[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton 6-10-2008 by L.L. No. 35-2008; amended in its entirety 8-12-2008 by L.L. No. 52-2008. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
In 1970, the Town Board of the Town of Southampton adopted a Master Plan, which states long-term planning objectives, establishes a general plan to guide both public and private development, addresses critical community planning issues, including protection of natural resources, the provision of affordable housing, forecasting the need for improved or additional municipal facilities, sustaining the local economy, and improving transportation management.
The 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update (Update) builds upon the 1970 Master Plan, both of which identify a number of significant land use, transportation, zoning, and capital improvement strategies. The Update further refines strategies for the hamlet business centers, recognizing that each hamlet presents different challenges and opportunities, and recommends that additional studies be conducted. Specific proposals called for maintenance of community character, creation of a central green, traffic light and cross access agreements, and new hamlet-scaled zoning categories.
The Hampton Bays Hamlet Center Strategy, completed by Hutton Associates, Inc. and adopted as part of the Town's Comprehensive Town Update in 1999, focused on the following elements: an improved pedestrian-scaled environment for the existing eastern portion of the hamlet center, including design criteria for a new supermarket and associated shops and for associated streetscape opportunities; new land use/development options for that portion of the study area west of Route 24, including zoning/design guidelines for new roadside fast-food restaurants and associated adjacent development; and integrated transportation planning and design improvements for Montauk Highway, Good Ground Road, and associated linkage roadways, including cross-access agreements through adjacent commercial properties. Extension of Good Ground Road was proposed to link to development west of Route 24 and north of Montauk Highway. In addition, new zoning overlay proposals for planned development districts in the east and west hamlet areas, and HO/HC hamlet-scaled categories along Montauk Highway were put forward.
In 2005, community members expressed concern about the intensity and rapid pace of growth and development that had occurred since the adoption of the 1999 Hampton Bays Strategy Study, and the Town again retained Hutton Associates, Inc., to prepare another update to the 1999 Comprehensive Plan. The planning study, known as the "Hampton Bays Corridor Strategic Plan," is currently being completed and focuses on the Montauk Highway commercial corridor.
Currently, there are multiple conceptual plans and preapplications for development within the corridor area of Hampton Bays that will affect the entire Hamlet of Hampton Bays. In addition, there are inquiries and applications related to the possibility of increasing density on certain parcels vis a vis the creation of planned development districts (PDD) and other recreational and commercial uses throughout the hamlet. The potential for unprecedented and rapid growth might place significant adverse pressures on the hamlet as the development proposals, when considered together, may have common and cumulative impacts on the groundwater/watershed, wetlands, surface waters, agriculture, woodland habitat and wildlife species, as well as growth-inducing impacts on the character of the area, infrastructure, transportation, schools, emergency services, and Town services that must be examined.
Although the Update recommends "intensifying development in the traditional hamlet center, including redevelopment and infill development, allowing mixed-use development of a variety of scales, in connection with either preservation of the existing residential and historic scale of development, and/or the provision of access and design improvements, it does not contemplate the cumulative environmental impacts that may occur from the build out of highway business uses nor does it fully contemplate the use of incentive zoning techniques to create planned development districts (PDD) and other transfer of development right scenarios which inevitably result in the intensification of development and density within and around the hamlet center.
Incentive zoning provisions, while a crucial tool in accomplishing the Town's goals and objectives, such as providing housing that is affordable to a range of incomes, preserving historic buildings and structures, conserving open space and natural resources, and creating greenbelts and parks, which identify and define the Hampton Bays Corridor, cumulatively create a demand on Town services and have a greater potential for environmental impacts which need to be examined in this uniquely sensitive hamlet.
To respond to this need, land adjacent to Montauk Highway within the boundaries of Hampton Bays Corridor Study Area ("the Study Area") shall be analyzed through the Hampton Bays Corridor Strategic Plan and an accompanying Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for the hamlet of Hamlet Bays.
The Hampton Bays Corridor Study Area begins at Jones Road to the west and extends east, along Montauk Highway, to the terminus of the hamlet of Hampton Bays, east of the Shinnecock Canal. It is composed of three distinct, but integrated areas.
The Western area extends from Jones Road along Montauk Highway to State Route 24. Most of the properties in this area are zoned Highway Business (HB). This area is composed of a variety of businesses, offices and service industries. Development patterns are not consistent and there are numerous vacant or underutilized properties that provide for significant development potential.
The Central area extends from State Route 24 along Montauk Highway and ends at its intersection with Ponquogue Avenue and Squiretown Roads. This is the hamlet center for Hampton Bays. Most of the properties in this area are zoned Village Business (VB), which is consistent with the historic, concentrated business area one finds in most hamlet centers. Local shops front on the street, offer parking in the rear, and provide services predominantly to the local community. There are several historic buildings in this area that, unless otherwise protected, could be demolished for new construction.
The Eastern area extends from the Ponquogue Avenue/Squiretown Road intersection with Montauk Highway, across the Shinnecock Canal to the terminus of the boundary of Hampton Bays. This area is a mixture of commercial development, including a major supermarket, and other retail businesses and services industries. Located at the Shinnecock Canal, is the historic Canoe Place Inn, which is the site of a change-of-zone application that, if approved, could demolish this structure.
Along the Shinnecock Canal is a mostly developed area zoned as Resort Waterfront Business (RWB). RWB uses are intended to complement their proximity to the canal, and the types of uses permitted in the RWB Zoning District are a reflection of the resort tourism economy that the Town of Southampton is known for. Public access to the water is a critical part of the Town's culture and economy. In recent years, however, there has been a growing trend by the private market to change existing uses that offer services and amenities to the general public, such as restaurants and shops, to private uses, such as condominiums. There is a significant potential for re-development. Incentives need to be provided and alternatives explored to help promote uses that will promote the public's ability to enjoy waterfront activities.
Phase I of this effort will look at the potential cumulative land uses and impact thresholds for the Hampton Bays Corridor Study Area with detailed plans for the Western, Central, and Eastern portions of the Corridor and their impacts upon the entire Hamlet of Hampton Bays.
Phase II is the preparation of a generic environmental impact statement under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). This analysis will be a comprehensive evaluation of a land use proposal for the areas within the Hampton Bays Strategic Corridor, with the assessment of all cumulative associated impacts within the hamlet of Hampton Bays, a consideration of alternatives, and presentation of mitigation measures. The GEIS will address physical, natural, social, economic, fiscal, and regulatory issues, including, but not limited to, geology, groundwater, wetlands and natural features, transportation, population and housing, and schools. The objectives of the GEIS are to provide the basis for evaluating these impacts over a broader geographical area, to provide implementation strategies that will achieve the goals and objectives identified in the land use plan, and to present and evaluate alternative land use plans, as well as propose mitigation for any identified significant impacts.
The GEIS will analyze potential land use alternatives in the context of the environmental impacts that could occur as a result of land use changes. In addition, it will provide important environmental documentation that will serve as the basis for public policy and land-use decision-making, which could include zoning proposals as well as site-specific development review.
In connection with said GEIS, conducting an analysis of potential land uses and impact thresholds within a larger area of the hamlet of Hampton Bays will aid in the analysis of physical, natural, social, economic, fiscal, and regulatory issues, including but not limited to geology and groundwater, ecology, wetlands and natural features, population and housing growth, infrastructure, Town services, fire and ambulance services, school districts, transportation resources, and environmental impact.
The Town has considered the alternative of separate or piecemeal studies, including the Hampton Bays Corridor Strategic Plan. It has completed changes to the Town Code based on a study of the Special Old Filed Map Districts that included the following areas of Hampton Bays: Good Ground Development, Tiana Development, Hampton Bays Development Company, Hampton Beach Section 4, Hampton Beach Section 3, and Hampton Beach Section 1. In addition, the Town has commenced a Town-wide study and proposed an additional moratorium on conversions to residential condominiums or cooperatives that includes multiple possible conversion sites in Hampton Bays. There is community-wide concern evident about the final build-out analysis for Hampton Bays under existing zoning for single and separate lots, and what the forecasted yield of housing units is for remaining potential residential subdivisions and motel conversions. Exploring strategies to address concerns about siting additional multi-unit housing in Hampton Bays are also suggested, including special standards in the Zoning Code to recognize the population density and demographics within the hamlet as compared with other areas in the Town.
The 2004 Update to the Town of Southampton Comprehensive Plan-Transportation Element cited that Hampton Bays had four of the 15 highest accident locations and recommended further study of the corridor area and an access management plan for Montauk Highway.
Other studies underway that involve the hamlet of Hampton Bays include the Coastal Assets Management Plan and the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP), including the Harbor Management Plan and the Inter-Municipal Waterbody Plan (IMWP). These studies will pinpoint ways to maintain the character of Hampton Bays as a marine and waterfront community with public access for both recreational and fishing uses.
There are several areas within Hampton Bays that are currently zoned Resort Waterfront Business and Motel which warrant further study to ensure viability as business districts, or if neighborhood character has been substantially altered over time to residential uses potentially rendering business uses incompatible. Siting special exception uses, in particular, may be problematic in such RWB and MTL Zones under existing performance standards in the Zoning Code. The Town is also seeking to explore eco-friendly economic development and resort-tourism uses that promote public access to the waterfront, rather than privatization through residential development, which often occurs as density-intensive condominium conversions.
Historic resources and historic preservation within the entire hamlet of Hampton Bays have been the focus of multiple studies both by community residents and by applicants in preparation for projects in the hamlet. Some of the studies include the Cultural Resources Survey of the Town of Southampton, 2000; the Historic Profiles of Hampton Bays, prepared by the President of the Hampton Bays Historical and Preservation Society, 2005; Historic Site Designation Application Form: Canoe Place Inn, prepared by the Hampton Bays Historical and Preservation Society, 2004; and the AIA Architectural Guide to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Long Island, New York, Dover Publications, 1992.
Scenic resources and protection of scenic gateways are also an important part of the Hampton Bays GEIS effort, particularly along the heavily trafficked commercial corridor of Montauk Highway. An assessment and plan that specifically addresses scenic areas and makes recommendations for preservation and protection needs to be completed, including the potential identification of critical resource areas and the use of clustering, buffering, and special character overlay districts.
The Shinnecock Canal Public Access Sites and Maritime Planned Development District Final Recommended Plan, May 1997, inventoried existing conditions, presented three alternative development concepts, assessed potential redevelopment impacts, and made recommendations for improvements to public and private space in two essential phases: short and long term.
The issue of current and future needs for community facilities was addressed in the Draft Population Model to Forecast Population Growth, its Characteristics and Employment Base for the Town of Southampton, New York, Over Time, to Build-Out, 2007. The study suggests that the issue of the adequacy of future public and quasi-public building space should be studied, as well as light industrial building square footage, to match current and future population needs while protecting community character.
Additional issues that need to be addressed through a review of other plans, including the Central Pine Barrens Plan's recommended receiving areas, in order to determine an accurate accounting of remaining Pine Barrens credits and adequate absorption capacity.
Moreover, with respect to the Hampton Bays Water District, a review of the district-wide Master Plan is required to ensure adequacy of infrastructure to accommodate existing and future development. The need to consider build-out conditions and locations for additional well fields, pressure/booster stations, and other critical community facilities to address consumption demands is essential.
The GEIS provides an opportunity to explore energy conservation strategies as well as sustainable, transit-oriented development.
Further, in reviewing a tentative list of active projects in the Hamlet of Hampton Bays before the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Board, and the Town Board, the urgency of combining all of these studies and addressing the specific problems unique in the hamlet of Hampton Bays becomes more evident.
The Town Board has been diligently pursuing methods to balance protection of the community character of Hampton Bays with the proposed future development and finds that the tools of a Hampton Bays hamlet-wide GEIS and an expanded Hampton Bays moratorium are the most appropriate vehicles.
By Local Law 38 of 2008, the Town has imposed a twelve-month moratorium for the Hampton Bays Corridor Study Area through the enactment of Chapter 315 of the Town Code. This proposed Code amendment to Chapter 315 proposes a more expansive area to be subject to the moratorium while the Town completes the GEIS and anticipated updates to the Town's Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code. The intention is to address specific resources and impact areas, including, but not limited to scenic resources and preservation strategies; historic preservation and possible special character overlay districts; cultural resources protection; developments of regional significance, potential planned development districts, and receiving areas as well as the potential use of Pine Barrens credits/TDRs and absorption capacity; present and future demand for, and adequacy of, community facilities (including water district), fiscal impacts of developments and increased density proposals on school districts, transportation issues, traffic-calming, transit-oriented development opportunities; potential impacts on designated source water recharge areas, public well sites, primary recharge zones for well sites; infill development and area character; preservation of greenspace/greenways between hamlet centers to preserve community character and soften commercial sprawl; trail/bridle path systems; wildland/urban interface issues, including firewise design standards, fuel break standards etc.; roadside beautification projects, street trees; watershed planning, wetland/coastal land preservation priorities; and stormwater management issues.
The Town's efforts to support sound planning, zoning and public investment in the hamlet of Hampton Bays have contributed significantly to the confidence and commitment of private investors. A rational and comprehensive development, zoning, design, transportation and public investment strategy, as outlined by the Comprehensive Plan Update and more specifically resulting from this study and GEIS, will continue to contribute to these efforts. The Town may seek, where appropriate and in accordance with Town Law, an apportionment of the costs of the GEIS prepared in connection herewith.
The Study Area is as depicted on a map prepared by the Town of Southampton's GIS Department, dated July 8, 2008, and filed in the office of the Town Clerk.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law and the State Environmental Quality Review Act and its implementing regulations and expressly supersedes any provisions of Chapters 247, 292 and 330 of the Town Code of the Town of Southampton and Article 16 of the Town Law of the State of New York. In particular, this chapter shall supersede those provisions of the Town Code and New York State Law which require the Town Board, Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals to accept, process and approve applications within certain statutory time periods.
No agency of the Town of Southampton shall process or approve any application for a change of zone, subdivision, site plan, variance or special exception within the study area defined in § 315-2 during this moratorium. No new applications affected by this section shall be accepted by an agency of the Town of Southampton after the effective date of this chapter, except as provided herein.
[Amended 7-10-2009 by L.L. No. 27-2009; 12-22-2009 by L.L. No. 61-2009]
This chapter shall expire on March 31, 2010, unless and until this time period is extended by the Town Board after adoption of a subsequent local law.
The following applications are excluded from this chapter:
Building permits for projects that have received all necessary approvals prior to the adoption of this chapter.
Minor additions less than 1,000 square feet to existing structures.
Renovations of existing structures which do not involve a change of use.
Building permits for single family homes.
Variance applications for single family-homes;
Residential subdivisions with a yield of three lots or less;
Individual setback and lot line variances;
Permits associated with management or stewardship aspects of the Community Preservation Project Plan;
A site plan and special exception application submitted on behalf of a nonprofit museum for educational purposes;
Modifications to approved applications which do not involve expansion of existing structures;
The expansion of existing businesses within the RWB Zone that are permitted as of right or by special exception, which are an expansion of less than 50%;
A subdivision or site plan application that has received final conditional approval from the Planning Board prior to the effective date of this chapter;
Subdivision applications deemed by the Planning Board to be a transfer of property or resubdivision as defined in § 292-3 of the Subdivision Regulations;
Applications to open development sections connected with Old Filed Maps;
Accessory apartments on single and separate residential lots;
Government-initiated projects, including park development;
A subdivision, site plan or special exception application submitted by a nonprofit religious establishment;
A subdivision, site plan, special exception, or variance application involving a not-for-profit public safety, emergency service provider;
Any site plan or special exception application which does not propose any exterior expansion and/or alteration, but for new signage, and does not require any increased parking.
[Added 7-10-2009 by L.L. No. 27-2009]
Editor's Note: This local law also provided for the redesignation of former Subsection A(21) through (24) as Subsection A(22) through (25), respectively.
Planned development district applications whose zone changes have been approved by the Town Board by local law and have been referred to the Planning Board for site plan approval;
Any approvals and/or permits in furtherance of the development of SCTM No. 900-221-3-16.1 and 18, rezoned as the "Hampton Bays West Commercial Industrial Planned Development District" (HBWCIPDD) as a result of a stipulation of settlement between the Town of Southampton and Hampton Bays Connections, Inc., et al. and any other property identified in said stipulation owned by Hampton Bays Connections, Inc.;
Any approvals and/or permits in furtherance of the development of SCTM No. 900-253-1-22, 23, rezoned as RTW Residential Planned Development District;
Any approvals and/or permits in furtherance of the development of SCTM No. 900-323-5-17.1, under the application name of "Ponquogue Manor" (formerly Allen's Acres), currently the subject of deliberations before the Planning Board for site plan and a special exception use permit for conversion to condominium units.
Applications requesting exemption from the moratorium will provide, at a minimum, written documentation sufficient to prove:
That the proposed project in no way interferes with the intent of the Hampton Bays Strategic Corridor Study and hamlet-wide GEIS.
That the proposed project is compatible with the recommendations of the 1970 Master Plan and 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update.
That there is minimal or no environmental impact on wetlands, endangered plant and animal species, wildlife.
That there is no impact on the school district or a written statement from the school district that it supports the application.
That there is no impact on the scenic, archaeological and historical resources of the area.
That the applicable fire, ambulance, emergency, police services can meet the needs of the proposed project.
That an applicable traffic impact study shows that there is minimal or no impact on traffic in the area.
That the water district is able to support the project.
That the proposed project is compatible with the aesthetic resources of the community and with the neighborhood character.
Applications may be exempted from the provisions of this chapter following a public hearing on notice before the Town Board.
In making a determination under Subsection A, the Town Board shall obtain and consider written reports from the Department of Land Management, the Planning Board and such other sources as required in the judgment of the Town Board and consistent with the purpose of this chapter.
An application under Subsection A shall be accompanied by a fee of $500, 18 copies of the application, together with the applicant's written undertaking, in a form to be approved by the Town Attorney and, in substance, approved by the Town Board, to pay either in advance or by reimbursement, at the Town Board's on-going election, any out-of-pocket costs incurred by the Town in studies and/or by retainer of resource personnel and relating to the hearing, review, and determination of such application.