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Hamptons Life

Apr 15, 2016 2:55 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Matt Lauer's Landscaping Plan For Water Mill Horse Farm Is Approved

The proposed tree line at Bright Side Farm. PRESS FILE
Apr 17, 2016 5:28 PM

The Southampton Town Planning Board on Thursday approved “Today Show” co-host Matt Lauer’s landscape plan for his Water Mill horse farm, which involves planting vegetation to serve as buffer for a horse trail on the farm. Mr. Lauer, however, will still have to modify the plan.

Planning Board Chairman Dennis Finnerty said on the Friday that the board approved the plan “with modification,” meaning that Mr. Lauer will be permitted to plant 131 low-lying shrubs along the northern boundary of Bright Side Farm, which runs along Deerfield Road, but not 17 cedar trees included in the original proposal.

“Aspects of the plan were acceptable. We approved the overall plan with modification, contingent upon the removal of certain trees,” Mr. Finnerty said, adding, “He will get a good amount of vegetation. They didn’t get 100 percent of what they wanted.”

The plan was a scaled-down version of Mr. Lauer’s original proposal that was submitted last year. It called for planting 42 trees and 194 shrubs to serve as a buffer for a horse trail and protect the animals and riders from noise emanating from the backyard of Jack and Jodi Wasserman, Mr. Lauer had said.

The Wassermans had argued that the trees would obstruct their view of Bright Side’s open space, and that it would also violate the terms of an easement that went into effect when Southampton Town bought the development rights for the Lauer property, as well as a condition set by the Planning Board in 2012 that views of the horse farm should be maintained.

Mr. Lauer’s attorney, Timothy McCulley of Southampton-based Burke & Sullivan PLLC, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Wassermans’ attorney, Martin Finnegan of Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo LLP, based in Riverhead, wrote in an email Friday that his clients "look forward to reviewing the resolution to confirm that the approved plan is respectful of the applicable covenant."

"Although we have not yet seen the Planning Board's resolution, it is clear that the board recognized that the trees the Lauers proposed to plant along their riding trail would undoubtedly obscure the Wassermans' open view," Mr. Finnegan wrote.

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So what will protect the Lauer's riders from the Wassermans's noise?

Bet you they spook a horse and when it runs wild on their property they sue!
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Apr 16, 16 10:29 PM
Seems like a false pretense to get the plantings in. Most horse people know it is noise coming from an unseen source that can scare an ill-prepared horse, as they rely on their vision for self preservation.
By bambi (76), bridgehampton on Apr 17, 16 6:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
So the rich crybaby white guy still gets what he wants.
By Preliator Lives (431), Obamavillie on Apr 18, 16 8:04 AM
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