Southampton Town Board To Discuss Revised Canoe Place Inn Proposal On Thursday

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After postponing judgment on the revised redevelopment plan for the former Canoe Place Inn and Tide Runners properties in Hampton Bays, the Southampton Town Board will discuss the modified proposal, which calls for three fewer townhouses, at its work session on Thursday, October 16.

Earlier this month, cousins Gregg and Mitchell Rechler, the developers behind the Canoe Place Inn Maritime Planned Development District, or MPDD, submitted a final environmental impact statement, outlining the size and scope of the project to refurbish the inn and bring townhouses to the eastern side of the Shinnecock Canal. Town planning officials declined to release a copy of the document on Tuesday, stating that the board must adopt it first.

The Town Board was poised to accept the statement during its meeting on Tuesday afternoon but ultimately tabled the resolution to further discuss the changes and craft a response. The work session, at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Town Board meeting room at Southampton Town Hall, will focus on the impact statement prior to determining its completeness.

In preparing the final environmental impact statement, the Rechlers were tasked with addressing concerns of town officials and residents that the original 40-townhouse, 88,000-square-foot proposal for the canalside property was too dense a use for the 4.5-acre property.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said the Rechlers reduced the number of townhouses they were seeking to build to 37, but officials on both sides are refusing to divulge further details about the revised plan.

“That is what they have submitted,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “That doesn’t mean we have to approve it. We can say, No, that’s not good enough. But we have to accept [the final environmental impact statement] before the horse trading can begin.”

Jim Morgo, a spokesman for the Rechlers, said last Thursday, October 9, that there have been seven areas of change in the new proposal, although he declined to specify what any of them were. “I’m very confident that the community is going to really realize it’s much improved,” said Mr. Morgo, who, at the time, also declined to say how many townhouses the developers were now looking to construct. “That’s too specific for me right now,” he said last week.

In February 2012, the Rechlers submitted a plan to the Town Board calling for the creation of a planned development district on the Canoe Place Inn property, which would house a renovated inn with 20 rooms, a catering hall that can accommodate up to 350 people, and a restaurant that can serve up to 90 people. The plan also calls for the construction of townhouses on the east side of the canal, while a third property, located farther to the east, would be home to a proposed wastewater treatment facility for the residential units.

This proposal came after the Rechlers initially footed a plan to level the inn and build condos in its place, but faced substantial pushback from several community groups that wanted to preserve the 90-year-old building, which has most recently been utilized as a nightclub.

After the second of two public hearings was closed this past February, the Rechlers submitted revisions in May before being sent back to the drawing board again in July, according to Mr. Morgo.

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