Dormitory Case Settled

In August 2015, town officials issued 61 citations for fire, safety, and zoning code violations at the house

A settlement has been reached between East Hampton Town and Jay Jacobs, an owner of the Hampton Country Day Camp in East Hampton, who was cited by East Hampton Town for using a house he owns at 17 Ocean Boulevard in East Hampton as a dormitory for camp staff. 

In a settlement agreement signed by the parties last month, Mr. Jacobs agreed to pay a $12,500 fine and the town agreed to support a move to adjourn, in contemplation of dismissal, charges for alleged town code violations that are pending in town justice court.

Mr. Jacobs will be barred from using the property as anything other than a single-family residence in which, according to town code, only up to four unrelated people may reside.

In August 2015, town officials issued 61 citations for fire, safety, and zoning code violations at the house, which the town alleged had been converted from a four-bedroom residence into a dormitory for 25 camp counselors. The town got a temporary restraining order to shut down use of the house and sought a more permanent court injunction barring the camp from housing more than four counselors there. 

Mr. Jacobs challenged the town’s position, and the town law that limits the number of unrelated people who may share a house to four. He charged that there was “unequal enforcement of the law,” citing a town decision that allowed the Ross School to house boarding students in residences as a functioning “family.” 

A State Supreme Court judged ruled against his motion to dismiss the case late last year, granting the injunction and upholding the town’s zoning restrictions.

According to the settlement agreement, applications to clear up any issues of noncompliance with the town code will be submitted to the town Building or Planning Departments within two months. 

The property owner has agreed to allow six unannounced inspections of the premises over the next two years for officials to ensure that conditions of the agreement are being met. Should any of the settlement conditions be violated, Mr. Jacobs will be subject to a $20,000 fine.