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Aug 4, 2010 11:38 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Ponds at Southampton Village gets support at CAC meeting

Aug 4, 2010 11:38 AM

Nearly two weeks after the developer proposing a 78-unit condominium complex straddling the Southampton Village line warned that further delays in the project’s review process would jeopardize his ability to secure financing to build it, he and his lawyer drummed up support for their plans at a meeting of the Tuckahoe, Shinnecock Hills and Southampton Citizens Advisory Committee on Tuesday, where the mood was largely favorable.

Of approximately 20 signatures on the meeting’s sign-in sheet, 12 attendees checked that they were in favor of the project—including Village Mayor Mark Epley, Mr. Benedict’s son-in-law. Three checked “no,” and the remainder didn’t check either option.

Much of the citizens’ commentary during the session focused on displeasure with the current state of the property where the development is proposed.

Mr. Benedict’s project, The Ponds at Southampton Village, would span more than 13 acres on a plot of land that is currently a light industrial property owned by James H. Rambo Inc., which is used as an excavation and composting operation. Neighbors of the site have complained of the malodorous, dirty “Rambo pit” for more than a decade.

The proposal calls for the construction of a pond, swimming pool, clubhouse, tennis court, walking path and enclosed sewage treatment plant.

Some advisory committee members and residents who attended Tuesday’s meeting urged others to express their support of The Ponds to the Southampton Town Planning Board, which has been charged with reviewing the proposal and deciding its fate. And Mr. Benedict and Mr. Gilmartin asked the locals to turn out at the August 26 public hearing the Planning Board is expected to hold on the question of whether further environmental study is needed. The board already has a draft environmental impact statement for the project.

“It’s far better for the environment than what exists out there,” Mr. Gilmartin told an eager audience.

Mr. Benedict and Mr. Gilmartin also told those at the meeting that The Ponds would slash traffic levels in the area by 50 percent, contribute to the school tax base and eliminate the noise and odors that currently surround the site. But the proposal has drawn heat from some neighbors and environmentalists, charging that it calls for more than doubling the density that nearby residential zoning would allow. Mr. Benedict has countered that the density chosen was based on past approvals of developments on similarly sized properties.

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I hate this false choice that is constantly being shoved down our throats "it is far better than what is there now" or "it is far batter than what COULD be there." These developers act like they are doing us a favor! HAH! Who is going to live in these condos?

I also don't like the ties between these developers and politicians. Why did Epley go to his father-in-law's presentation? Was he extra muscle?
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 6, 10 4:27 PM
Mr.Benedict is presenting the most sound use of the property. His plan takes a long standing commericial property which is clearly in a residential area and transforms it to residential.
Traffic is currently large loud trucks.
Environmental impact from sound and dust will be improved.
Mr.Benedict will ensure the project will comply with all regulations.
There remains no reason for a delay.
This project should be approved asap.
By Rayman (64), southampton on Aug 6, 10 6:56 PM
Says you.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 8, 10 6:24 PM
"The most sound use" of the property might be single family residential use, as zoned. The increase in density is not appropriate IMO.

Let the pre-existing commercial use die a natural death, or revive the Common Law doctrine of Nuisance, and close it down. Village Attorney, and ARB attorney, please take note.

Also, ditto to progressnow, the presence of the Mayor is disturbing IMO.

The Village Board already includes a real estate broker, and a spec. builder. Join the ranks ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 7, 10 1:48 PM
2 members liked this comment
Right on, PBR. The incestuous relationship between town and village boards and real estate is disgusting and, worse yet, they don't even try to pretend otherwise. They just do what they like.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 8, 10 12:34 PM
PS -- the article says that this property is "currently a light industrial property."

This is a bit misleading IMO. The current zoning is R-20 according to the Village's PDF of the zoning map, which is a bit hard to find on the Village's eCode site:


I Googled the Zoning Map and found a link to it at, of all places, Village Trustee Paul Robinson's real estate site (near the bottom of this page):


The ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 9, 10 12:41 PM
Seems to me what people fail to realize, more often than not, is that we live in a confined space. It's an island, and unless we are going to build on stilts, there's not much left to build on. It's almost completely been exploited.

I agree with PBR on the density issue, and the only way I see these condos being a "good thing", is if they are offered to local youth, at a REASONABLE price.

Just MO...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 10, 10 10:13 AM
Not only are they not being offered at affordable prices, but I have heard that at the meeting discussed in the article the developer attacked a couple that lives in the area that dared to ask a legitimate question. The developer basically said that he was doing this because his daughter "begged" him . He even said something along the lines of "I don't have to do this," as if he were some kind of hero for increasing density and making millions on a new development.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 10, 10 11:20 AM
Yep, I heard the exact same thing. We must find a cure for development fever.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Aug 10, 10 12:15 PM
Just noticed the headline:

"Ponds at Southampton Village gets support at CAC meeting"

Does not this imply that the CAC voted to support this project?

12 of 20 attendees checked that they were in favor of the project.


Is this accurate reporting?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 11, 10 6:43 PM
Glaringly obvious fact that is missing from this story -- this property is adjacent to the LIRR! Light industrial is a good use for such land... Or maybe a plant nursery.
By Adrian (8), Southampton on Aug 12, 10 3:13 PM