A rendering of Concern Housing’s Liberty Gardens community in Southampton. Credit: Concern Housing

Daily Point

A new path forward for Liberty Gardens?

The Southampton Town Board will not be voting as planned on the Liberty Gardens affordable housing development during its Tuesday board meeting.

Instead, town officials and representatives with Concern Housing, Liberty Gardens’ developer, have agreed to a new 45-day window before the board has to make any decisions about the proposed development of 50 units of housing on the Southampton Full Gospel Church property on County Road 39.

That gives the town board until June 9 to issue a findings statement and vote on whether to allow the project to move forward.

Liberty Gardens has come under fire from town board members and local residents. Half the units are earmarked for veterans, particularly those who are homeless or who have physical disabilities or mental health needs, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Residents have worried aloud about a potential increase in crime or added strain on hospitals and first responders. Concern has built several other housing developments geared towards veterans.

The other significant concern is traffic on already-congested County Road 39. If those traffic questions are resolved satisfactorily, the town board may have enough support to say “yes” to the development.

“We’re talking and we’re hoping we can work things out,” Concern Housing executive director Ralph Fasano told The Point.

Town Supervisor Maria Moore told The Point that the 45-day window gives her, the town board and the developer time to come up with scenarios to ease congestion. “The town and the applicant both felt that things were progressing and we should give ourselves some more time to work out the details,” Moore said.

Moore noted that she is also planning to meet with Suffolk County officials, who share the town’s concerns about traffic on County Road 39. “I know the applicant feels the development is not going to create a lot of traffic, but I feel that given the circumstances that currently exist with County Road 39, anything added to that creates a problem,” Moore said. “It’s really not about the population [of the development] for me. We have a bad situation in terms of traffic at this particular location, so let’s not add to it.”

More broadly, Moore said workforce housing is needed town-wide, and she hopes to “look at the town in a more comprehensive way, so we’re not putting all the housing in one place.”

Will Moore be able to get to a point within the 45-day window where she can say “yes” to Liberty Gardens?

“I’m very hopeful that that’s going to happen,” Moore said.

— Randi F. Marshall randi.marshall@newsday.com

Pencil Point


Credit: Christopher Weyant/THE BOSTON GLOBE

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