Wainscott Village Proponents to Refile Petition

Stephen J. Kotz

Wainscott advocates plan to refile a petition calling for a vote on whether to incorporate the hamlet as a village after the Town of East Hampton rejected an earlier filing last month.

Misguided was the word the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott (CPW) used to describe East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter van Scoyoc’s ruling on March 5 that the group’s petition was legally insufficient to schedule a referendum. But the group demurred on its threat to sue the town over the decision and said it will instead take the supervisor’s suggestions to file a revised petition later this year.

“We believe the best alternative is to rework our petition to address the issues he raised, rather than engage in lengthy litigation now,” said Gouri Edlich, who chairs CPW. “Volunteers have already begun the work necessary to prepare the second petition. The additional timeframe will allow us to make further improvements.”

Wainscott’s petitioners are seeking to incorporate to better fight an offshore wind farm cable from being buried under the hamlet — a project the town has approved. The group previously filed suit against the town challenging that approval. The petitioners balked at the supervisor’s rationale that the group was supposed to file the petition with him directly, not the town clerk, among other issues. 

Van Scoyoc did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Representatives for Wainscott United, a group opposed to incorporating, were dismayed at the development.

“We believe Wainscott residents need to focus on working together and also with the town to address the hamlet’s many challenges, including the proposed sand pit development, the challenges of the commercial strip, and the potential repurposing of the airport,” WU said in a statement. “Incorporation won’t help on any of those issues. Indeed, it would make it more difficult to address them.”

CPW maintained that it’s staying the course in its mission.

“Our day has been delayed, but it is coming,” Edlich added. “We are confident of our ultimate victory because of the support we have received in the community to form our own village. We will get our vote, our voice will be heard, with or without Van Scoyoc’s blessing.”

Related Story: Wainscott Village Petitioners Get Hearing, File Suit Over Wind Farm

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