A plan to rehab the historic Canoe Place Inn and build 40 town homes across the Shinnecock Canal moved forward this week, though the developer said he’s open to the possibility of making changes to the project.
The town board Tuesday night voted 5-0 to close the public hearing on a draft environmental report. This allows the final environmental impact statement to be prepared and submitted to the town early next year, in which the developers will respond to the concerns raised, according to town staff.
Jim Morgo, consultant for the developer, called it a “significant first step” for the project. “There remains work to do,” he said.
Gregg Rechler, managing partner of R Squared LLC, said after the meeting he will now go back and determine what changes are economically viable.
Opponents of the project Tuesday expressed concern about the density of the town homes, which Rechler said are necessary to make the rehab of the Canoe Place Inn feasible.
Kyle Collins, town planning and development administrator, said written comments will be accepted by the town for 30 days from Tuesday. The state environmental process, he said, “requires the applicant to amend the project to address significant impacts identified during the public review process.”
Proponents on Tuesday night said that the once-grand Canoe Place Inn, which hosted the likes of Albert Einstein and Lucille Ball, is an important piece of Hampton Bays’ history.
But besides the number of town homes, residents also protested the location of the wastewater treatment plant.
Rechler, who has owned the property since 2004, has expressed impatience at the pace of approval and said that he may tear down the Canoe Place Inn if the town homes aren’t approved.