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Wainscott projects proposed moratorium hearing set

A public hearing on a proposed one-year moratorium on large commercial construction in the Wainscott business district will be held Oct. 6.

Members of the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee recommended that the town board delay such projects until the completion of a year-long hamlet study, which got underway in March.

The goal of the study is to map out the future of the Wainscott, Springs, East Hampton and Amagansett commercial districts and the Montauk downtown and dock areas. It is being conducted by the Ashfield, Massachussetts-based Dodson & Flinker Inc. consulting firm with the help of East Hampton residents.

“Each hamlet has different sets of issues that they want to address, and the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee recommended the town adopt a moratorium,” East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell said in an interview Monday.

Cantwell said the concern was that nothing “big” be constructed that might conflict with future development of the hamlet. He added that during a moratorium, existing businesses would be allowed to expand by no more than 25 percent.

“Applications could be made [for new construction] during, but there would be no approvals by the planning board until the hamlet study was completed,” Cantwell said. “There wouldn’t be any big projects.”

Moratoriums are not being considered for all of the hamlets, which Cantwell attributed to concerns in Wainscott that are specific to that community.

Cantwell said that the bulk of East Hampton’s traffic travels through Wainscott’s Montauk Highway business center, and that the future of the expansive former gravel and sand mine site must be carefully considered.

“The site has potential for reuse on a large scale, so it would have an impact on the future and its development,” he said.

Rick Del Mastro, former co-chairman of the advisory committee, said in an interview Tuesday that the group has been discussing the moratorium idea for months.

“We have a vision of what the hamlet should look like, and any new construction should fit into that vision,” he said. “It’s an agricultural area. We don’t want something with steel and glass that’s not going to fit into Wainscott.”

Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez said any new construction would contribute to the serious congestion already in the Wainscott business area.

The public hearing will be at 6:30 p.m. at East Hampton Town Hall.


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