A public hearing will be held before the East Hampton Town Board on Thursday, January 17, on the town’s proposal to purchase the almost four-acre property on Route 114 long owned by the Triune Baptist Church in Sag Harbor, for $900,000. Though located in the Wainscott School district, the site is much closer to the heart of Sag Harbor Village, as opposed to either East Hampton or Wainscott. The hearing will be held at the Town Board Meeting Room, East Hampton Town Hall, 159 Pantigo Road.
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc spoke about the proposal with The Independent on January 11.
“We have been looking as a town board for appropriate, available sites that would be able to accommodate an affordable housing project We have lost out on a couple of potential sites in the past,” Van Scoyoc said. The Triune Baptist Church, which is located on Hampton Road in Sag Harbor, has owned the land since about 1993, with the intention of building a new church on it. That plan has been shelved, making the land available.
The property is adjacent to eight cottages on a two-acre site recently purchased by the Sag Harbor Housing Trust. “We think that either together, or separately, we can put together a project there at that location,” Van Scoyoc said. He believes property could yield between 20 and 30 units.
“We are going to give a preference to East Hampton and Sag Harbor residents,” the supervisor said about future tenants. Supervisor Van Scoyoc explained the need for affordable housing in East Hampton. He said, “We have families that have lived here in town for 14 generations, who would like to make it 15.”
“We think that ‘live and work local’ is a really good goal. It cuts down on commuter traffic, and it helps maintain the fabric of our community,” Van Scoyoc added. Affordable housing will help local people stay local, “and maintain the fabric of the community. Every local business, school district, and municipality has trouble hiring and retaining staff. This is something that is a problem for all of us. When we hire people who live here, that money stays in the local community. It is not headed west every day.”
This project would be purchased with general municipal funds, the supervisor indicated.
“We are just completing 12 units at the Accabonac Manor House,” Van Scoyoc said, referring to a slightly under three-acre site originally purchased by the town from the Accabonac Tennis Club in 2007. Located just south of the Windmill Village I complex, that project comprises three buildings.
He said that another affordable housing effort, in Amagansett, will be breaking ground in April. That project, called 531, will have a total of 38 units on it.
The town will continue its drive towards creating affordable housing for those who live and work in East Hampton, Van Scoyoc said. “We are going to continue to look for additional properties,” the supervisor concluded.