The Remsenburg Association
PO Box 187
Dedicated to the preservation of the hamlet's unique character

"Hidden away like a treasure...Remsenburg is a charming combination of elegance and tradition in a rustic setting."  Summer Life Magazine May 17th, 1985

 

Proposed Development of the Former Webb Property:  "The Estates at Remsenburg"


 

 

THE ESTATES AT REMSENBURG

Town Planning Board Public Hearing on "The Estates at Remsenburg" Preliminary Application for a Subdivision - Thursday, May 8th @ 7:00pm

 

The public hearing on The Estates at Remsenburg, on Thursday, May 8th was the last public hearing prior to the Planning Board’s approving a plan for the subdivision.

 

The meeting was well attended and more congenial than previous hearings. 

 

There were a number of concerns raised regarding the current plan (which is available for viewing at the Town of Southampton Town Hall, but not available online).  

 

In no order of importance some of the issues raised (along with the “answers”) were as follows:

 

The Eastport Fire Department is concerned about adequate access to the flag lots at the northern end of the subdivision.  The Planning Board highlighted that while the plan is marked with individual driveways for the flag lots, in fact it will be one common shared driveway of decent width.  In addition, there will be a fire hydrant about midway – ensuring adequate distance for all homes to be reached by a fire hose.  A suggestion/recommendation was made that perhaps there should be an egress only road at the north end into Matthews to provide further access for the Fire Department. Finally, some space for a turn around will be added.  Other ideas are also being considered.

 

Residents on Nidzyn Avenue are worried that open space along Nidzyn will not be maintained and used for dumping.  The open space will be public land and subject to maintenance by the Town of Southampton highway department.

 

There is also concern the open space will be appropriated by new homeowners.  The Planning Board indicated that this could be addressed by the requirement of split rail fencing to demarcate the private property from the open space.

 

Residents on Nidzyn were also concerned about headlights from vehicles exiting onto Nidzyn and were asking for some form of landscape screening.  The developer is not under obligation, but says he will consider it.

 

Residents were generally concerned about construction traffic on South Country and Nidzyn.  While difficult to make predictions, in all likelihood the construction traffic will end up being determined by the specific location of the lot being developed, its relative proximity to either the South Country or Nidzyn entrance, and the preferences of the truck drivers themselves.   For the record, it is unlikely that more than one or two houses will be under construction at any given time over the course of the year.   And as most Remsenburg residents have witnessed, there seems to be some form of house construction/renovation going on nearby all the time.

 

Residents remain concerned that the entrance/exit on South Country – will be too wide.   In our conversation with Mr. Citarelli he indicated that he is required on the plan to show a 50’ entrance, but that is hoping that there will be approval for smaller entrance on par with those of Club, Rogers and Halsey Lanes.

 

Residents remain anxious that the “streetscapes” of both South Country and Nidzyn will lose their present charms.

 

Timing of the development?  Still uncertain, but likely to be approximately 6 months or so before Mr. Citarelli will be able to begin any marketing and construction.  In speaking with Mr. Citarelli I learned his objective is to first build a new house of similar look and appearance to the main house fronting South Country.

 

Last, but not least, residents are anxious that despite the best intentions of the developer, that particulars set out in the final plan will not be met. 

 

Likewise concerns remain that over time as other developers participate in the build out of the subdivision there is the risk that the resulting homes and the subdivision itself will deviate from the qualities that make Remsenburg such a charming hamlet.   The Planning Board will require certain bonds to be posted by the developer as a means of ensuring compliance – however, ultimately the community will have to be vigilant to highlight non-compliance to the Town.

 

As a separate item, the original Webb house that fronts South Country Rd., has fallen into serious disrepair.

 

We had received complaints regarding the condition of the former Webb house (pictured above).  

 

Below is a copy of our correspondence with the developer Mr. Larry Citarelli.

 

"Thanks for the very nice chat the other day and the follow up emails.  As discussed, the hearing is for Thursday evening.  As to the discussion of disrepair, I was instructed by the SH town officials to board up the main house building as vandals were apparent on numerous occasions coupled with the house not being fully occupied for decades.  The fence is currently being repaired and had only been delayed due to the extreme weather which has been a real strain on scheduling now that the weather has finally broken and the subsequent back log is starting to loosen up.

 

As to intended goals of the subdivision, it has been since inception and will continue through the develop to take great strides in creating something that we can all be proud.  While impossible to please all parties, all of the time, it is my intention to not only maintain the current South Country Streetscape but rather to improve it overall.  By that one should note that there currently existing two driveway curb cuts replete with the associated large amount of asphalt.  As you are facing the property, the net result will result in the westerly curb cut/driveway and corresponding asphalt being removed, the classic white fence being continued thus closing that entrance and the driveway being replaced with lawn and landscaping...

 

The Easterly driveway will also be removed, lawn and landscaped and the new road will be slightly east of that with a large buffer from the adjacent property.  The intended goal of the street will mirror that of the likes of Tuthill, Club, Rogers, Halsey et al the classic country lane.  The drainage system has consciously and systematically been designed to preserve the large growth and substantial trees on the south country side as well in the vast majority and as humanly possible.

 

I am a big fan of many of the characteristics of the main house and is one of the many reasons I too appreciate our very special hamlet...I have attached the proposed renderings of the aforementioned whereby one can clearly see that great efforts have been employed to again replicate items like the charming arched screen porches, Yankee gutter system, exterior mill work, color and architectural style...Albeit the house is on a concrete slab, structurally deficient and a inundated with myriad of other issues based on two independent reports...

 

While I am not one to judge, it is not outside the realm of possibility(have actually had offers to purchase) that a builder/developer from outside our hamlet would clearly have gone for maximum density including the state mandated affordable units, immediately filed for an as of right demolition permit prior to the subdivision and would have no regard for the architectural style.  Moreover,  it should be amply noted that often these same parties do not spend an exorbitant amount of time and money carefully analyzing(centroid, regression and propinquity) the macro-economic cause and effects of the project as it relates to size, finishes, first vs. second home buyer, resale valuations and how they could affect the school enrollment/capacity/expansion, real estate taxes of us all, budgets, safety etc etc.

 

attached as promised are the main house renderings...

 

 

I again thank you for time, effort and for sharing in the very concerns that I too share... It is my sincere hope that you will expeditiously share with your esteemed colleagues at the Remsenburg Association and community at large this email and neighborly spirit in which we have collaborated tangentially with an accurate and clear reflection my true intentions. ..."

 

Lawrence Citarelli

Principal - L III Group

First Hampton International RE / Lawrence III Corp. / Citadom Holdings

50 Main Street / Westhampton Beach NY 11978

Direct - 631.325.3925 / Cellular - 631.872.0280 / SKYPE - Cristalbeach1

www.Hamptonsrealestate1.com / www.LIIIgroup.com / www.cristalbeachresort.com

http://www.facebook.com/lawrence.citarelli

http://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrencecitarelli

 

 

 

 (November 26, 2012)

 

After a series of meetings between the developer and the planning board regarding plans for "The Estates at Remsenburg" aka TEAR (the former Webb property on South Country Road), the town planner has confirmed that a plan for the Estates project has been approved.  

 

The approved plan requires a through access road with entrances on both Nidzyn and South Country.  Nidzyn will be the only access for construction vehicles and the access for South Country will be a "country lane" standard.  

 

Once we have a copy of the plan we will post the plan along with this information on the website.

 

The next step is now for the developer to submit a final plan, with various environmental and historical structure reviews to be completed.  We will continue to follow the progress.

 

If you care to comment on the project, please contact by email:  Jacqueline Fenlon -jenflon@southamptontownny.gov; or by mail:  Planning Board, Town Hall, 116 Hampton Road, Southampton, NY 11968.

NEW PLANS FOR ESTATES PRESENTED TO PLANNING BOARD

NOTES FROM THE PUBLIC HEARING OF APRIL 26, 2013

The April 26th public hearing with the Town of Southampton Planning Board for "The Estates at Remsenburg" addressed the 10 plans that have been filed to develop the former Webb property.  It was a late evening since there were three other items on the agenda before the board got to the discussion of the proposed development.

There were really no surprises at the meeting.  The predominant focus of comments were made by residents who either argued in favor of the developer's preferred entrance from South Country Road, or by those residents who believe that an entrance from Nidzyn would be best.   Speakers expressed opinions regarding the potential differences in the values of the properties depending on the access road and how that would affect school enrollment and taxes, as well as on traffic and safety. In addition, there was a comment by a representative from the Eastport Fire Department appealing against permission of any flag lots insofar as they represent a safety issue in terms of access for the fire department.

For those wishing to make their views known to the planning board there is a 30 day written comment period following the April 26th meeting.  If you do want to make a comment, the contact information for the Planning Board is as follows.

Email:  Jacqueline Fenlon  jfenlon@southamptontownny.gov

or by mail:

Planning Board, Town Hall, 116 Hampton Road, Southampton, NY 11968


PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 26

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on April 26 at 7pm in Southampton Town Hall for public comment.  Various plans have been presented by the developer for the former Webb property.  The most recent plans show access to the development with a through road entering from both South Country Road and Nidyzn Avenue.  

THE PLANS ARE SHOWN BELOW.

A total of ten plans are on file and public comments may be addressed to any of the plans.  Two of the plans on file are from the Town’s professional planner and show access only from Nidyzn Avenue.  Other plans from the developer show access from South Country Road or, most recently, from both South Country and Nidzyn.

The Planning Board will welcome comments, so even if you spoke at a previous meeting last year or have submitted a letter or email, much time has passed and they want to hear from members of the community at this time.  Please attend and express your views.

Contact information for the Planning Board:

Email:

Jacqueline Fenlon jfenlon@southamptontownny.gov

 

Mail:

Planning Board

Town Hall

116 Hampton Road

Southampton, NY 11968

New Subdivision Plan 1

 

New Subdivision Plan 2

 

March 9, 2012

The Southampton Planning Board discussed the Remsenburg Estates at its meeting on March 8, 2012.  The developer's attorney, Wayne Bruyn, spoke about the process to date and stressed that it is important that the two existing historic homes will be restored or replicated by the developer, Lawrence Citarelli.  A report on the condition of the homes by an expert on preservation has been prepared for the developer and will be submitted to the Planning Board.

New plans for the development were presented by the developer's planning consultant, Kyle Collins.   The new plans show access to the development from both South Country Road and Nidyzn Avenue with a through road that would connect South Country and Nidzyn.  Kyle said that over 25% of the property is to be open space, and a trail is provided from Matthews Road along the west side of the property.   

Kyle Collins also discussed the economics (macro and micro) of the development and the potential impact on the school system and school taxes.  He said the developer still prefers the South Country Road entrance, but is now proposing two entrances.

Because two new plans were submitted and as many as eight previous plans had been submitted since last July by the developer and Town Planning Staff, the developer’s attorney asked for a second pre-application public hearing on all of the plans which would give members of the community a chance to hear about the various plans and to comment on them directly to the Planning Board.  The public hearing is scheduled for April 26 before the Planning Board in Southhampton. 

The new plans will be obtained by the Remsenburg Association, and we expect they will be posted on the Association website (Remsenburg Association.com). We encourage everyone to study the pros and cons of this proposed development and to make their views known.  We hope to be able to organize a community meeting to review the new plans and the other plans submitted.

February 22, 2012

Update on Former Webb Property Preservation Activity 

More than thirty-five people responded to the Association email and letter of earlier this month.  There were many thoughtful emails and an overwhelming and enthusiastic expression of support for our work. 

Great interest and support for preservation of the property and possible development of a trail was expressed.  Some generous residents mentioned their willingness to make a substantial financial contribution to make preservation possible and a number of people volunteered to be on a trail committee. 

Unfortunately we now have the unhappy task to advise you that the developer of the former Webb property on South Country Road contacted the Community Preservation Fund (CPF) last week to tell them he is not a willing seller at this time.  As a result, CPF is suspending its review of the property and any further efforts at preservation.  (Mary Wilson, CPF Manager, sent an email advising us of this.  A copy follows.)

In view of this position taken by the developer, we must now discontinue our efforts to work for preservation of the property.  This leaves a void. Starting with meetings with environmental groups beginning last July and continuing through the Annual Meeting in November that included speakers on how CPF works, and preparation of a proposal in December, preservation of the land was a strong focus of our efforts.

If the developer is not willing to consider a sale, there is nothing CPF or the Association can do. I know many in the community will be disappointed, maybe most of us.  We certainly are, but we can't force an unwilling seller to sell.

RA Board of Governors


From: Mary Wilson, CPF Manager 

Subject: RE: Remsenburg Activity

Date: February 15, 2012 3:23:23 PM EST

To: Sally Pope spnyc@earthlink.net

HI Sally:

I wanted you to know that Mr. Citarelli contacted me yesterday and indicated that he is not a willing seller at this time. Since this is an essential component to the CPF program and our process, I advised that CPF would then suspend our new review of this project until such time as the landowner expresses an interest in preserving the property.  Thank you and please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or comments. 

Mary

 

Hello to all Remsenburg Residents from the Remsenburg Association Board -- February 7th, 2012

January did not bring many snow flurries in Remsenburg, but it has brought a flurry of letters and newspaper ads from the developer of the former Webb property on South Country Road.   Because of the frequent mention of the Remsenburg Association and its current president in the communications, we want to bring you up to date on the Association activities connected with the development.

Preservation Activities

We do not question the right of any developer to pursue profit from his work.  But a large undeveloped parcel of former agricultural land is rare, to be treasured, and has potential for community benefit.

When the developer’s plan for the former Webb property was presented to the Southampton Town Planning Board, the community overwhelmingly supported preserving the land.  Residents repeatedly asked the Association to petition the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board (CPF) to put the property on its target list for preservation and to purchase some or all of the property.  We have done that.

The Association submitted a proposal to CPF at the end of December with the written support of the following environmental and community groups: Eastern Long Island Audubon Society, Group for the East End, Landmarks and Historic Districts Board of the Town of Southampton, Peconic Land Trust, and the Speonk-Remsenburg Association.  CPF did not turn us down.  In fact, we recently heard from CPF requesting additional information about how we see the use and maintenance of the land if it is to be preserved.

At the Association’s Annual Meeting in November, with an overflow audience, the developer had the opportunity to present his plans for the land and the Town’s CPF Manager and President of the Advisory Board spoke about the CPF process.  Steve Kenny, a former member of the Planning Board, former Town Councilman, and Remsenburg resident, also spoke about a vision for a Greenway running from Pheasant Lane to Nidzyn Avenue.  (Land adjacent to the development has already been dedicated and would be part of the Greenway.)

If desired by residents, and accepted by the developer through a sale to CPF, the Association Board will continue to support CPF preservation of the former agricultural land and mature growth forest to create a trail through open space that could provide members of the public and students with an experience of nature in our back yard and protect undisturbed habitat for many species of birds and animals.  An obvious benefit from this plan is that it would require the least amount of maintenance and financial resources from the community.  If this becomes a real possibility, a community meeting would be devoted to planning and organizing the creation of the trail.

We are asking you, residents of the community, if we should continue to pursue this preservation option. Your feedback and suggestions will guide us.

Preservation of historic structures on the property is a much larger project and one the CPF is unlikely to support unless the community could raise the money to preserve, renovate and support the structures.  Again, what are your views?

Activities Monitoring Development

Last summer, the Southampton Town Planning Board sought public comment on the proposed development plan.  The Association’s concern is the preservation of the streetscape including not just the historic structures that face South Country Road but also the very large, old and beautiful trees along the street and existing driveway entrances.  In addition the Association is concerned about the impact on traffic particularly given that South Country Road is the most active road in Remsenburg for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. 

Given these concerns the Association proceeded to gather input from the community via a petition.  We were not alone in our views.  During the span of several hours over a few weekend days last summer almost 350 of you signed a petition opposing the new road for access to the development from South Country Road and the developer’s cluster plan (for lots smaller than one-acre).  Many of you also spoke at the meetings for public comment.  Professional planners who are residents of the community and several employed by the Town came to the same conclusion about the access road as did the Conservation Board of the Town of Southampton, which recommended access from Nidzyn.

Understandably, many of the residents of Nidzyn Avenue oppose an access road from their street, and the developer says he now has collected over 200 names from the “greater Westhampton community” to support his original plan.  We regret the divisions among us, but there are real differences of opinion.

The traffic study by the developer indicates no meaningful impact on traffic volumes for either road regardless of the location of the entrance.   The Remsenburg Association’s evaluation of this study by an independent traffic engineer confirms this conclusion.  The two engineers, however, come to different conclusions about which road is best for access.

Ultimately the decision is to be made by the Planning Board.  As part of the Association activities in November and December, members of the Association Board attended Planning Board meetings held with the developer and open to the public.  As a result, we are aware that the professional planning staff in Southampton Town Hall, responsible for reviewing and making recommendations on proposals, recommended Nidzyn Avenue as the preferred access road for the development and had prepared and submitted plans showing their recommendations to the developer.  Those plans are in the file.

The Plannning Board should be making a decision soon.  We understand the next meeting was delayed by the developer and will be held February 23. It is not a meeting for public comment, but anyone interested may attend to hear the discussion between the developer and his representatives and the Planning Board.

As stated at the beginning, the Remsenburg Association mission is to represent the community in the effort to help preserve and enhance the unique qualities of our hamlet.  Our first priority is to represent the broader community’s view.  We also recognize that ultimately not every individual will be in agreement.   We would very much appreciate hearing your opinion on all of this.  

You may respond by email, by mail or on Facebook.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

The Remsenburg Association Board of Governors

Sally Pope, President

William Heine

Susan Hoffman

Kerry Horton

Jim Mendelson

Michael O’Hare

Paul Siller

Donna Simon

Jan Vinokour

Meg Winslow