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East Hampton studied for development, preservation ideas

Amagansett's downtown district is one of the East

Amagansett's downtown district is one of the East Hampton business communities being eyed by consultants for development or preservation. Town officials say a report is to be presented in mid-March. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Consultants hired to map out plans for future development or preservation of the business areas of East Hampton’s hamlets are to make their first presentation to town board members in mid-March.

Town officials hired Massachusetts-based Dodson & Flinker Inc. in October at a cost of $285,000 to conduct the yearlong study.

Recommendations will be based on input from the town’s business committee and the Citizens Advisory Committees representing East Hampton, Springs, Wainscott, Amagansett and Montauk, as well as public input.

East Hampton Town planning director Marguerite Wolffsohn said in a telephone interview Wednesday that the firm started working on the study in January, but the March meeting will be the first official public presentation on the effort’s progress.

“They’ll be making a presentation at a town board work session to explain the project,” Wolffsohn said. “The first meeting will be for them to get more input on the issues that need to be addressed.” She said no date for the presentation had yet been set.

After the presentation, representatives of Dodson & Flinker are to meet with the individual communities being studied.

“The public is a part of this project,” Wolffsohn said, adding that it would be up to members of the communities to come up with a “consensus” on a strategy for their business areas.

Dodson & Flinker will take that local information and “come up with a plan,” Wolffsohn said.

Councilwoman Sylvia Overby has said input from the public is important because each hamlet has a distinct nature that needs to be taken into account as future local business plans are made.

Shopping habits, zoning, traffic, transportation, existing land use, open space and recreation, infrastructure and environmental issues are being taken into consideration as proposals are developed and draft outlines have been prepared for each hamlet.

According to an outline drawn up by the town’s business committee members, the study’s goal is “to determine what the town needs to do to allow business to thrive and meet the needs of our communities.”

The hamlet study is being undertaken as part of East Hampton Town’s comprehensive plan.

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