Looking Ahead to 2015

Development Projects

The Southampton Town Board is poised in January to vote on creating a planned development district to allow the redevelopment of the Canoe Place Inn property in Hampton Bays and the construction of townhouses on the east side of the canal, which many in Hampton Bays believe will permanently change the character of their community.

Up on the North Fork, the tiny hamlet of New Suffolk is facing another development, the reopening of the Galley Ho restaurant proposed by the non-profit New Suffolk Waterfront Fund, which purchased the waterfront parcel in the heart of New Suffolk for preservation several years ago.

While that project was approved by the Southampton Town Planning Board in November, many of the Galley Ho’s neighbors, some of whom had once supported the preservation effort, joined in a lawsuit Dec.16 asking the court to overturn the planning board’s decision. While the neighbors had asked the court for an injunction preventing the construction, that injunction was denied by the court last week.

Meanwhile, the Waterfront Fund has cleared the ground to pour a new foundation for the Galley Ho, a weather-dependent project that could begin this coming week with favorable temperatures. The town, the neighbors and the Waterfront Fund are due back in court Jan. 21.

Access to Mental Health Care

The South Fork has been rocked in recent years by several teen suicides, and this year both East Hampton and Southampton have pledged money to a project to bring a mobile mental health care unit to the South Fork, but access to mental health care is a truly regional issue that we hope will be discussed in depth in the coming year.

Long-Term Planning

East Hampton has won a $250,000 grant to complete a coastal assessment and resiliency plan, a crucial component of climate change planning for coastal communities that should be the subject of much discussion in 2015.

The town has also been working to become a part of the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System, by taking steps to protect the town from flooding, which should help reduce East Hampton residents’ risk of damage from storms and also reduce their flood insurance rates.

Southold Town, in the midst of a comprehensive plan update, is expected to unveil its proposed land use changes, a major component of the comprehensive plan, this year.

The Arts

This year, we’re looking forward to seeing what might come of the nascent East Hampton Arts Council, while we’re planning to follow the development of the WaterFire project proposed in Riverhead.

And, as always, we’re hoping to bring you dispatches on the work of the poets, painters, musicians and theaters of the East End in the year ahead.

Here’s to the fresh blank canvas of a new year.


Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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