Candidates Talk East Hampton Village Comprehensive Plan


Welcome to this week’s installment in our series about the many issues raised during the hotly contested East Hampton Village election. This week’s topic: The Village Comprehensive Plan.

A comprehensive plan is a blueprint for the future.

According to the New York State Senate website: Among the most important powers and duties granted by the legislature to a village government is the authority and responsibility to undertake village comprehensive planning and to regulate land use for the purpose of protecting the public health, safety, and general welfare of its citizens.

The original plan may not exactly be a beach read, but it is full of insights into the changes that have occurred within the almost two decades since it was created. It paints a vivid picture of a village, founded in 1648, which has for centuries embraced a famously strong preservationist policy, helping it maintain its supposed quaint, small-town character, leading to its being voted “America’s Most Beautiful Village” by National Geographic. A link to that plan appears at the bottom of this story.

Below, from the Village Preservation Society’s questionnaire, a query about the plan, put to all three mayoral candidates for East Hampton Village, Barbara Borsack, Tiger Graham, and Jerry Larsen. Their answers follow.

The Village Comprehensive Plan, which helps to guide development in the village, was adopted in 2002. As adopted, the village agreed with a key recommendation to produce a new Comprehensive Plan every 20 years, with a new plan due in 2022. What is your position on updating the plan? And, if so, what specific recommendations would you seek to include in this update?

Barbara Borsack:

I totally support updating the Comprehensive Plan that will address new challenges we face as a community. As a member of (and original chair of) the 2002 plan I know how to manage this process by involving residents and stakeholders to address important planning issues and adopt a working plan.

Any new plan must place a strong emphasis on waste water treatment and water quality issues as well as a continued focus on the delicate balance between commercial and residential needs in the village. I believe we need to protect our residents who surround the commercial and non-conforming properties from the excessive noise, traffic, and other issues that are in evidence to all of us.

Arthur Graham:

I believe in the major guiding themes outlined in the Comprehensive Plan. Preserving the village’s neighborhoods and historic character, supporting commercial needs, protecting the natural resources, providing for transportation needs, providing residents with facilities and services, and working with the Town of East Hampton, are still very relevant.

The world is a very different place in 2020 than it was in 2002. Transportation, communication, commerce, just about every single facet of our daily lives has changed. Parking, commuting, and working have been revolutionized by the internet. We need to revisit all 279 pages of the village Comprehensive Plan and make sure that we are addressing today’s issues with today’s sensibilities and technology.

Jerry Larsen:

I think the Village Comprehensive Plan is a wonderful idea and document. I compliment all the residents that assisted in its creation. However, the plan was supposed to be updated in 2012 and it was not done. Once in office, I will immediately begin to create a committee to start work on a new plan to be completed by 2022. This document will guide us in the direction residents see as the future of the village. I hope to see included in the plan the creation of affordable workspace and work-force housing.

The current plan is available here:

Send comments and questions to [email protected].

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