable impact on your local Town taxes either. What people (such as yourself) fail to realize is that vacant land pays little in taxes and uses virtually nothing in services (the things the taxes pay for). A developed property requires ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 27, 12 11:18 AM
2 members liked this comment
What are the names of the nine sellers?
By lucy2 (63), Southampton, NY on Jan 27, 12 7:44 AM
Wow 175k down the toilet for a piece of unbuildable swamp land. It couldn't be developed anyway it's a SWAMP!!!!!! Drunk at the money switch. Id really like to know who the owners are
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jan 27, 12 5:29 PM
The fund has been buying unbuildable worthless land over and over. Or millions for pieces that only would yield few houses. Lots out east actually cost taxpayers higher taxes. These house use no services and no kids to school. Govt yet again screwing up society
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jan 27, 12 10:39 PM
"The fund has been buying unbuildable worthless land over and over"

Every piece of land has inherent worth - even land that's underwater. While the 20 acre piece is extremely difficult (and expensive) to develop, it's not impossible. To forever prevent the construction of a home there and the addition of a sanitary system that will negatively impact the Peconic River and Peconic Bay AND to add another piece of land to the incredibly expansive open space system of the Town of Southampton ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 30, 12 11:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
i dont understand why so many of you complain about everything. if your so miserable out here or on the island move upstate. lower taxes, lower quality education. and tons of free open space for u to mope around in
By whambulance123 (9), Southampton on Jan 28, 12 1:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
By patrickstar (67), hampton bays on Jan 28, 12 6:30 PM
Thats called communism shut your mouth, ignore everything, and let politicians run wild.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jan 29, 12 7:26 PM
Not every piece of land has value. The land in Flanders is worthless! Its underwater wetlands never to be built on. If an appraiser said its worth 170k he should lose his license. i know a track of land on Old Sag Harbor Rd in North Sea that was landlocked that the cpf paid over a million for. On another note why are we preserving farm land when farms have been the biggest polluters of ground water?
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jan 30, 12 9:54 PM
That's one of the most ignorant comments I've ever read on 27east which says a lot...

1. Property is in Riverside, not Flanders. If you're so outraged you should get your facts right

2. It's not worthless - it has value, namely sanitary rights. Even though the property is almost exclusively wetlands there are inherent sanitary credits that could be stripped off the land which means the property could never be developed but those credits could be use to develop other properties. ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 31, 12 8:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
This guy is just trolling don't waste your time nature.

I mean really, why preserve farms right? who really needs food anyway?

What an ignoramus.
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Jan 31, 12 8:48 PM
Really I'm ignorant? Show me one case of a standard septic system polluting ground water in Suffolk County. Don't look too hard there are none. Thats not the case when it comes to farms on the east end. It has cost tens of million for the county to install public water to cover polluted well areas. I myself have traces of temik and high nitrates in my well water. My well like hundreds of other wells on the East End have questionable water. The soil on farms is saturated in nitrates and pesticides ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jan 31, 12 11:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
"Standard" septic systems leach into the water table, and into the bays, and estuaries.

How many thousands of years does it take, for rainwater to make it to the aquifer?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 10, 12 6:12 AM
Did we simply run out of cow manure, or was oil cheaper to fertilize the soil?

"Better living through Modern Chemistry"...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 3, 12 10:15 PM
Back in my days they were selling "swamp land in Fla" There are many houses on that land now.
By coyote (14), southampton on Feb 8, 12 9:20 PM