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Jay Jacobs pays $12,500 to settle East Hampton zoning case

Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs said he

Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs said he has paid a fine of $12,500 to reimburse East Hampton Town for its legal expenses in a zoning case. Credit: Chuck Fadely

Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs and an East Hampton Town official said they have agreed to a settlement that will dismiss all charges in a zoning case involving a residence for camp counselors.

Town Attorney Michael Sendlenski said the settlement was approved Friday by Judge W. Gerard Asher in state Supreme Court in Riverhead. The settlement gives the town “continued rights to inspect the property unannounced” over the next two years, Sendlenski said.

Jacobs said he has paid a fine of $12,500 to reimburse the town for its legal expenses in the civil case and will ensure the house at 17 Ocean Blvd. complies with town codes.

“I am happy to have my name cleared,” Jacobs, a managing partner at the camp, said in a phone interview Monday.

East Hampton cited 17 Ocean Blvd., owned by camp operator HCDC Holdings LLC, with 61 building code violations in August 2015. Officials said they found 26 camp counselors living at the single-family residence. The town said the house had four illegally converted bedrooms and three bathrooms that had been added without permits or health department approvals.

The number of violations at the 3,400-square-foot house gave “the wrong impression,” said Jacobs, who disputed the allegations.

Town officials first brought the case to the state Supreme Court to seek an injunction to close off a section of the house. Jacobs’ attorneys later filed to have the case dismissed, claiming the town’s zoning restrictions are unconstitutional. Judge Asher sided with town officials.

Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said Monday that he is “pleased” the state Supreme Court upheld the town’s zoning codes, especially because the town board has concerns that single-family residences could be used improperly.

“That’s what the essence of the issue is: protecting residential neighborhoods and not allowing for homes to be over-occupied and overcrowded,” Cantwell said Monday in a phone interview.

In a related case in the town’s Justice Court, charges against HCDC Holdings LLC will be dismissed if the house has no violations over the next six months, Jacobs and Sendlenski said. That case has been adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.

HCDC Holdings LLC must ensure the house is up to town codes in the next 60 days, according to the settlement.

HCDC employees and camp counselors Doris E. Rosen, 61, of Jericho, and David S. Skolnik, 33, of Plainview, are also parties to the settlement.

The camp could face fines of $20,000 if it violates the settlement.

This summer, the house will host only four people, the maximum number of non-family members permitted under town code, Jacobs said. Two of the bedrooms will be closed off until they are inspected and receive certificates of occupancy.

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