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257 Comments by Rickenbacker

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Tuckahoe Center Developer Appeals Dismissal Of Lawsuit Against Suffolk County Planning Commission

Ok, I'll try:

1. The conjecture that it will make traffic worse is not demonstrated in any of the traffic studies, including the consultants the developer contracted with, or the independent consultants that the town contracted with. They had slightly different outcomes in their respective initial reports, but they got together and synthesized them, and end result: the traffic will be significantly lessened by the new center according to those studies. The new traffic at the exact spot of the center is also mitigated by an extra diversion lane for ingress into the site, cross-access through the development, and changes to the light at Tuckahoe Rd. Just because opponents have a “seat-of-the-pants” reaction to what they “think" traffic will be like - that is not a study - and has no more weight than what supporters feel, as I do, that the center will not affect traffic and may likely contribute to making it a bit better. I’ll trust in the actual studies and planners on this since they did the actual work.

Those studies, which were done during the height of summer traffic, have been also been backed up by research done by Suffolk County Planning Commission staff (who recommended approval to the commission twice) as well as the head of the county's department of Public Works, who personally attended a commission meeting to voice his full support to the project based on his professional understanding of traffic and his concurrence that the traffic on CR39 would not be adversely impacted by the center.

2. This is subjective. It is one shopping center, not a bunch, and this application, by its nature, sets no future precedent for the town, as much as opponents say it will. A request for change of zone is considered only on its individual merits, and the town is under NO obligation to entertain another proposed development based on this one. It will, however, set a precedent in terms of good planning, environmental and design standards, something sorely needed along the CR39 corridor. This is no UTI strip center, and sits at least 100 ft back from CR39 with parking in the rear.

3. I would agree on distance except for history and the existing traffic conditions in/out of the village. 30 years ago there were 3 full-service grocery stores in Southampton Village alone (there were additional markets as well). Today there is only one (and a few additional specialty markets). Over that same time period, the population base outside of the village grew enormously, most recently focused in the Tuckahoe area. All of that residential building over time has brought more people into and around the village, and traffic along the main arteries and the side streets. Traveling into the village to do basic shopping if you live outside the village is troublesome a decent amount of the year. Traveling to Hampton Bays and/or Bridgehampton exacerbates the traffic problem with unnecessary round trips taken to avoid the village issues and options, something pointed out by both traffic consultants as something this center would go a long way to help reign in.

My diversification comment was a direct challenge to bigfresh who likes to consider him/herself an "us" and anyone who wants to see this development go forward as a "them", and has many times referred to anything UTI as something to be avoided or to seem rather less human than big fresh is. I don’t see everything through a lens of "us vs them". We have year round people, we have weekend people, we have seasonal visitors and day-trippers. They are all “us" in some way, as they contribute to the base of economy that makes our little part of the world work. Do you think we’d even have a local newspaper if it weren’t for the boatloads of money spent on real estate print ads which attract, in bigfresh’s world, more of “them”?

We need to address the community we live in today, not the one from 1970. We aren’t going back there, and while we shouldn’t be allowing any-old development, good ideas that meet real needs do come up now and again, and this is one of those good ideas. And it is the reason I’ve been as passionate about it from the beginning, regardless of the attachments opponents would like to make on me that attempt to undermine my clear opinion on it." Nov 27, 16 10:50 AM

A Private Meeting To Discuss A Proposed Tuckahoe Road Reroute Is Canceled As 'Premature'

Don't do it! We don't want to lose this vista just because the golf course wants it. Maidstone, National, Southampton, and others have roads going through their courses as well. There are many ways to address the traffic, speed, and access for pedestrians that don't involve taking the road away from the public. Please, just drop this idea, the views across that hilltop roadway are too precious to lose to some private needs of a golf club, who while claiming safety issues (but offering no alternatives), clearly just wants an exclusive entrance to the club. " Nov 30, 16 11:36 AM

Southampton Town Expects To Hold At Least One More Public Hearing In January On Proposed Tuckahoe Center Change Of Zone Before Voting

This application is not a PDD. It's a change of zone request, in an area that the town previously anticipated a change of zone request like this. It's not insanity, it is smart development after decades of residential building and growth to meet a demonstrated infrastructure need. The commission, I think, finally got it, and voted 9-4. That's a pretty commanding statement there in the numbers. " Dec 9, 16 9:51 AM

Bridgehampton Residents To Vote On School Expansion Proposal

This is, by far, one of the most irresponsible things this district could do. I agree that the facility needs upgrading, no argument there, however, the real focus should be on consolidation with another district, like Sag Harbor. While you are at it, roll in Sagaponack. The $25 million you want to spend, assuming 211 kids per year over 20 years, is still nearly $6,000 per student, per year. For 200 kids? Are you kidding? Sag Harbor has 1,000 kids, Southampton almost 2, and you want to spend $25 million to support 200? Get real here. The days of these tiny, antiquated districts should be over. The Bridgehampton school tax rate is artificially low because of the number of students it serves, money that could be put to better use across Southampton or Sag Harbor. My suggestion is that a feasibility study be conducted to see about merging Sag and Bridgehampton. With Sag Harbor trying to buy Stella Maris because they are bursting at the seams, and BH trying for a huge outlay for an expansion, the smart money would be on finding a way to do this together. I hope this nonsensical pitch to the community gets defeated soundly.
" Dec 9, 16 5:36 PM

Southampton Town Expects To Hold At Least One More Public Hearing In January On Proposed Tuckahoe Center Change Of Zone Before Voting

Hate to disagree with you but the PDD was a completely different situation, which included residential apartments and housing and incorporated the residential acreage. The village and the CAC screamed bloody murder over the concept of "Tuckahoe Main Street" at that time. The current application, whose most recent change was not insignificant turkey Bridge, as the town concurred, is a change of zone for the existing commercial space from HB to SCB. The residential portion is left as is (the abandoned IGHL property), except for a sliver of roadway along it to meet cross-access standards from Magee St.

If there was any concern on the first commission vote, you only have to look at Barbara Roberts and her behind the scene dealings. Note that when the vote, this time, went against her, she quickly resigned her position and stormed out of the meeting. Her plan just didn't work this time, she couldn't bull rush the commissioners with pseudo-facts because it became obvious to more commissioners, that the actual facts lined up for their approval. Facts, by the way, that were reviewed by the commissions own staff, 3 times over, with the same recommendation for approval.

Your contention of a "traffic nightmare" is the same old "marsha, marsha, marsha" line opponents keep saying, in face of the fact that all of the studies, by the developer, by the town, by other supervisory entities like the county, have come to the same conclusion: approve this project, it is needed, and will not negatively impact the traffic situation in the Tuckahoe area.
" Dec 12, 16 12:16 PM

UPDATE: Bridgehampton Voters Approve $24.7 Million School Expansion Plan

This is, by far, one of the most irresponsible things this district could do. I agree that the facility needs upgrading, no argument there, however, the real focus should be on consolidation with another district, like Sag Harbor. While you are at it, roll in Sagaponack. The $25 million you want to spend, assuming 211 kids per year over 20 years, is still nearly $6,000 per student, per year. For 200 kids? Are you kidding? Sag Harbor has 1,000 kids, Southampton almost 2, and you want to spend $25 million to support 200? Get real here. The days of these tiny, antiquated districts should be over. The Bridgehampton school tax rate is artificially low because of the number of students it serves, money that could be put to better use across Southampton or Sag Harbor. My suggestion is that a feasibility study be conducted to see about merging Sag and Bridgehampton. With Sag Harbor trying to buy Stella Maris because they are bursting at the seams, and BH trying for a huge outlay for an expansion, the smart money would be on finding a way to do this together. I hope this nonsensical pitch to the community gets defeated soundly. " Dec 13, 16 10:32 AM

Southampton Town Expects To Hold At Least One More Public Hearing In January On Proposed Tuckahoe Center Change Of Zone Before Voting

Except that your opinion, or the alleged "many, many" are not necessarily, or even likely, fact. I don't see any of the opponents putting forth an actual traffic study that would contradict the two traffic studies that were done by experts.

I have a seat-of-the-pants opinion on the positive effects the center will have on traffic. I disagree with your opinion on traffic as unscientific and simply an effort to cast any sort of development on CR39 in a negative light, but at the end of the day, I'll go with the data presented by the two studies, the county planning staff, the town planners, etc. That's what the elected officials need to look at as well, not your sore feelings about traffic.

Let's look a little closer to where you live. People were opposed to the HB KK for traffic reasons, too, none of which materialized after it was built. In fact, the traffic situation along Montauk Hwy improved.

We have a difference of opinion regarding Ms. Roberts. I'll stand by my statement.
" Dec 13, 16 10:53 AM

UPDATE: Bridgehampton Voters Approve $24.7 Million School Expansion Plan

Just a point a reference to this utter stupidity. The Southampton-Tuckahoe merger was shot down a few years back over a tiny tax increase that amounted to only $300, after 10 years! That's not $300 per year for a $1 million valuation, that was climbing from like $20 a year to $300 extra a decade out. It should have gone through since it affected 2,000 students and the extra cost and synergies were demonstrably good for the students and the districts.

This debacle is asking taxpayers to foot $241 per year for a $1 million valuation, for each and every of the 20 years! And this early winter vote, with no critical coverage by this newspaper, by the way (and which totally got all over the merger, but was a light touch here), slides through. Unbelievable!

Stupid is as stupid does. " Dec 14, 16 8:43 AM

Southampton Town Expects To Hold At Least One More Public Hearing In January On Proposed Tuckahoe Center Change Of Zone Before Voting

So, at least we can agree a new and better grocery store is needed. Let's look at your other observations. Plenty of other locations - actually not true. In fact, it takes a minimum of 5 acres to get a supermarket with a few supporting stores. There were only 3 or 4 of these locations anywhere near the market area, and they all have more significant issues than this one. One location, the driving range, is being preserved. The Elks property is not for sale. Another property was on David White's Lane, but not suitable for cross-access and other issues (also not for sale).

As for the Glennon property, there was already a market proposed for that site, and it was rejected by the village. I'm also not aware of any "mall" application at Flying Point, could you please clarify?

All of the traffic studies for this project point to a significant reduction of trips generated by grocery shoppers to and fro from other places like HB and BH and the village, meaning less people on CR39 overall. At the exact site of the development, there are traffic-mitigating factors, such as an additional diversion lane and cross access via Magee St. So, congestion, according to experts in traffic planning, which includes two separate consultants, town planners, and county planners, would all disagree with your speculation about traffic. They all state that the center will not adversely impact the CR39 or side street traffic.

This isn't Nassau Cty by any stretch. It's an answer to all the residential building, some 4,000 new residential homes and units built over the last 30 years without one additional grocery store to support the influx. This is a long time coming, and it is well past time it get's approved and built. " Dec 14, 16 3:37 PM

What does that tirade even mean? The last time the commission voted was a year ago, not a month ago. The lawsuit related to Barbara Roberts sitting on the board of an online grocer, creating a potential conflict of interest. The whole project has residents in consideration. Real people, real residents, real supporters. I hope the town sees the wisdom of this addition to the community, and passes it unanimously. " Dec 15, 16 10:19 AM

OK, I'm going to call you out on this "UTI" crapola. You think this is a UTI project, by UTI people, and I find that really a fiction of your own making. The owners of the properties are all local residents, some of which brought up families in the Southampton school district. Several have local businesses, and the most senior one has been instrumental in a number of historic renovations for the community, well before this application was even on the table. There are also local contractors and landscape people tied to the project. There will be local jobs created for a resource that local people will use.

Maybe you need to pitch a tent on Robins Island or something... to get away from the existing people around you... oh wait, that island is owned by a UTI person. Ok, then how about on the end of Jessup's Neck where you won't be bothered by anything other than the local chickadees. Oh shoot, they aren't indigenous either. " Dec 15, 16 6:04 PM

Yes, but check out your own post above of "UTI land speculators", and the many "UTI"-inspired posts in past articles on this subject. You're just spreading fiction. And yes, Morrow is s Bridgehampton resident. " Dec 17, 16 10:40 AM

Green Top Farm In Southampton Perfect 'Fore' Golf Lovers

Maybe the article should note that the property recently sold in mid-2015 for $3,850,000. What's changed since then? Nothing. " Dec 19, 16 2:12 PM

Southampton Town Expects To Hold At Least One More Public Hearing In January On Proposed Tuckahoe Center Change Of Zone Before Voting

I think you are really stretching here simply to make a negative point. The left turn there is probably the most problematic of the issues, but the county director of public works believes it is an issue that can be mitigated. The cross access functionality serves much more than just the left turn into Magee. You "imagining" is just that, and it's not backed up by any reliable data. " Dec 22, 16 11:09 AM

You make an assumption that the traffic studies, and the various planners, have not taken the situation on Magee into consideration, but that's not accurate. Based on the findings, which were done in the heaviest traffic situations, during the height of summer traffic, they all came out ok on traffic, and the head of the county actually stated as much at the SCPC meeting last year. The grocer issue is a canard, since the Town has already told the developer that one of the conditions for approval will be that the center will be anchored by a grocery store, to which the developer agreed. So, it doesn't matter which grocer signs a lease at this point, as long as we are all on the same page that the major store there will be a supermarket." Dec 24, 16 2:34 PM

And you base this on what facts, exactly? Speaking of canard, your post is just quackery. " Dec 26, 16 9:42 AM

Westbound County Road 39 Traffic In Tuckahoe Redirected After Accident Tuesday Morning

That is such a dopey comment with no relevance. Not a "mall", either, but you knew that." Jan 3, 17 12:35 PM

School Leaders Look To Change Future Of Tax Levy Cap

I empathize just a little with the school administrators, as they have a tough job not being able to plan out budgets and decide whether the cap will help them meet cost increases which are somewhat out of their control (like health insurance) or whether they will have to cut programs or staff. It's a tough position to be in. However, the real issue, is that our tiny, itsy-bitsy, antiquated school district structures need to change, and this argument about tax caps misses the bigger issue. There is a cost of doing business, even for a school district, and the basic costs are continually rising and will eventually swamp almost all the districts out here, since none of them is of an efficient size to be able meet all their needs for the long term (an efficiently sized district in Suffolk is roughly 6,000 students, which is about the total amount of students on the South Fork among all the local districts). The most in trouble are the ones we continually hear about, Tuckahoe, Springs, East Quogue, which also have high school taxes relative to the other Richy Rich districts (tax-wise) like Sagaponack, Wainscott, and Bridgehampton.

This children of the area suffer because of this, and little tax havens exist within the district structure, propping up inefficient districts (from the point of view of service to students) and forcing healthier districts to retard programs that would be standard in large districts in the county.

All this needs to change, and that was much to the point of what the 2 percent cap was about in the first place. But we resist, and administrators are left to stress it out. Dumb." Jan 11, 17 1:15 PM

Tuckahoe Center Public Hearing In Front Of Town Board Set For Tuesday

Let's get this approved already. It has been demonstrated over and over, via independent traffic studies, market analysis by Town-hired consultants, the Suffolk County Planning Commission, the head of the county's Public Works dept, Town planners, and many, many working family residents who have spoke in support or who have written to the Town that this grocery-focused center is a good move for the community. Rather than let another car dealership or chain restaurant be built there, let's get something for the folks who live outside the village and that will serve the best need. " Jan 18, 17 12:10 PM

That's just nonsense. By that logic, you would be against the hospital moving to the college, since it isn't zoned for a hospital. This is a great project for the community, one that is a long time coming. It's about time the politics are taken out of the equation, and the board sees that for the future of the Town, good projects like this get done. " Jan 19, 17 4:48 PM

You observations are silly, to say the least. As you well know, the village has exactly one full service supermarket (there were 4 as late as the 1980's). In that same timespan, the population growth outside the village has grown significantly (in fact, just use the "village" fire department members, the vast majority of which used to live inside the village but today mostly live outside it). Many, many working families that grew up out here or moved out here live outside of the village boundary, a fact that has been growing on an increasing basis for 40 years. In that time, not one single grocery store has been built to serve that market area. Yes, there are supermarkets west of the canal, and there is the KK in Bridgehampton at the eastern end, but for the people who need to traverse daily into the village and squeeze into that poor excuse for a supermarket in the village it is just adding to traffic.

I cannot justify what you are anticipating, but I don't need to, since big box stores, like HD, Lowes, WMT are not allowed by law to be here. This development sets no precedent either, apart from what opponents want to make you believe.

And the most beautiful drive in the world? You gotta get outta the house, more, dude. " Jan 20, 17 9:10 AM

Turkey Bridge, you are way out on a limb here. The need actually has been demonstrated in the market report in the FEIS. On top of that, the Town hired the Cashin firm to look over the FEIS and give their independent opinion, which also came down on the quantified and demonstrable need for a supermarket in this market area. Both reports are publicly available. You may not think it, but the analysts, and many local residents in the market area disagree with you.

To your issue with the project’s location, let’s actually look at the zoning. Zoning says that a SCB zone needs to have a minimum of 5 acres. In the commercial district inside the market area, there are only four potential buildable sites, the applicant’s site, the driving range, the Elks property, and land where PSEG has a generator at the CR39/David Whites Ln. The driving range has since been preserved, the Elks property is not for sale, nor is the PSEG site. The current site is pretty much the only site in the market area that could support a zone change request from HB to SCB. I’ll also note again that the 1972 Town Master Plan, while not selecting a specific site, anticipated a SCB zone which would necessarily need to be carved from the blanket HB zone along CR39. Your contention that another site be found is a canard, since if you knew the above, you would also know your solution is unattainable. What does that say for the long term future growth of the communities that lie outside the village?

Your seat-of-the-pants perception of what traffic is going to be like is unsubstantiated by any facts. Rather than engage in the study, help fund another study, you keep harping on how you “feel” traffic will be, and that isn’t good enough.

My points about car dealerships are these: Opponents complain about the traffic, yet they don’t get the irony of the “gateway” to Southampton being chock full of new car lots that simply relate directly to the traffic we despise. But the better point is that a new supermarket serves ALL the people, and the Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Lexus, and now a new Audi glass palace serves the precious few that can afford those cars. They do not serve many local residents in the same meaningful way as a grocery store. You can’t argue that point.

It’s also about the planning of the future for the Town of Southampton, not the planning of the past, when everything had to get concentrated in the village. That’s not the future - we live in a wider, more diverse community, and some basic infrastructure needs to address that need, demonstrated both by seat-of-the-pants opinion AND hard facts.
" Jan 20, 17 10:20 PM

Ok, then, by your even longer response Turkey Bridge, does that mean YOU have a financial interest or are looking for a job? Really, the hypocrisy in your comment is laid bare.

Yes, I'd love to comment on your observations, unbelievable as they are. So, let's start with your concept of putting a supermarket where the future "old" hospital is, right on Meeting House Lane. Are you aware that land value there approaches $4 million an acre? That land would also need a serious zone change as well, and the local homeowners that surround it are likely not going to even entertain a commercial zone change in what is ostensibly a residential sector (and part of the historic district). I don't think you could get even one village trustee to agree with you. The college might be a more reasonable thing to speculate about, but that would need a serious zone change as well and it also is not commercial property. You would definitely need a PDD. Considering the land is now owned by the SUNY, I think your idea here is also DOA.

The Tuckahoe Center is already on commercial property, it is just consolidating 4 HB properties into one SCB property (which the Town Master Plan anticipated, please read it), while at the same time eliminating multiple curb cuts on CR 39 and clustering the structures together so that the rest is mostly landscaped greenery. Parking is in the back so you won't even see it from the road. Name just one commercial development that does this along CR 39. You can't. You keep equating this shopping center with some sort of existential threat to the Town of Southampton, but it is a false narrative just designed to foment fear and loathing for any development, except, in your case, for luxury car dealerships. My point about them is very, very relevant, since they do only serve a small demographic of actual year round people who live and work here. The supermarket, by contrast will serve everyone in any socio-economic strata, from blue collar to oceanfront masters of the universe.

I do take exception, however, to you trying to pigeonhole me on focusing on this one topic. Like you, I have strong opinions on many issues affecting the future of town, and you can read my comments on some of those. While I'm much more selective than you on my topic choices, I also don't come from a retrograde perspective trying to preserve a past that really no longer exists. I'm not as pro-development as you might think, either, but I do believe that when good ideas do come around, they ought to be vetted and pursued if they pass muster. The Tuckahoe Center is one of those good ideas and it is smart planning that addresses a very real need for those who live in the market area it is designed to serve. It's great that your new store in WHB works for you. Let the Tuckahoe Center work for us and stop preaching the past to people who see a better future than you do." Jan 21, 17 5:32 PM

Turkey Bridge, the Tuckahoe Center project didn't just come to my attention yesterday. I've been following this, as you likely know, since 2010, and even before that, when King Kullen began purchasing property years before for the possibility of what is now proposed. In all that time, I have, as have many others, studied what legitimate alternatives were out there to build a supermarket outside of the village center. The village is no longer where the majority living in the market area year round live, that's just a plain fact. Same is true with, say, for example, the Southampton Village Fire Dept, where 40 years ago the vast majority of volunteers lived inside the village, but today, the vast majority live outside of it. House prices, land value, rising rents all contributed to the average person needing to find housing outside of the village. Having lived here since 1980, I have seen the impacts of all the residential building, and the associated traffic that comes along with it, from those who live there to those who need to maintain those developed properties. You can't keep having the village be the center of all commerce anymore, we've grown past that. The types of business that the Tuckahoe Center has is also not taking business away from Main Street, and the sites that were all discussed as possible HB zones that could be converted to SCB have long since been vetted. The end result, is that this site is the best of the bunch. Your previously mentioned alternatives are not alternatives, since an SCB zone only exists where HB zones exist. What you were suggesting as possible sites would need at the least, a PDD, and probably also an act of god, and that's a much higher hurdle, and as you know, much less likely to succeed.

I am just as cognizant of what bad development can do to ruin a town, whether that is UTI, or on the East End. This is not bad development, this is good, organized, efficient, and well-planned development. It also sets no precedent for future applications of any sort.

What I get from you is that you would rather see CR39 continue to be developed with more car dealerships (I know you are not specifically saying that, but you are hinting you would be ok with that, as-of-right), whose front parking lots are chock full of new shiny cars, facing the not so shiny cars traveling along the roadway (oh, the irony). All of those dealerships, combined, (how many now?), 10 or so, all have test drives, all have employees, all have tirekickers going to showrooms, all have big trucks making deliveries of cars and parts, cars being brought in and out for service, etc, etc. What is the combined impact of all of that?

Instead, we have a development like the Tuckahoe Center, which is providing off street ingress and egress, cross-access via Magee, one supermarket to serve the entire community, and additional retail space that is smaller than the Cafe Crust building on CR39. It is also developing significantly LESS structure that what would be allowable as of right if they were four HB parcels (with four curb cuts). Do I need to say it again, this is commercial property, not hospital, university or residential property? The Tuckahoe Center won't manufacture new grocery shoppers, either, it is simply diverting existing grocery shoppers from having to stay on CR 39 to get to Bridgehampton, Hampton Bays, or try to squeeze into the village, which continues, even in January, to have parking issues. So, the issue of side street congestion is just crazy, since those same shoppers go in the opposite direction to get to the village, or head east or west to get to other more distant supermarkets.

Look, I do get your point about the concept that HB businesses are supposed to be low-trip-generating. I get that a shopping center conceivably would have more than visitors than a typical single HB business. But this development has much more to recommend it, in addition to the traffic reduction it will bring to the overall CR39 situation. This is what the 1972 Master Plan saw, that even though the default zoning was HB, there would come a time when a SCB within that CR39 corridor, would be appropriate.

It is, let's pass this and move on. And yes, maybe you have no life, but we all do, and we want a new supermarket." Jan 23, 17 1:49 PM

You continue to make assertions that are not based on any quantifiable facts. I think you assume the roadway will not be improved in that area, but it will be, significantly so. Shopping at grocery stores is not black Friday everyday, so your portends of doom are just not rational. Car will come, cars will go, as they do at grocery stores. People moved here thinking that their local municipality would scale infrastructure to the needs of the community, and I would expect that they are increasingly alarmed that that hasn't been happening. " Jan 24, 17 10:56 AM

Schneiderman Skeptical On Approval Of Tuckahoe Center Proposal

So, after 5 previous public hearings where turnout was 2 to 1 for the project, this one public hearing the Press trumpets as being 2 to 1 against (but fails to mention the other 5). So, what are we to make of this. Yes, there were more opponents who spoke, who showed up an hour earlier to stuff the speaking cards you need to fill out. By the time supporters gained in mass (the actual tally was more like 35 against, 25 for, not 2x1), many of the supporters, but 9:30pm had to leave and did not speak. I'm not calling that out as foul, but it is what it is, and the board should take into consideration the turnout of other hearings if they actually base their vote on that.

However, there was more involved, as we know, gross distortions and exaggerations of size and scope peddled by Bob De Luca and Barbara Roberts, the "Mall" label so lovingly applied and spun by Susan Van Olst, and lest not forget the complete "alternative facts" put out by the Southampton Association, whose village-centric, isolationist bent has derailed other good ideas, like the Southampton/Tuckahoe school merger.

Stupid is as stupid does. Hope that the board is smarter than the politics, and looks at this project for the facts and the many people it will serve." Jan 26, 17 1:39 PM

Please keep you facts straight though. All of the investors in this project are local residents, even the main developer, who is Bridgehampton resident. The others are local Southampton families. This is NOT some outside entity coming in to do this project. " Jan 26, 17 3:19 PM

Careful, now. The head of the East Quogue CAC spoke, Andrea Spilka, who works with civics WEST of the canal spoke, Barbara Roberts is from North Haven Village, a letter from Save Sag Harbor, a representative from the Bridgehampton CAC, and who knows where De Luca is from, hired flak that he is, all opponents who spoke who don't live anywhere near the project. So, do be careful about who spoke for whom, as many people who did speak in support actually live in the market area of the center. " Jan 27, 17 9:02 AM

You know, I've said it before and I guess you need to hear it again. I am not compensated or have some financial interest in the outcome. So, you are WRONG.

Bob DeLuca circulated an email calling the development a 320,000 sq ft mall. That, my friend, is A LIE.

I am happy to take on De Luca ANY TIME, ANY WHERE related to the Tuckahoe Center. He is a hired gun, always has been, and while I may agree with him on some issues, his fast and loose use of false facts about the Tuckahoe Center is nothing but pure spin to push fear and grossly distort the true size or impact of the project.

Don't presume to lecture me or create a false equivalency. There is none. " Jan 27, 17 12:46 PM

Thiele: Governor's Proposed State Aid Package Could Shortchange Three East End Schools

Don't forget Bridgehampton voting themselves a $25 million bond for expansion. " Jan 27, 17 12:58 PM

$35,000 per student? Some districts are in this range, Southampton, Tuckahoe, Springs, East Hampton, Sag Harbor. Others are not: Sagaponack (over $40k), Montauk (over $58k), Bridgehampton (over $60k), Amagansett (over $75k), and last but not at all least, Wainscott (over $100k). How could this be? Because all these tiny districts shouldn't exist, and the money could be better used for smaller more efficient districts. Why do they stay this way? Because there are little tax havens within the towns, where your property taxes are tiny (Bridgehampton), or huge (Tuckahoe), depending on what corner of the towns you live in. Dirty little secret, this. " Jan 27, 17 1:17 PM

Schneiderman Skeptical On Approval Of Tuckahoe Center Proposal

Hello. CR39 only goes from the east of the canal (the north hwy) to the intersection at Flying Point Rd. So, frankly, no one west really has a "stakehold" in it. In no way would it minimize village business. Might it take some business away from the village S&S, sure. But since the village is primarily clothing, jewelry, local restaurants and home goods, this supermarket isn't going to hurt the village at all. That's just more spin. " Jan 27, 17 2:27 PM

Ok, like you then, I guess I have no life for posting passionately in this comments section. We may be very alike in this regard. I have mentioned that in posts before that my prime reason for being all over this was to call BS on the exaggerations, distortions, and downright lies posted by opponents on this project, exposing, to use your word, the "myopic", NIMBY-esque, and backwards-looking mndsets regarding what is needed for our communities to evolve in this town.

You have represented your position better than most but it has been clear to me that the practical reality of the Town you claim to want to protect is fast moving beyond you. However, even as I write that, I am also cognizant of that old-guard way of thinking, one that still that has potent political power in this town which many times warps reality in order to kill good ideas in a way that we always feel we are going be maching in place to some old drumbeat of how things were in 1980.

There is growing anger amongst opponents on this particular project that bears this out, an appalled self righteous indignation whose foundation in its position is not the merited debate of relative pros and cons of the issue, but the slinging of any anti-fact that can be thrown against the wall to offset actual facts that might support (or not support) the effort. Because in this case, for opponents, facts, studies, planning, don't matter, only the relentles, and in my opinion, mindless insistence that we keep things as they are even when it means we ignore the realities of ongoing change in the town.

You just did it when you responded to my post. June Bug tried to claim CR 39 went west all the way to the west end of town. The fact is that CR39 starts at the east side of the canal and ends by the Princess diner. June Bug was attempting to use an anti-fact about the road to defend western civics from hsving a "stakehold". I pointed out the "fact" that CR39 doent go west beyond the canal and then YOU tried to make an issue of that because it is a "county" road. That is beside the point.

I expect you won't get this - you are too locked into your bubble, but I will continue to post on the project to defend the facts as facts and to call BS on attempts to undermine them with lies passing off as facts. I dont subscribe to this aging political viewpoint that the Village needs to be the center of everything and that traffic is the only thing you can use as a club to beat down otherwise good planning ideas. The Tuckahoe Center is still the best idea Ive seen for CR39, and I willl feel this way regardless of the outcome at the town board.
" Jan 28, 17 1:34 PM

Mr. Lynch/Turkey Bridge, Funny, then, isn’t it, that when "walloping great glob(s) of condescension" are heaped on by opponents when supporters point out actual facts, the primary retorts that you and they rely on are to 1, discredit the poster, 2, assume the poster is on the take, 3., twist the poster’s facts in a way that it seems not to be a fact. You just did these things in your last posts to me. Notice that I haven’t done that to you. All of those tactics, however, don’t work, and are seen by people who take this application seriously, as a desperate attempt to change the narrative in a way that tries to amp up fear and loathing while at the same time avoiding the reality of the situation.

And this Turkey Bridge, is where you do go off the rails. Your opponent associates, let’s say Nancy McGann and the mayor, The Southampton Association, the Group for the East End, Susan Van Olst, and the resident
Lunatic (you know who you are), have all come out in recent weeks with paid advertising or blast emails stating that Tuckahoe Center will cause the “degradation of Village business center, more empty mom & pop stores”, called it “precedent-setting”, an “enormous shopping center”, a “320,000 square ft commercial development”. Every single point there put out by these groups is a gross distortion or just a LIE. Your last post indicates that these false ideas are not important to opponents, that "TC's demographic isn't the one to which these other businesses cater”. You are absolutely correct, the reality is that the village will not be hurt at all by this development, which I and others have been saying for years now. The so-called damage to the Village is both paranoid and unfounded. I’ve discounted this argument from the beginning.

In your own posts above, you use the words “destroy”, “destruction”, “disaster” frequently, and that is part of of the sword of damocles line of reasoning that opponents like to trot out in face of actual scientific studies and planning votes that say otherwise. But let me address your particular point. I do understand what you are contending, that this relatively small neighborhood shopping center will be like a gateway drug to larger and more massive 100,000+ shopping centers like you’ve seen in HB and or in BH, and that if we do this it will probably eventually lend itself to 500,000+ sq ft shopping centers, the expansion of Montauk Hwy, and, frankly, the ruin of all East End civilization. I empathize with this point of view because I wouldn’t want to see that either. But that’s far too much to put on a modest shopping center which seeks to clean up a blighted part of the entrance to Southampton with something that can be utilized by the whole community in the area it serves. A development that meets every need of 21st century planning in the Town and County. A development that every study and report has concluded is very much in demand. First time and second homeowners, working families, and the underprivileged in the area will be served by the Tuckahoe Center. None of what you anticipate is likely to happen. Why? There is no precedent-setting, a shopping center here does not make other ones more likely, in fact it makes them less likely. In addition, CR39 cannot support more than one shopping center like this, and there is no compelling reason that any other developer could even convince a future town board to consider one. The road itself can never look like Rt58 because there is not enough land on either side of the roadway to build something like that. In fact CR39 is already built-out in most places. So, that line of reasoning is just morbid fantasy.

The biggest problem I have with your overall argument, though, is that it seems ok with you that under current zoning we can keep on building houses, absolutely build-out the market area but at the same time claim there is no concomitant need…EVER... to support the actual existence of it with the simple addition of a grocery store center. It’s ok for more an unlimited amount of luxury car dealerships ad nauseum, but not ok for this modest infrastructure improvement. It doesn’t make any sense. 20 years from now, there will not be LESS people here, and I suspect, 50 years from now, our natural beauty will still be our biggest attraction.

Let’s end this thing on CR39. It is a fact that CR39 is a roadway that starts at the canal from the west, and ends at Flying Point Rd on the east. That’s all I am saying. June Bug tried to say it was a longer road than that in order to encompass other “stakeholders”. I have no issue with people west or east of the market area having an opinion, but to say they are stakeholders in the market area stretches the truth. The people who live in the market area are the most served and the most affected, and they have come out in overwhelming support over 5 of the 6 public hearings, have written hundreds of letters (as have opponents). The aging cranky naysayers (and that’s essentially my observation after 6 public hearings, and from reading the Lunatic’s many letters to the editor), just don’t match up to the many, many locals that believe this center will be good for their community.
" Jan 28, 17 5:46 PM

Hey George, look at david h's post, see what I mean about the gateway drug phenomenon? Not based in any reality, just a bad trip down a rabbit hole of unlikely scenarios." Jan 28, 17 5:48 PM

That's not true either." Jan 28, 17 7:48 PM

Three East End Schools Listed This Week By State Comptroller As Being In 'Fiscal Stress'

Excuse me for re-quoting my own comment from another school story, which was quickly shuttled off this site's homepage:

$35,000 per student? Some districts are in this range, Southampton, Tuckahoe, Springs, East Hampton, Sag Harbor. Others are not: Sagaponack (over $40k), Montauk (over $58k), Bridgehampton (over $60k), Amagansett (over $75k), and last but not at all least, Wainscott (over $100k). How could this be? Because all these tiny districts shouldn't exist, and the money could be better used for smaller more efficient districts. Why do they stay this way? Because there are little tax havens within the towns, where your property taxes are tiny (Bridgehampton), or huge (Tuckahoe), depending on what corner of the towns you live in.

The failed Southampton/Tuckahoe merger anticipated that Southampton would eventually run into financial trouble in its own. Here is the tip of the iceberg. Thank you Southampton Association!

Dirty little secret, this. " Jan 28, 17 8:01 PM

The real problem is we have too many school districts for the students that attend them. There are 10 east of the canal alone. Some of those, like Sagaponack and Wainscott, while quaint, end up sucking money that could be used to help make bigger districts more efficient. It is a terrible, balkanized system, with feeder districts that have outlived their time. It doesn't help students in districts forced to make educational program cuts in order to meet the tax cap.

Less districts also means less superintendants, less business managers, less directors of special ed, which are not luxuries dreamed up by the districts but state and federally mandates.

Fred Thiele made a big issue out of creating a centralized district 2 years ago, when Tuckahoe and East Quogue especially were looking for solutions. Nothing has happened on that issue as far as I know. " Jan 29, 17 1:03 PM

Schneiderman Skeptical On Approval Of Tuckahoe Center Proposal

Agree wholeheartedly!" Jan 29, 17 1:05 PM

Residents Want Hampton Bays Business District To Have 'Small-Town Charm,' Survey Finds

HB Proud, I don't understand your contention. All communities, except 55+ and over specialized communities have children. Maybe you once raised children somewhere, maybe even in HB? When you have or did, or whether you were never in a position to, you cannot rant against school children, since this is what makes the community a community. It's not about the taxes. You can argue about tax rates, and then I'd suggest you are in a larger discussion about the fact that there are way too many small districts forcing local homeowners to foot bigger and bigger school tax bills when the answer is larger and more efficient schools that bring the tax burden down or at the very least spread it out more evenly.

You are correct that HB taxes are high, but so are Tuckahoe's, and others. Look to Bridgehampton, where under 2000 are enrolled, or Sagaponack and Wainscott, where less than 20 students are enrolled, and look at their tax rates.

HB gets penalized because it does not have the estate sections of some of the other locales, and as such, is under far more strain the districts there. However, Southampton, is now under a fiscal stress watch list, and that is now directly attributable to what was predicted when the Southampton/Tuckahoe merger failed. And why did it fail? Because of an organized group called the Southampton Association, whose only mission it seems is to be a tax hawk, and say the very same thing you are stating.

Let's think larger and about the children in our communities, and less about your pocketbook. The only way to make these districts more efficient is to merge them. Let's start that discussion asap. " Jan 29, 17 1:18 PM

BH has less than 200 students, sorry, typo. " Jan 29, 17 1:19 PM

I don't disagree with you at all. But it's not the kids, it's the dysfunctional school district taxing system. While you are paying $13.00+ per $1,000 valuation, Sagaponack district taxpayers, the wealthiest village on the South fork, and maybe the country, pay a tiny fraction of that. I agree that HB is in a tough spot, and it isn't fair, but it isn't the kids or the school's fault. It is however, a larger Town-wide problem, and while some politicians as you say, throw you a bone, nothing seems to get done about it.

Maybe we can focus the attention on the district taxing system, the essentially gerrymandering of tax havens that allow wealthy communities to pay far less (in Sagaponack's case, for 15 students in a one-room school house), while working family communities, like HB, get stuck in a squeeze. " Jan 29, 17 7:10 PM

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