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Town Board Hears From Public on Tuckahoe Center Impact

First scoping session held on environmental study of supermarket development proposal.

The public had a chance to weigh in Tuesday at a scoping session on what potential environmental impacts a proposed zoning change could have if approved in Tuckahoe — and opinions were mixed.

The application calls for changing 7.26 acres along County Road 39 —  currently zoned Highway Business and Residential — into a Shopping Center Business zone, to allow for a shopping center anchored by a supermarket, dubbed Tuckahoe Center.

Members of the public were asked to share what concerns they have over the zoning change proposal by developer Robert Morrow's Southampton Ventures LLC, to determine what should be examined during an environmental review.

The input received at the scoping session could be included in a study to prepare a draft environmental impact statement on the proposal, as required under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

Before the floor was opened to the public, town planning and development administrator Kyle Collins explained, “The specific purpose of scoping is to narrow the issues and to ensure that the draft EIS will be concise, accurate — a complete document that will be adequate for public review.”

He added, “It is not the intent of this hearing tonight to express support for the application or your objections to the application.”

However, that caveat did not stop many speakers from expressing whether they are in favor of the plan or opposed.

John Wagner, a Hauppauge attorney speaking on behalf of the applicant, summarized the proposal. He said Tuckahoe Center is to include a 40,000-square-foot supermarket, 8,400-square-foot retail building, 6,600-square-foot retail building and 3,500-square-foot bank. There are plans for 217 parking spaces.

According to Wagner, under the existing zoning on the parcels, there could be 60,000-square feet of development, while Tuckahoe Center calls for just 58,500.

The supermarket will be modern, and mid-distance between existing supermarkets in Bridgehampton and Hampton Bays, Wagner said, giving an estimate that the project will eliminate 700,000 vehicle miles annually. He said it would provide temporary construction jobs, and permanent office and retail jobs, while reinvigorating the area with upscale development.

"The goal of the project, essentially, is to set a new benchmark for both attractive and sustainable development in the County Road 39 corridor," Wagner said.

The plans include attractive plantings of native species, permeable pavement, solar panels and other environmentally sustainable features, he added.

Southampton-Shinnecock Hills-Tuckahoe Citizens Advisory Committee member Bob Schepps agreed that the project could set a new standard for County Road 39 development — rather than the "helter skelter" development that exists. But he urged the Town Board to make sure that Morrow's promises come to fruition. "I say hold his feet and his lawyer's feet and his architect's feet to the fire, and make that happen," Schepps said.

Southampton-Shinnecock Hills-Tuckahoe CAC member Susan Van Olst said she wants to see extensive studies of existing traffic in the area and the new traffic Tuckahoe Center could bring.

Van Olst was skeptical of existing traffic studies that have been offered. She said that for traffic information to be relevant, it should be collected during the summer of 2013, and should sample more than one day to be statistically relevant. She was especially concerned with how supermarket traffic could affect the nearby Tuckahoe School.

Bonnie Goebert, the chair of the Southampton-Shinnecock Hills-Tuckahoe Citizens Advisory Committee, addressed the Town Board as well, though she said she was speaking on behalf of herself rather than the committee.

Goebert challenged the assertion that a third King Kullen is necessary between Hampton Bays and Bridgehampton, and said she wants an independent study to prove or disprove whether it is really the case. She also told the board that whether or not a project includes solar panels and other environmentally friendly measures should have no bearing on a zone change.

Ann LaWall, a Water Mill resident and the former executive director of the Southampton Business Alliance, endorsed the Tuckahoe Center plan. She was among a number of speakers who said they want to see another grocery shopping option nearby.

Jay Durante, of Shinnecock Hills, said, “I believe we as a community actually do need an additional supermarket for convenience — lowers our travel time, provides an alternative — and I also think it provides us with a way to have a positive impact on our envirmentall by driving less than we do now to go to one of those other markets.”

Local resident Frances Genovese, who identified herself as president of the Association of Southampton Neighborhoods, told the Town Board that among her concerns is the delivery truck traffic that the supermarket will bring, and the economic impact of the project.

The scoping session was adjourned and will continue at the Town Board's 1 p.m. meeting on Dec. 11.

Do you have strong feelings on this project? Write your thoughts in a blog post on Southampton Patch.

Stinker November 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM
For crying out loud how much more lip service are you going to give to the likes of Adolph Genovese and Bonnie Goebbels!? Reach down, check yourself and then make a decision either way. There is no mystery about how this pseudo-cannonized group of misfit locals who have been placed on a fake advisory board, feel about this plan. There can be nothing said that hasn't been said in the past 2 years. All you are doing at this point is pushing us further into global warming with all of this hot air being spewed from every orifice of the members of the SH CAC Comedy Troupe.
John C November 30, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Just put up the supermarjet
susan November 30, 2012 at 01:10 PM
we currently have 5 supermarkets within 15 miles of each other: wild by nature, stop & shop and king kullen in hampton bays; waldbaums in southampton AND king kullen in bridgehampton. southampton village is considering adding a small market in the village. so we really need another supermarket?? maybe we do, but this location, directly on cr39, is the wrong location. the cr39 draft land use study says: "it supports the role of Highway Business zoning in limiting the amount and degree of high volume traffic generators on the corridor in order to maintain traffic flow and avoid the reversion to the 'clogged arterial' character of the road prior to the widening. with the 2008 road widening, cr39's capacity HAS BEEN MAXIMIZED. low trip generation is a priority". do people also want a Best Buy? how about a WalMart? this request for a change of zone opens the door to the end of the rural, international resort destination way of life we have been privileged to enjoy and turns us into route 58. if you want that, go live there. :
Stinker November 30, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Exhibit #1 is right here. Your ability and willingness to repeat ad nauseum, your opinion, whether in the newspaper or online is admirable in your savant-like stamina. We got it. Now can someone make a decision either way so we don't have to get it anymore?!
Hazel Wilkonson the First November 30, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Hey, Stinker, if you are so tired of the whole thing, why keep commenting? Especially when you have nothing of value to add to the conversation.
Jaguar-Guy November 30, 2012 at 01:43 PM
So tired of the "Big Box" stores, and we DO NOT NEED another market in SH. If you want deals, join B.J.'s in Riverhead - but leave our nice community the way it is. PEOPLE WILL DIE AT THIS LOCATION AND THE BOARD DOES NOT CARE - THEY ONLY CARE ABOU THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR.
Nice peen November 30, 2012 at 02:45 PM
have patience please
free wheeling November 30, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Stinker is such a great name as it instantly identifies which orifice the writers words come streaming from. "Reach down.." to what? Seems to me that Stinker might be moving his hand (yes HIS) at the same speed as he spews his incoherent wordspunk. Everything is fake and has been said in the stinkuniverse. It must be boring if you are so limited you don't know the difference between facts and developer $peak. Retreat you fulminating moron into the empty airconditioned recesses of your "mind" and your solitary activities and opt out of the discourse. Always an option in Amerika or hadn't you heard?
Faustina November 30, 2012 at 05:01 PM
"Stinker" is just more BS under a different moniker.
Stinker November 30, 2012 at 06:03 PM
You people need a slogan to fight this King Kullen plan. How about ''If Chickens Fry, Children will die''. Everyone loves Stinker!
Peconic Sunset November 30, 2012 at 09:40 PM
A 40,000-square-foot supermarket that may not be needed given the demographics and existing markets; an 8,400-square-foot retail building and a 6,600-square-foot retail building when we have many vacant retail buildings and 3,500-square-foot bank when brick and mortar banks are rapidly becoming obsolete. Oh yes, of course, 217 parking spaces. Who is backing this financing? Yikes.
free wheeling November 30, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Just because some lawyer says it doesn't make it so. Unctuously representing his client's interest this Hauppague advocate states at every opportunity that putting a KK supermarket at one of the worst spots on 39 will "ELIMINATE 700,000 car trips" (Wha????) and that the "goal" of the developer is to set a new benchmark of highway beauty and sustainability among other tripe. As a lawyer why isn't he raising before the board and the public the legal issue of spot zoning, the legal definition of "need", the avoidance of Segmentation, the criteria for community benefits instead of throwing out traffic fictions and brochure hype? and other issues of substance. There is no more merit to this guy's presentation of traffic conjecture and empty marketing speak because he has a law degree.
Peconic Sunset December 01, 2012 at 01:25 PM
The notion of holding their feet to the fire is a little bit fanciful. Once they get the green light, the community will have to deal with it or endure it.
Bob Schepps December 01, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Francis/Faustina I hope the BS you refer to is the bovine type not some one's initials. Stinker I agree that the opinions expressed by Bonnie and Francis are different HOWEVER the reference you make by changing their names to represent one of humanities lowest points is over the line. Please come to the next meeting of the CAC so I can address you comments face to face. I thought that the argument was summed up perfectly Tuesday nite when Francis said " Mr. Schepps just wants a supermarket" right and you don't but the zoning change is about reaching criteria that exists in town code. It is on the list of options for personal property. So after tis decision is made you all should check the menu of options YOU as town residents accept as law and seek to make changes you don't agree with. Peconic Sunset let me ask you a question. The size of the buildings that might go vacant is a concern of yours. How does that principle apply to the New Parrish. What will go there if it goes vacant? How large is it and how is traffic affected by its existence?
Peconic Sunset December 01, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Mr Schepps: The Parrish fills a unique need in the community, is well funded and there is little concern that it might fail from an economic perspective given an over supply of Art Museums. A "me too supermarket", unspecified retail space including a brick and mortar bank seems much riskier to me.
Bob Schepps December 01, 2012 at 04:32 PM
The risk goes to the developer who gambles their own money. The New parrish is funded by philanthropy which is even shakier in the current economic and political environment. But its OK to build a monstrosity over wet lands for a "unique" need that was filled for years at the Village location. This is an expansion of epic proportions that some of us turn the other cheek because it is a somehow preferred by some arbitrary and unprincipled "me right" mentality. The hypocrisy is obvious.
free wheeling December 01, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Bob Schepps equates the supermarket he is pushing for with a nursing home and with a museum and goes sailing on from there. Opposition to the nursing home has zilch to do with the opposition to the traffic-mongering King Kullen, likewise the new Parrish museum. A little restraint and a lot more logic would go a long way. And how about, just for a change, a fact or two thrown in.
Stinker December 01, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Hey Bob, I am going to sleep very soundly tonight in spite of the fact you think my comments about Adolph Genovese and Bonnie Goebbels is over the top. Regarding Free Wheeling, that is a terrible name for a guy who is anything but. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone with whom you disagreed was to "opt out of the discourse''. The fact is, we'll be bumping into each other in the produce aisle of this supermarket in 8 months so you better be sweet.
Faustina December 02, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Ignore the previous comment, folks. It's just stinker playing with himself again.
velocirapper1 December 02, 2012 at 06:15 PM
WOW! I haven't been around for awhile, and this place is beginning to look more and more like Riverhead - empty stores, SALE signs everywhere and developers circling like hungry dogs around any land that's left. I can't actually believe they are considering letting ANOTHER KING KULLLEN come in to clog the highway. Anyone ever hear of traffice. Then people who oppose it are called Nazi names. Looks like I missed absolutely nothing while I was away.
Bob Schepps December 03, 2012 at 01:24 PM
ACTUALLY I equate the arguments against the redevelopment of the old IGHL property and surrounding properties now owned by a single person. That means they have rights associated with ownership. You and others decide which use is best by making a CONTRACT called zoning laws so that free people can use their property. Since property rights are NOT scalable to time it makes no difference if the property is been owned for 1 day or 1 hundred years. Rights are rights. So formulas for comparisons are used to determine what's fair. Our law provides for supermarket zoning. The complainant should have taken up years ago and the zoning should have been changed by those that oppose the use. You can't wait until it happens and then say the use shouldn't be on the books. Its to late, so whine as you will to make up reasons against; it should happen anyway. And by the way "the supermarket he is pushing for" is not true. What I'm pushing for and defending are private property rights . That is the main difference between a free society and everyone else.
Peconic Sunset December 03, 2012 at 07:34 PM
How will this shopping center will eliminate 70,000 vehicle miles annually? Where will this "elimination" be observed; in our community, up island, or somewhere else? I would like to review the model they used so I can try to understand the assumptions and conclusions.
Argile December 04, 2012 at 06:58 AM
Hazel, 99% of your posts add nothing to these conversations. But that's usually what happens when the uneducated get a hold of a keyboard.
Stinker December 04, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Do you start with the lime and the coconut and mix it all in?
Peconic Sunset December 04, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Seriously, people make incredible claims about conclusions from technical models without explaining the limitations of the model and we are expected to "feel good" about this environmentally friendly project. Seems a bit more explanation is needed before we succumb to strip mall construction on a dangerous road, that is also not in alignment with the master plan for CR 39.
Hazel Wilkonson the First December 04, 2012 at 02:43 PM
This board would approve replacing town hall with a target if there was a big enough donation attached to the proposal
Wanda December 10, 2012 at 05:00 PM
This is all completely unacceptable. We all had to pay "welcome to the Hamptons" tax mainly to ensure that this part of the island will NOT have unnecessary commercial developments. If this stupid King Kullen project gets approved we should get our money back and maybe even sue SH Town if they approve it. Again - there is no need for it! If anyone is reading it who is in the position of stopping it - please do the right thing! Please remember what the Hamptons is all about - definitely not another supermarket creating traffic and looking horrible!
Bob Schepps December 11, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Whoa Wanda a "welcome to the Hampton's tax". That sums it up for me. So you "paid" a premium to be here so as a customer of the hampton's real estate market you are entitled to keeping things the way they were when you bought in. That really frames the other end of the political spectrum. You have the far left as socialists and the far right as capitalist robber barons. These are supposed to be COMMUNITIES not COMMODITIES. You can't buy exclusion and gated community zoning in a free market. We have rules that are the zoning laws. Maybe you should move to a gated TOWN somewhere your money trumps all else. Now those opposed to my position that the Tuckahoe Redevelopment should take place might see a conflict with these positions. Again the property rights issue is what is the principle here and with Wanda

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