East Hampton Leans In Favor Of Changing Use For Industrial Road Studio In Wainscott

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The East Hampton Town Board on Tuesday signaled that it is leaning in favor of granting a change-of-use for a lease for an Industrial Road studio to accommodate a potential sale.

Michael Wudyka is the owner of East Hampton Studios, a business that makes movies and has a recording and production studio and TV station on the town-owned land on Industrial Road in Wainscott. He has requested that the town change his building’s use from a sound studio to storage so he can sell it to a willing buyer who would like to use it for that purpose, said Councilwoman Theresa Quigley.

“Part of the reason I am sadly in favor is that you can’t force a business to be successful,” she said in a phone interview on Tuesday following a board discussion of the issue, noting that she was sorry it did not work out.

“In the recent past, we as a Town Board have tried to promote the area for media purposes, but he has not made it work,” she said. Mr. Wudyka has been trying to sell his building for three years, she said.

Mr. Wudyka, for his part, describes his request as one for an extension of an already approved storage usage.

Ms. Quigley noted that he had requested and received town permission a few years ago to use a portion of the building for storage and that the new request is to use the rest of the building for storage, as well.

Councilman Dominick Stanzione during Tuesday’s work session noted how the board in the past has made strong commitments to promote media and the entertainment arts in that area. Mr. Stanzione asked if adjusting the terms of the agreement would lessen that commitment, to which Supervisor Bill Wilkinson replied that it obviously would and that one has to determine whether one individual’s success or failure would be indicative of the industry as a whole.

Following a brief discussion of the matter on Tuesday, the board retreated to discuss it further in executive session, but did not take action on the matter.

Gallery Zone Change Request

An Amagansett art gallery has requested a change of zone from the town so that it can have a retail function.

Balasses House Antiques, which is also known as Neoteric Fine Art, is currently zoned as “limited business overlay,” but the owners would like it to be zoned as “commercial business” instead.

The Town Board briefly discussed how to proceed with the request and ultimately determined to discuss it at a future work session. Representatives from the gallery did not get to speak on Tuesday.

New Supervisor Assistant

The Town Board on Tuesday unanimously assigned Bethany Trowbridge to the post of assistant to Supervisor Bill Wilkinson for the remainder of 2013 at an hourly rate of $21.80 beginning on Thursday, August 22.

She is to return to full-time duties with the town clerk, in whose office she currently works, on January 1.

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