On Thursday at 7 p.m. at , the Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals will finally render its decision on whether a requires further ZBA review and permission for a change of use.
If the ZBA agrees with opponents of the day camp plan, that would not halt the camp application, but it will subject it to more scrutiny before a final decision is rendered. If the ZBA agrees with the developer, the day camp application can proceed through town channels without a formal ZBA review.
Jay Jacobs, the owner of the land and an operator of other day camps, including in East Hampton, is seeking approvals to expand a pre-existing, nonconforming use at the site. But groups of residents have appealed a building department decision that stated the application can proceed without the ZBA's review, and say that the site does not have a pre-existing use as a summer camp of the scope Jacobs' proposes.
The site was most recently home of the , a members-only tennis club. Neighbors in opposition say that plans for a day camp, which includes widening a stretch of Majors Patch, will lead to increased noise and traffic in the neighborhood, and pollution to Little Fresh Pond.
Jacobs maintains that measures will be taken to prevent effluent from entering the pond, and the camp will not deteriorate quality of life for the neighborhood.
Members of the Little Fresh Pond Association and North Sea Neighbors, and others with concerns about the pond's health, spoke passionately at , urging the ZBA to reject the camp application. Jacobs said at the hearing that a day camp is the best use for the property. "It operates eight to 10 weeks for the year, different from a home project, which would have multiple homes that would operate all year long," he said.
Jacobs, the chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, has sued the president and vice president of the Little Fresh Pond Association, . They counter-sued, saying that he is in violation of state law.