Ongoing construction at the entrance to Gabreski Airport, near a Hampton Jitney pickup and drop-off point, is forcing the Southampton luxury bus company to indefinitely relocate its Westhampton stop from the airport to the parking lot at Casa Basso Restaurant, pending final approval from Southampton Town.
The switch prompted discussion at Friday’s Quogue Village Board meeting, when trustees considered enacting parking restrictions at their village’s bus stop—located at the corner of Quogue Street and Jessup Avenue—in anticipation of a potential overflow of Hampton Jitney customers using their stop due to limited parking at Casa Basso.
Parking at the restaurant, located at 59 Montauk Highway in Westhampton, is limited to the 20 spaces that sit on the eastern side of the property, toward the rear of the castle that now sits vacant and most recently housed a princess party business. Pickups and drop-offs for the coach will be in front of the lion statue, not the restaurant entrance, as not to disrupt the eatery’s traffic and guests.
Hampton Jitney officials said they do not know how many commuters will end up using the stops in Quogue and Westhampton after the airport stop is closed.
“Changing stops is never easy,” said Andrew Lynch, vice president of Hampton Jitney. “One positive is that Casa Basso is more convenient for many of our riders due to its closer proximity to the residential center of Westhampton.”
The change, however, raised concerns with the Quogue Village Board, because of the possible overflow of commuters.
In response to the expected changes, the board proposed placing time limits on the spaces that line Quogue Street and Jessup Avenue in order to prevent Hampton Jitney commuters from parking there overnight. Mayor Peter Sartorius is proposing a 15-minute limit for four parking spaces outside the stores on Jessup Avenue, and 90-minute parking restrictions for the remainder of the spaces, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., along the block.
On Quogue Street, parking would be limited to 48 hours, replacing the current seven-day maximum limit for parking. In the village lot on Quogue Street, next to Village Hall, overnight parking would be limited to seven days and would be restricted to village residents, employees, firefighters and hotel guests.
“Right now, it’s going to have signage, and we have to look at the cars that are there,” Mr. Sartorius said on Tuesday. “If we have to have a sticker restriction, we’ll do it.”
He said there is no way to determine how long the limitations would last at this point.
“We’re between a rock and a hard place,” Village Trustee Ted Necarsulmer said during Friday’s meeting.
Mr. Lynch said he was not aware of any changes in Quogue at this stage, noting that his company is still awaiting final approval from the town to relocate the airport stop to the restaurant.
Hampton Jitney officials also said they do not anticipate any delays for those customers utilizing the Westhampton pickup and drop-off point, noting that Casa Basso is located only a few miles south and west of the airport. After picking up commuters in Westhampton, the bus will continue westbound to County Route 51 before turning onto County Road 111 and proceeding to its next scheduled stop in Manorville.
Also on Friday, the Quogue Village Board adopted its $7.9 million budget for 2014-15, which increases overall spending by $258,007, or 3.2 percent. The village’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.
Village officials reported that the estimated tax levy will be $6.6 million, up 1.5 percent from last year’s $6.5 million levy.
Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius noted that he still is unsure if the spending plan pierces the state’s tax cap, explaining that he does not yet know if the village will qualify for certain exemptions. The village has already passed the necessary legislation that allows it to pierce the tax cap if necessary.
Under the adopted spending plan, the projected tax rate for 2014-15 stands at $2.11 per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of four cents, or 1.9 percent, from the current year. Therefore, taxpayers with a home assessed at $700,000 can expect to pay $1,477 in village property taxes next year, or $28 more than the current year.