Southampton Village Board members on Tuesday unanimously approved a $25.6 million budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, a plan that includes a $1.1 million spending increase.
The budget, which is up 4.3 percent over the current year, calls for $20 million to be collected through property taxes—a 5.6-percent increase over this year’s tax levy. But including exemptions, the increase in the tax levy will stay under the New York State-imposed 2-percent cap.
The village tax rate will increase from $17.32 to $18.19 per $100 of assessed value, a 4.9-percent jump. An average taxpayer, living in a house valued at $1 million, and assessed valuation of $40,000, would see a tax bill increase of $284.
Glennon Wants An Answer
Seeking an answer from board members, Peter Glennon, who owns the former automobile dealership on Hampton Road—the potential site for a new Fresh Market—asked when they will take the next step to enact legislation to allow supermarkets to be built on certain parcels in the village highway business district on County Road 39 on a special permit basis.
Mayor Mark Epley said he couldn’t give Mr. Glennon an answer because the board was waiting to see how things pan out with the proposal for a King Kullen grocery store in Tuckahoe—an application currently before the Southampton Town Board—and how traffic would be affected with the completion of the County Road 39 widening project, which began in earnest in the fall and should wrap up soon. Board members were also waiting to see the outcome of the Gibbs Planning Group retail study, which was recently completed.
Once all of these developments occur, the village will be able to give Mr. Glennon an indication of whether they plan to go ahead with a further environmental review. The village commissioned Nelson, Pope and Voorhis to do a study to find out what impact a supermarket might have on the area, which concluded last year that the supermarket law would not cause a significant impact to the environment or to traffic, locally or regionally.
Some residents proposed that the village reject Nelson, Pope and Voorhis’s determination and go ahead with a more in-depth analysis before moving forward with the legislation
In 2011, the Village Board introduced the legislation that would change the zoning code to allow for supermarkets on specific qualifying property in the highway business district with special exception permit approval, and a month later it came to light that the Glennon family had already signed a deal with Fresh Market to build a grocery store on the property.
Study: Supermarket Could Threaten Village Business
A retail study commissioned by Southampton Village and the Southampton Association found that the village can support an additional 109,100 square feet of retail and restaurant development that could generate more than $47.7 million in new sales.
It also concluded that a new grocery store within the village business district—as opposed to outer areas of the village—would likely bolster business for neighboring stores, potentially boosting existing retail and restaurant sales by up to 25 percent.
In December, the village contracted the Michigan-based Gibbs Planning Group to conduct the retail study, which was completed in March. The study was just one component the Village Board was waiting on to make a decision about the supermarket law. The study supports the idea of introducing a grocery store within walking distance of other village businesses, but said that a grocery store outside of the village would shift sales away from the business district.
A discussion focused on whether the study’s conclusions considered Mr. Glennon’s proposed Fresh Market to be outside the business district, but the conclusion was that they primarily applied to a proposed King Kullen at a site outside the village, in Tuckahoe.