Doesn’t anyone in East Hampton Town Hall do his or her homework? That is a fair question given the disregard for protected farmland that has become apparent recently.
The latest incident arose when someone belatedly realized that the town had, almost a decade ago, bought the development rights to the acreage on which parking was planned for as many as 3,900 guests at the Shark Attack Sounds dance party tomorrow night at the Montauk Yacht Club. The 2004 purchase blocked the land’s use for anything other than agriculture, including parking. This is very much like the debacle last summer in which the town decided to convert several acres of county-protected farm fields in East Hampton to a road drainage sump. The project remains unfinished, and the resulting dispute with Suffolk officials unresolved. As with the earlier example, there is evidence that certain town officials were made aware of the restrictions on the site but chose to ignore them.
With only a day to go until the Montauk event is to begin, it is irresponsible that a majority of the town board appeared poised to okay an alternative parking arrangement — one that police and emergency responders would not have had adequate time to review. If there ever was a time to call the party off, that time is now.