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Jan 13, 2016 11:53 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor Village Considering Eminent Domain For Ferry Road Property

Sag Harbor Village will look into condemning 1, 3 and 5 Ferry Road to make a larger waterfront Park. MISAO GRIVAS
Jan 13, 2016 12:05 PM

The Sag Harbor Village Board is considering exercising the right of eminent domain for the waterfront property on Ferry Road that is currently slated to be used for condominiums.

According to Village Attorney Fred W. Thiele Jr., the village is “very serious about it.”

At a meeting on Tuesday night, the Village Board agreed to hire attorney Saul Fenchel to advise its members about the process of eminent domain, although Mr. Thiele said the village has not yet taken any serious steps toward condemning the property at 1, 3 and 5 Ferry Road.

Eminent domain requires that the village pay fair market value for the property and that the property must be used for a public purpose. There is an inherent risk in eminent domain, Mr. Thiele said, because the village can never gauge what a court would determine the fair market value of the property to be.

The fair market value could be much higher than the appraised value of the property, Mr. Thiele said.

The tract at 1, 3 and 5 Ferry Road is adjacent to a triangular piece of property the village already owns, just south of the Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter Memorial Bridge. The village hopes to transform the land into a larger public park.

Last year, the village offered to purchase the property from the owners with CPF money, but they were not willing to sell, which is a requirement for using CPF money.

The developers and owners of the property, Greystone Development and East End Ventures, currently have an application before the Planning Board for the condominiums and are in the middle of the State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA, process, Mr. Thiele said.

He stressed that the Village Board can have absolutely no influence on the Planning Board in its review of the application, and cannot delay the process at all.

“There basically has to be a wall between the Village Board and the Planning Board,” Mr. Thiele said. “The Village Board cannot attempt to influence the Planning Board in any way, shape or form.”

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Eminent domain is used as a tool for goverment to take blighted property , and develop it or improve it for the community. I never heard it being used to stop a development. Who would tell the board this is a good idea? Fred Thiele! He is making legislation in two bodies of goverment in NY. Sag Harbor needs a new arrorney this one has no regard for the laws of this country. BULLY
By chief1 (2784), southampton on Jan 14, 16 7:41 AM
This seems to be an ill-advised, short-sighted idea. Face it, the owners don't want to sell, and the Village has not made a strong enough case for why it is necessary, other than it would be simply be nice to have a park there. I get the sentiment, just don't see this idea being the way for the village to gain ownership.
By Rickenbacker (257), Southampton on Jan 14, 16 10:19 AM
the village could be criticized for coming to the party so late in the game (fault probably goes to previous mayor) but if there is a good example for using eminent domain, this is it. the location begs for a public use and not another stack of buildings, however nicely rendered. (r. stern has no conscience when it comes to development opportunities).
To chief: the case for eminent domain is well defined in the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. Preserve open space, make use of existing ...more
By waterman (4), new york on Jan 14, 16 11:02 AM
The property on Scuttle hole that is 16 acres and presently for sale on the eastern end would be a great park too. That is for sale. It is described as subdividable on the saunders realty sign. That is a beautiful space not far from other park land and should be preserved.
By AL (82), southampton on Jan 14, 16 12:42 PM
Are they seriously considering spending $40+ million for a waterfront park to block the construction of eleven condos? Eleven condos that would generate millions in property tax revenue *to* the town.

Here is how this plays out: town condemns the property, says it is worth under $10m. Developers sue, fight town in court for 18 months. Developers win. Developers get the real value of their property, *plus interest*, *plus attorneys fees*. Town also pays millions in attorneys and ...more
By ads02129 (14), Charlestown on Jan 14, 16 3:46 PM
The village to hire attorney Saul Fenchel. "Better call Saul!" lol :D
By Jaws (244), Amity Island on Jan 14, 16 7:23 PM
"Better have a bake sale"?

The Sag Harbor Board has" jumped the shark"

They discuss taking property away from developers and spending possibly $40m, but put up a stink about replacing old fire trucks. Wow.

That Fred, he's a slick one.
By Draggerman (941), Southampton on Jan 15, 16 6:02 AM
“...the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”
― Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays
Plymouth, Massachusetts has created a beautiful waterfront park enjoyed by the locals as well as visitors from around the world. Sag Harbor’s efforts, as stewards of the land, to mirror this undertaking ...more
By dmm (7), sag harbor on Jan 25, 16 1:45 PM
Stewards of the land as long as it's not your house. Clown
By chief1 (2784), southampton on Jan 25, 16 10:56 PM
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