Southampton Town has created a special taxing district in North Sea to finance a solution for a severely eroded beach on Little Peconic Bay.

The new North Sea Beach Colony Beach Erosion Control District is made up of 62 homes. Of those, 12 properties are on the water. Those property owners, who also make up the North Sea Beach Colony homeowners association, spearheaded the initiative to create a district.

“It was sad in the last decade to see the beach slowly disappearing. That’s why we started this process” to pay for replenishment through taxes, said North Sea Beach Colony president Guido Schattanek, a retired environmental engineer.

The beach is now no more than 10 feet wide and, in some places, there’s no beach at all, said Aram Terchunian, a coastal geologist with First Coastal in Westhampton Beach. The firm was hired by the homeowners association to investigate causes of the erosion.

When the sand is replenished, the beach would be as wide as 40 feet.

Sand and sediment from dredging North Sea Harbor Channel, known as “dredge spoils,” have been placed on the west side of the inlet near North Sea Beach just 12 percent of the time in the past 13 years, Terchunian found. The sand naturally drifts from west to east, so most of the sediment piled up on Towd Point Beach across the bay.

“Beaches are like bank accounts and they’re in deficit because the sand that was destined for North Sea Beach never got there,” Terchunian said.

The plan to rebuild the beach at the end of North Sea Road would cost $406,050. Of that total, $300,000 would be for construction; $40,000 for design and permits; $35,000 in monitoring and maintenance costs; and $31,050 for interest on a bond to finance the proposal. The plan calls for moving 20,000 cubic feet of sand from Towd Point Beach to North Sea Beach.

The annual taxes for an average inland erosion control district home with a value of $688,400 would be $1,123, deputy town attorney Kathleen Murray said at a public hearing on the district earlier this year. For a waterfront home with a value of $1,257,000, those taxes would be $2,265.

The town board voted 4-1 on Dec. 21 to create the district with Councilwoman Julie Lofstad dissenting, citing questions about the fairness of the tax rate. “Several of the residents will feel it is a hardship on them,” she said.

A vote among the 62 property owners last year resulted in 51 people voting and 44.5 voters, (one property split their vote) or 87 percent voted in favor of creating the district, officials said.

“It’s a real challenge and when a property association like this can come together and say we recognize the importance of this beach to our community ... I want to assist that group in doing so,” Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said during the Dec. 21 town board meeting.

The North Sea district is the fourth erosion control district in the town, with others in Sagaponack, Bridgehampton and near Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays.

A districtwide referendum on the beach rebuilding plan is to be held March 3.

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