Bridgehampton Community Still Fighting CVS Plans


Bridgehampton residents are continuing to oppose plans for a CVS pharmacy on the corner of the hamlet’s busiest intersection, submitting a petition and making requests that Southampton Town officials step in to halt the project, saying it would cause too many traffic and parking problems.

Bridgehampton’s Village Improvement Society put out a petition last week urging the Southampton Town Planning Board to reject any request for a special exemption permit that the pharmacy might file, as its proposal exceeds the 5,000-square-foot town code occupancy limit. The petition also asks that the Town Board declare a moratorium on any new development at the site so that a traffic study could be conducted.

The approved two-story building would occupy approximately 9,000 square feet of the vacant lot at 2510 Montauk Highway, east of Starbucks and diagonal from Almond Restaurant, a lot where Bridgehampton Beverage used to stand. According to CVS’s proposal, the 4,400-square-foot ground floor would be CVS’s convenience store, while the upstairs of the same size will serve as the pharmacy. A basement, also measuring 4,400 square feet, would be used for storage.

CVS Caremark signed a 25-year lease with the owner of the property, BNB Ventures IV, in March.

Leonard Davenport, a member of the BVIS, said that particular portion where Montauk Highway meets with Lumber Lane, Ocean Road and the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike would not be able to handle the kind of traffic that would come with having a CVS there.

“Almost anything on that corner is going to create a serious traffic and parking problem,” Mr. Davenport said. “What we want the town to do is to understand how strongly the community feels about this.”

At a Southampton Town Board meeting Tuesday night, residents attempted to do just that. Members of the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee, along with local business owners, expressed their concerns to the board as to why the business should not be there.

Resident Laurie Berkoski, who used to be a crossing guard at that intersection, said she experienced firsthand how chaotic it can be.

“It’s crazy to think that people could get into a busy store like CVS at a corner like that,” Ms. Berkoski said. “In my mind, a business like that should not be put there, for traffic reasons alone.”

Kyle Collins, the town’s planning and development administrator, pointed out that there is currently no CVS application before any town regulatory agency. Mr. Collins said a building permit has been issued for that space, but any interested business must first apply for the special exemption permit, and CVS has not done that yet.

David Berman, regional director of real estate for CVS Caremark, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The BVIS is also proposing to the town that it purchase the vacant property and turn it into green space for public use. Dennis Finnerty, chairman of the Town Planning Board, said he would support that idea, and added that the parcel could be acquired two ways: the town can purchase it with a combination of Community Preservation Fund money and private funds, or it might be able to acquire it by eminent domain if the owner is not willing to sell it—although that would be “very controversial.”

“I think it’s a terrific idea,” Mr. Finnerty said of the town purchasing the property. “I certainly think it would be money well spent.”

Paul Kanavos, the real estate developer behind BNB Ventures, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Staff writer Michael Wright contributed to this story.

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