[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton 4-25-2006 by L.L. No. 18-2006. 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.
The Hamlet of East Quogue is unique, as it presently contains large undeveloped tracts of land as compared to other hamlets within the Town, including extensive unbroken tracts of Pine Barrens known to contain rare and endangered species and having exemplary glacial knoll and kettle topography. Specific natural resources within the Hamlet of East Quogue include large contiguous agricultural lands in the vicinity of Lewis Road, critical resource areas as designated within the Central Pine Barrens Plan, aquifer recharge areas, public well sites and source water recharge areas, and Weesuck Creek with its associated watershed and wetlands.
Currently there are several separate conceptual plans and preapplications for residential development within a discrete geographical area of East Quogue that affects approximately 818 acres and would result in the creation of at least 220 new lots. In addition, there are inquiries related to the possibility of increasing density on certain parcels vis a vis the creation of planned development districts (PDD) to increase the size and intensity of the hamlet center, as well as adding golf courses and other recreational and commercial uses throughout the hamlet. This unprecedented and rapid growth has the potential to place significant adverse pressures on the rural 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 and Town services that must be examined.
Although the Update recommends "consideration for more intensive residential, resort and waterfront development further to the east and southeast of the hamlet center in connection with transfer of development rights (TDRs) to preserve Pine Barrens and farmland," it does not contemplate the cumulative environmental impacts that may occur from the full buildout of the large residentially zoned tracts, 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 East Quogue community, 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.
In order to respond to this need, approximately 4,182 acres within the boundaries of East Quogue ("the study area") shall be analyzed through a Hamlet Study and accompanying generic environmental impact statement (GEIS). Phase I of this effort will look at the potential cumulative land uses and impact thresholds for the East Quogue study area. It is the purpose of this phase to develop and evaluate land use alternatives in the context of potential cumulative environmental impacts. This evaluation will identify potential areas of impacts, alternatives that could reduce impacts, and mitigation measures. Phase II is the preparation of a generic environmental impact statement that would evaluate a selected alternative under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). That analysis would be a comprehensive evaluation of a land use proposal for the areas, with the assessment of all cumulative associated impacts, a consideration of alternatives, and presentation of mitigation measures.
While this study is being conducted, the Town shall impose a twelve-month moratorium for the East Quogue study area to address specific areas, including but not limited to: the examination of Central Pine Barrens critical resource areas, developments of regional significance and receiving areas as well as the potential use of Pine Barrens credits/TDRs; fiscal impacts of developments and increased density proposals on School Districts, transportation issues, potential impacts on designated source water recharge areas, public well sites, primary recharge zones for well sites; preservation of greenspace/greenways between hamlet centers to preserve community character; trail/bridle path systems; wildland/urban interface issues, including firewise design standards, fuel break standards etc.; reclamation/reforestation of sand and gravel mines; roadside beautification projects, street trees; Weesuck Creek watershed planning, wetland/coastal land preservation priorities; aviation/runway navigation corridor restrictions, crash zones, etc.; and stormwater management issues.
The Town's efforts to support sound planning, zoning and pubic investment in the East Quogue Hamlet Center and its surrounding areas 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.
As depicted on a map prepared by the Town of Southampton's GIS Department dated March 8, 2006:
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the 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 requires 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 approve any application for a change of zone, subdivision, site plan, variance or special exception within the study area defined in § 309-2 during this moratorium. No new applications affected by this section shall be accepted by any agency of the Town of Southampton after the effective date of this chapter, except as provided herein.
[Amended 4-24-2007 by L.L. No. 21-2007; 10-23-2007 by L.L. No. 50-2007; 4-22-2008 by L.L. No. 26-2008]
This chapter shall expire on August 11, 2008.
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.
Modifications to approved applications which do not involve expansion of existing structures.
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.
A conservation opportunity subdivision application for a parcel that has preserved at least 80% of open space for the preservation of prime agricultural soils.
A subdivision application that has received final conditional approval from the Planning Board prior to the effective date of this chapter.
Subdivision applications for three lots or less.
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 apartment applications for single and separate residential lots or in compliance with the provisions of HO/HC Zoning Districts.
Applications may be exempted from the provisions of this chapter, following a public hearing on notice before the Town Board. Upon such application, the Town Board shall consider:
The size of the subject parcel;
The proximity of the applicant's premises to pine barrens, wetlands, endangered plant and animal species, wildlife and other similar environmental concerns;
The extent of the proposed development and/or disturbance of the applicant's premises;
The environmental significance, if any, of the applicant's parcel and the proposed development's impact upon the environment, including existing transportation resources;
Compatibility of the proposed development with the aesthetic resources of the community or with the existing community or neighborhood character; and
Compatibility of the proposed development with the recommendations of the 1970 Mater Plan and 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update.
In making a determination under Subsection A, the Town Board may obtain and consider written reports from the Department of Land Management and such other sources as required in the judgment of the Town Board and consistent with the purpose of this chapter. A grant of an exemption to an applicant's premises shall include a determination of unnecessary hardship and unique circumstances which do not generally apply throughout the study area set forth in § 309-2 and a finding that the grant of an exemption will be in harmony with and will not be unduly disruptive to the hamlet study undertaken pursuant to 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.