Montauk's East Deck Property a Hot Topic This Week

T.E. McMorrow

The four-acre-plus beachfront site at Ditch Plain in Montauk once known as the East Deck Motel will be the subject of public hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at East Hampton Town Hall.

The owners of the site, a limited liability company headed by J. Darius Bikoff, one of the founding partners of Vitamin Water, according to The New York Times, purchased the site in 2013. Originally, they planned to open a private club there. That proposal met with stiff opposition from neighbors and was eventually scuttled. The site was then put on the market for a reported $25 million, well over the purchase price paid by the group. The town negotiated with the ownership group to buy the site using community preservation funds, but the price was ultimately too high for the town.

In February, the town board approved a change of zoning for the property, from resort zoning to residential. The owners hope to now divide it into four lots, each with a separate driveway off Deforest Road.

For the plan to move forward, variances will be required to allow three of the lots to be less than the 110 foot width required by the town's zoning code. That is the subject of the hearing before the zoning board of appeals at 7:50 p.m. on Tuesday. In addition to the lot-width variances, the ownership group, now named Montauk Colony, is proposing two wooden stair units to allow beach access from the newly created properties over the oceanfront dune. This will require a special permit from the zoning board.

The subdivision of the property will be the subject of a separate public hearing before the planning board on Wednesday at 7 p.m.