Amagansett may finally get the public restrooms some residents have sought for more than a decade.
At a meeting of the hamlet’s citizens advisory committee on Monday, East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, the town board’s liaison to the committee, showed a blueprint of the parking lot on the north side of Main Street, and suggested a restroom location near the lot’s center adjacent to a vegetated island as opposed to in the southwest corner, as had originally been proposed.
“I’m going to pursue getting it designed,” he said. “The goal will be to get a new bathroom built before next summer. That assumes we move as quickly as we can.”
Mr. Cantwell asked the committee which location was preferable, and what members wanted the structure to look like, distributing images of prefabricated restrooms, a less-expensive option than one built by the town. “I’m not comfortable with any of those,” he said of the prefabricated designs. “We’re in a historic district. We talk about our pride of Amagansett. It’s going to cost more, but it is going to be substantial.”
Tina Piette, whose law office is adjacent to the parking lot, said that situating the restroom in the middle of the lot might be unsafe for pedestrians, while the southwest corner is directly accessible via the alley adjacent to Indian Wells Tavern and the sidewalk lining the lot’s entrance and southern perimeter. Mr. Cantwell said that property owners near the original proposed location had objected to its placement there.
At least four parking spaces would be lost to the restroom, Mr. Cantwell said. But, “This parking lot can simply be re-striped and you can add somewhere between 20 and 30 parking spaces without increasing the paving at all.” Fortunately, he said, the parking spaces are very wide and the lanes surrounding them are “huge, compared to most parking lots.” A re-striping, he said, was “something that should be done.”
The committee will hold elections next month, and members moved to nominate its officers. Tom Field nominated Kieran Brew, the chairman, to continue in that role. Michael Diesenhaus, the committee’s vice chairman, was nominated by Kristine Gaudy to remain in that position.
Jim MacMillan then nominated Rona Klopman for chairwoman. Ms. Klopman is a former chairwoman of the committee. Jeanne Frankl nominated Susan Bratton for secretary, a position she currently holds, but Britton Bistrian moved that nominations for secretary be left open, as Ms. Bratton was not present.
The committee also discussed at length the town’s proposed ban on alcohol at Indian Wells and Atlantic Avenue Beaches during lifeguard-protected hours. Mr. Cantwell said that he was waiting for input from the East Hampton Town Trustees, who met on Tuesday, before the town board would consider the issue.
He referred to an “upgrade” at Indian Wells Beach that included renovated restrooms, which he said are on track to be completed around Memorial Day, new signs, increased parking that will be created by re-striping the lot, moving the attended booth farther from the lot, and moving the sidewalk to the east side of Indian Wells Highway to add spaces on its west side.
The town board’s original proposal was for an alcohol ban to extend 2,500 feet east and west of the lifeguard-protected area, he said, while the trustees have considered a 500-foot span in both directions. No hearing has been scheduled, he said, “but it’s possible that will happen before the full beach season starts.”
Adopting the prohibition on a trial basis, said Mr. Diesenhaus, might break the pattern of hundreds-strong gatherings of young adults, many of them drinking excessively. “Everything comes in cycles,” he said. “Nothing is the ‘in’ place to be forever. If they find out this summer that there’s no liquor. . . .”
The town board’s preference, Mr. Cantwell said, was to put the ban in place at both Indian Wells and Atlantic Avenue Beaches, which the trustees have opposed. “The feeling is those are very close together and could probably shift the potential problem from one location to another.” In discussing the issue with Chief Michael Sarlo of the Town Police Department, he said, the board felt that, “if you’re going to do it at one you need to do it at two, and we’ll see what happens over the course of the summer.”
Betty Mazur moved that the committee vote to support, on a one-year trial basis, a ban during lifeguard-protected hours at the two beaches. Committee members, with one abstention, voted in favor of the motion.