Neighbors of medical complex drop plans to sue

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Neighbors of a proposed medical center on Montauk Highway in East Quogue who had planned to file suit against Southampton Town over the project’s approval by the Planning Board changed their minds after meeting with town planners last month.

Dave Logan, a resident of Weesuck Avenue and a neighbor of the three-building complex that will feature five affordable second-floor apartments, explained that concerned neighbors have opted not to battle the town over the project. The center will have its entrance and exit on Weesuck Avenue, a residential street.

“Nothing’s perfect but why pick a fight?” Mr. Logan said after neighbors decided not to pursue legal action. He said the town had been receptive to the neighbors’ concerns about the property and had changed the arrangement of the buildings and added screening to keep the office complex from being too visible from the road.

Mr. Logan’s primary contention had been that the property had once been zoned 75 percent highway business and 25 percent residential, but during a recent rezoning, the entire property was placed in hamlet business zoning.

“The new configuration allows a huge parking lot,” he said. “They dramatically increased the value of that property and concurrently reduced the neighbors’ property values.”

The 1.3-acre property is owned by Hampton Valley Associates LLC, a holding company owned by Bill Dunkin.

More than 100 East Quogue residents signed a petition in opposition to the project because of traffic concerns as well.

Mr. Logan met with Southampton Town Councilman Dan Russo to discuss the matter last month. Afterwards, Mr. Logan’s neighbor, Darlene Sachs, met with town planners who assured her that the project would be well screened and hard to see from the road.

“My understanding is that they did a zone change there some time ago. Their concern is that it was done without anyone’s knowledge,” Mr. Russo said. “I’ve been told they were notified.”

Ms. Sachs submitted a petition to the town’s Community Preservation Fund to see if it would, or could, purchase the land, but she said town officials were reluctant to purchase a property zoned for business. Ms. Sachs’s primary problem with the development, though, was that it will have its entrance on Weesuck Avenue because the Suffolk County Department of Public Works will not allow an entrance on Montauk Highway.

Ms. Sachs said that there are 12 homes on the street and a shipyard at the end that causes a good deal of summer traffic. She also said that there is already a dental office on the corner of Weesuck Avenue, across from the approved medical center.

Ms. Sachs recently met with Town Planner Claire Vail on behalf of the neighbors and she said Ms. Vail assured her that only one of the medical center buildings would be on Weesuck Avenue and there would be a great deal of landscaping to keep the project from being too visible from the road.

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