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Day Camp Opponents Implore Zoning Board to Reopen Pool Decision

Little Fresh Pond Association says zoning board decision based on misrepresentations and omissions; developer says he is being defamed again.

Leaders of the Little Fresh Pond Association, a community group fighting a proposed day camp in North Sea, are asking the Southampton Town Zoning Board to Appeals to reopen a December decision to permit a new pool on the property and accusing the developer of misrepresenting and omitting facts.

But Jay Jacobs, the owner of the Majors Path parcel and the operator of a number of day camps, said Friday that he has done everything properly and he is the one being victimized by misrepresentations and, sometimes, outright lies.

The zoning board ruled Dec. 20, 2012, that the planned pool will not require a variance. The Little Fresh Pond Association asserts that Jacobs failed to disclose that a bathhouse would be needed to accompany the new pool, and surreptitiously began renovating a residential building into bathhouse before the application was approved.

In a letter to Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Adam Grossman Thursday, the Little Fresh Pond Association leadership and attorney wrote that Jacobs' Southampton Day Camp Realty's "brazen attempt to subvert this board's lawful process must not be tolerated. SDCR failed to acknowledge its legal obligation to provide a bathhouse as part of its plans for its proposed pool, misled this board as to critical facts this board then relied upon in its decision, and covertly tried to convert a residential building into a bathhouse without lawful permission. Each one of these misdeeds provided compelling justification to vacate the decision."

Southampton Day Camp Realty was issued a stop work order on Dec. 18, 2012, after a neighbor reported renovation work going on at the property. According to a notice of violation from Southampton Town Code Enforcement, electrical, plumbing and framing work was being done without the necessary building permits.

But Jacobs said all of the work — such as mold remediation, replacing windows and fixing other damage from Superstorm Sandy, and making facilities Americans with Disabilities Act compliant — was minor and does not require a permit. He said code enforcement officers only issued a violation because of pressure from neighbors. “I don’t fault them,” he said.

Chief Town Investigator David Betts said that is not the case.

“Anytime your do framing, if it changes the structural elements of the building, it has to be inspected and you need a permit,” Betts said Friday, later adding,“I assure you that if my guy ordered stop work order, that there was sufficient work being done that needed a permit.”

The building that was being renovated is identified as Cottage #2. Jacobs said he did not hide the fact from the zoning board that another facility would complement the pool. "There isn’t a pool on a club or a camp that requires the members to go home to change and go back," he said.

Jacobs said that opponents of his proposed day camp did not simply look over the fence, see work being done, and file a complaint with code enforcement. “These neighbors have trespassed upon the property to see what we were doing," and sometimes misidentified themselves to his employees as agents of the town interested in buying the land for preservation, he said.

Jacobs said, at the heart of the dispute, neighbors want the zoning board to void the legal rights he has to a property he spent nearly $8 million on, simply because they are upset that a sleepy camp will become busy. He equated it to a restaurant with 200 parking spaces that goes from having a bad chef to a good chef. He said that neighbors have no basis to complain once the parking lot goes from mostly empty to full — the property owner has a right to have a successful business.

“I’m sorry they don’t like they fact that they bought homes in an area where a camp operated and a club operated that wasn’t very successful, and they want it to continue to be unsuccessful,” he said.

Opponents of the camp have stood by the position that the parcel was an abandoned tennis camp and that a day camp is not a valid pre-existing use, and that intensified use of the parcel will be a threat to the ecological health of Little Fresh Pond.

  • RELATED: Letter to the Editor: Proposed Camp Threatens Fragile Ecosystem

Jacobs said concerns for the pond are not founded because his proposal includes state-of-the-art septic facilities.

Joseph Sciame January 05, 2013 at 03:57 PM
If this site was in the Village of Southampton, how very different the decision would be! There is no good reason for Jay Jacobs to dop this to our Little Fresh Pond community. The BZA of the Town needs to listen to the people.
Joseph Sciame January 05, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Absolutely against any development of the property.
Barbara Marsh January 05, 2013 at 04:53 PM
I really hpe the Zoning Board acknowledges that Jacobs is just trying to use the back door to get his full camp up and running.
Chelsea January 05, 2013 at 04:56 PM
I live within a few hundred feet of Cottage #2 and there was absolutely no damage to that cottage from Sandy.The renovations that Jacobs was trying to do without a permit were for his own benefit. And as for his remark that "the neighbors are upset that a sleepy camp will become busy" is again just a twist of the truth. The property was a Tennis Club not a Day Camp accomodating hundreds of children.The neighbors near this property bought their homes here for the tranquility of the area.Perhaps we should demand that Mr. Jacobs be forced to live next door to his 500+ kid day camp and see how he likes the noise.
highhatsize January 05, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Jacobs is really a piece of work. He tries to muzzle his critics with a SLAPP lawsuit (thrown out by the court as totally without merit); is bounced from the Chairmanship of the NYS Democratic Party by his shamefaced colleagues as a result; continues to renovate the parcel without permits; lies about the renovation; and now claims that those who point out his misdeeds are defaming him. It is inconceivable that he should win and continue to expose residents to his pestilential presence.
Jaguar-Guy January 05, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Agree 100%.
Ann Ernst January 05, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Kidd I am hopeful that the ZBA, does the right thing, no building without a permit, it is just breaking the law, this oversized club to be made a camp is not flying with the local residents. Greed run amok.
LFreda January 05, 2013 at 06:27 PM
It is amazing that Jacobs is allowed to go forward with his camp plans. The Town zoned the area for residential use. The old tennis club had been there before the residential zoning, so was grandfathered in as a non-residential use exception. Why is the town no allowing expanded non-residential use in this residential area? It makes no sense and goes against the intention of the zoning law. AND, the local community is actively outspokenly against it. Money + power = influence. May the local community, the intention of the zoning law and wise minds prevail!
l dunne January 06, 2013 at 05:04 AM
Mr Jacob's only vested interest in this property is to use it to make money not it's effect upon a residential community or the environment. This property has NEVER been a DAY CAMP. It is not for the benefit of the year round residents of North Sea or Southampton. Every resident will suffer from his actions! Please go back to Nassau County to Your Home and stay away from here!
tish graziano January 06, 2013 at 05:27 PM
Yeah, Velvet!!!!!!
Charles Clampet January 07, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Now now Southhampton residents you "ALL" must play nice with "OTHERS"! All that are complaining please be transparent, a show of hands of whom are native to Southampton? Oh now how many are Native Southampton Indians? How many residents that are complaining have duel residents here in Southampton and else where. Or even three or more residents in the States or abroad. If so, then sit down your comments and votes should not count. Town Supervisor and Town Council stop taken campaign funds from corrupt residents,taxpayers and business people, go by the "BLACK LETTER of LAW" as it was intended. Stop looking for "LOOP HOLES" in the law. And Vevet what is your gain in this dialogue, are you a "FULL" time resident. Elected officials should investigate any one for or against what any Property owner wants to bring before the Board or ZBA. What say "ALL" Be nice to one another. We have enough "MUMBO JUMBO" with Washington D.C. Look at the 'WARS" we are trying to get our MEN and WOMEN back here in the "STATES"! Fight that fight not because of a possible little noise from a "DAY CAMP"! Cry babies should need not comment. Complain about noise .......listen to the "GUN" fire in Afghanistan, Iraq,etc.
Barbara Marsh January 08, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Jay Jacobs wants to see hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale in New York State. Furthermore, Jacobs signed a contract with, and received per-acre upfront money from energy giant Hess Corp. to permit fracking on some 140 acres of land at his Tyler Hill summer camp in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. I certainly would not want to send my child to camp at a fracking site! Is this the environmental consciousness he will bring to Little Fresh Pond?
MARTIN DREW January 09, 2013 at 02:46 AM
I live next to Camp Blue Bay .. Girls Scouts... No problems with kids sleeping for us ... These selfish neighbors forgot about being a child and the joys / experiences one has by going to a camp .. Mr . Jacobs deserves thnx not scorn for caring about kids.
tish graziano January 21, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Clearly Mr. Clampet has not taken a ride around North Sea lately!!!!!!!
l dunne January 25, 2013 at 01:47 AM
I live here all year for 40 years - I'd say that's local My gain is to continue to have the same amount of peace and tranquility that we have had not school busses running in and out and destroying a residential neighbor hood!
Sabine Demme January 31, 2013 at 11:51 AM
Feel the same way
Mary Beth January 31, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Patriot, you sound like a bleeding heart liberal.
Allyson February 28, 2013 at 04:17 PM
So right now there is a lot of 'construction activity' going on at the tennis club location....what happened to the environmenatal impact statement that we 'heard' was required from the Board?....In fact, the tennis club is even advertising now that it will be open?...In my opinion, it seems the tennis club owners are moving forward hoping that once construction starts, they can rationalize their investment in the property and sway opinions to allow it to continue! In my opinion, there should be a 'stop work' order to prevent further action until full disclosure of activity is made and assessed. Just go over to Majors Path and see the activity! [north of the intersection of North Sea Mecox Road]..

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