The East Hampton Town Trustees determined on Tuesday night to write an official letter to the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals concerning the Maidstone Club’s application to expand and modernize its irrigation system. At issue is the proposed project’s potential impact on Hook Pond.
Today was the final day for public comment. The consensus among the trustees was that the application would be approved, a determination that is expected at the zoning board’s Feb. 14 meeting.
“If something really detrimental happens to this pond and we don’t say something strong, we’re going to look poor to the public that we didn’t protect their assets,” Deborah Klughers told her colleagues. “This board will be not providing the public the protection we’re supposed to be giving.” The trustees oversee the town’s beaches and waterways on behalf of the community.
Ms. Klughers told the trustees that Linda James, a former president of the Hook Pond Associates homeowners group, has enlisted a consultant to develop her suggestion that the Maidstone be required to fund any mitigation and restoration work necessitated by the irrigation system. Ms. James urged the zoning board to attach such conditions to its approval at a recent hearing.
Ms. James, said Ms. Klughers, “has already spoken with the town and village and they are on board with discussing remediation.” Ms. James has asked whether the trustees would join the effort, and Ms. Klughers, who is in favor of joining it, suggested that the trustees include that information in their letter.
Bill Taylor, a trustee, agreed and suggested including an insistence that the Maidstone ensure sufficient water-quality monitoring, funded by the private club, and share the results with the trustees.
Diane McNally, the trustees’ clerk, said a letter would be written, sent to the trustees for approval, and delivered to the zoning board ahead of today’s deadline.
In other business, Stephanie Forsberg told her colleagues that a report on last year’s water-quality testing, performed by trustees in cooperation with Dr. Christopher Gobler of Stony Brook University, would soon be complete. “I’m working on coming up with a date for a public talk that will be giving those results,” she said. The report will be presented at Town Hall, probably late next month or early in March.
Ms. Klughers also told of a “shoreline sweep” to be held on Feb. 8. It is hoped that the beach cleanup will include the oceanfront from Montauk to Wainscott, she said, and asked the trustees if they would help to collect bags of trash using the board’s truck. The town board, she said, supports the project.
In her clerk’s report, Ms. McNally told the board that the East End Trustees, comprising the trustees of East Hampton, Southampton, and Southold, will meet on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Southampton Town Hall. Each of the boards has new members, she said, and meeting to discuss common issues is important.
The trustees were cheered by Ms. McNally’s news that Elizabeth Baldwin, an assistant town attorney and counsel to the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals, has spoken with that board and that it will amend its application forms to include language stipulating that the trustees must be notified when actions are to be performed on land or waterways under their jurisdiction.
The trustees are often frustrated by such projects as the installation or repair of shoreline fencing, bulkheads, and revetments that proceed without their consent, sometimes even without their knowledge.
Ms. McNally also announced that an operation and maintenance grant of $10,000 had been received from the state for its pumpout boats, which are stationed in East Hampton and Montauk.