Mecox Sailing School Approved

The Mecox Sailing Association, an organization seeking to resurrect children’s sailing lessons on Mecox Bay, has been given the OK by the Southampton Town Board to use the town-owned facilities at Mecox Bay Park.

The Mecox Bay Sailing Association Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to teach sailing to Southampton’s youth and to allow Southampton families to enjoy sailing on the bay. The Association is seeking to revive the  old Mecox Bay Yacht Club, which established a rich tradition of teaching children to sail, but closed in 1990 after almost 100 years in operation.

“(We are) simply about sailing: the teaching of sailing to children of Southampton Town residents and the promotion of sailing for those in our community who are not fortunate enough to live on or near the water, own a boat or trailer, or afford expensive mooring fees…” the Association maintains on its website.

However, the board’s February 14 resolution vote came despite the fact that homeowners in the area have successfully received a temporary restraining order in an effort to block the club.

Among other concerns, opponents of the plan worry about the amount of traffic and congestion that would occur on the fragile body of water.

The Sailing Association has emphasized that it would be a modest, affordable and family-oriented program.

The Mecox Bay Civic Association and homeowners in the area filed a lawsuit against the Town of Southampton and the Mecox Sailing Association Inc. on September 7, 2011. The lawsuit claims that the Town was in violation of its own code in regard to its decision of whether to conduct an environmental evaluation of the proposed facility.

The town has asked for the restraining order, which has halted the necessary clearing of wetlands, to be rescinded, with the next court date set for March 2, 2012.