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Sep 9, 2009 1:26 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village trustee wants to subdivide two of his properties

Sep 9, 2009 1:26 PM

Southampton Village Trustee Paul Robinson has plans to subdivide two properties that he owns in the village, and he is running into some resistance from the Southampton Association.

Mr. Robinson has applied to the Village Planning Board to subdivide a property at the southwest corner of Old Town and Herrick roads, which is a 0.70-acre lot, and a property at the northwest corner of Little Plains Road and Meeting House Lane, which is a 0.60-acre lot. Both lots are located in a residential zone, Mr. Robinson said, and, once subdivided, each of the four building lots would be a third of an acre in size, which is required in that zone.

But Southampton Association President Jay Diesing said that Mr. Robinson’s proposals are indicative of increasing density in the neighborhood surrounding Southampton Hospital.

“All of these smaller houses in the hospital neighborhood have had an impact. It’s more dense and there are more cars,” Mr. Diesing said. “It’s like we’ve skipped the suburban feeling we were heading for and went to urban development. It feels like we’re in the Bronx, in Bronxville.”

Mr. Robinson, who owns Southampton Village Real Estate with his wife, Joan, disagrees with Mr. Diesing and feels that his subdivisions would fit in with the area around the hospital. “This is very much in keeping with the neighborhood,” he said.

He explained that he and his wife are deciding to subdivide the lots because of the dour real estate market. A property with an already-approved subdivision permit is more appealing to a prospective buyer, Mr. Robinson said. “It’s more marketable to offer a choice,” he said.

There are existing houses on both properties, Mr. Robinson said, and, if the subdivision plans are approved, he expects to demolish the 1950s ranch-style home at the corner of Little Plains Road and Meeting House Lane.

Mr. Robinson said he started the subdivision application for the property at the corner of Little Plains Road and Meeting House Lane about five years ago but abandoned the effort because it did not make sense to go through with the process at the time. He has owned the land at that corner for six years and owned the property on the corner of Old Town and Herrick roads for the past three years.

Smaller houses now fit in with the green, eco-friendly movement, as their utilities cost less than bigger homes, he said. The neighborhood surrounding the hospital is also close to Main Street and Jobs and Jagger lanes, so residents can walk and bike into the downtown area instead of drive.

Mr. Diesing, however, wants the village to consider drafting legislation that puts a cap on the density in the village. He said that the Village Board should consider banning subdivisions of properties that are half an acre or smaller. “There’s very little restraint to keep development down,” he said.

Mr. Robinson expects the Planning Board, which next meets on October 5, to discuss his subdivision application within the next two months.

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Gee, I wonder if he'll get approval.
By yearrounder (208), Southampton on Sep 10, 09 8:56 PM