Hamptons Police Department officers were called to break up a protest at Hamptons Municipal Hall on Wednesday following the Municipal Board’s controversial, landmark decision Tuesday that designates all South Fork swimming pools as wetlands in local towns, hamlets and villages.
Protestors bearing signs and bullhorns descended upon Municipal Hall early Wednesday morning for a quickly organized demonstration. Police officers arrived soon after to calm the growing furor as shouts, chants and jeers grew more intense. “This is the most corrupt decision the Board has made in my lifetime,” protestor Lance Kovich yelled through a megaphone. “How is calling a swimming pool ‘wetlands’ okay at all?”
After police dispersed the crowd, Municipal Board President Fred Marzipan, CEO of Marzipan Pools, explained the board’s new legislation. “What these people don’t understand is that in today’s world, where lakes and rivers are becoming overwhelmed by harmful cyanobacteria, swimming pools are the safest way to add water to our parched landscape,” Marzipan said. “I can show you multiple photos of ducks swimming in local pools, proving they are a viable alternative to natural waters.”
The Municipal Board president also noted that other species of wildlife, such as mosquitoes often use pools to breed, especially in the offseason. “Besides, these protestors need to realize that we are treating pools like any other wetlands, so property owners will not be permitted to build homes on top of them, though we have allowed for special variances when it comes to building within certain distances of said pools,” he continued, “and pools can now be built right alongside wetlands, essentially extending the reach of these protected areas.”
According to the legislation, all current pools will be grandfathered in and allowed to remain as “not wetlands,” unless property owners would like to change them over and register them as wetlands. “It’s a win-win for everyone, including our wildlife,” Marzipan said.
In a statement from its other members, the Municipal Board also pointed out that since Tuesday’s announcement, “the number of building applications for pools had tripled overnight, creating an incalculable number of jobs for hardworking Hamptonites.”