The application proposes to:
The scale, scope and intensification of property use of this large commercial project located in a severe FEMA Flood Zone (VE18/AE15), within a residential community, and contiguous to one of the most famous recreational beaches on the East Coast, raises very serious environmental concerns and promises to dramatically change the character of the community. This plan fails to meet EH Town Code Special Permit and NYS DEC approval standards, nor is it consistent with the EH Town Comprehensive Plan, the goals of which include a mandate that development be executed in a manner that maintains the "character and unique qualities of our community" and protects our environment.
The ED40 LLC plan will likely negatively affect the surface and ground water that has already contributed to the contamination of Lake Montauk. The increased lot coverage from this development may reduce drainage and could lead to greater runoff into the surfing and bathing beach. It will likely worsen flooding that already exists on this property during normal rainstorms, let alone nor’easters and hurricanes. There are also concerns about privatization of the beach since the survey submitted by ED40 depicts a property line extending approximately 30 to 60 feet seaward of the reconstructed dune.
Expanded commercialization resulting from the approval of this conversion plan would increase noise and traffic in an already heavily trafficked area significantly raising safety concerns in what is a child-intensive residential community. Substantially enlarging a facility like this, located in a severe coastal flood zone, is contradictory to sound FEMA coastal policy. It seems inevitable that following wave driven damage from nor’easters, hurricanes or any large storm, there will be a hardship request from the owners for permission to install a rock revetment to protect their significant investment. This would almost certainly result in the destruction of much of Ditch Plains Beach.
A conversion to a membership club is not an “as of right” (legal entitlement). As per the East Hampton Town Zoning Code, a Special Permit is required for this motel conversion. However, a Special Permit cannot be issued unless certain standards that are designed to protect the community are met. DPA does not believe this conversion plan meets the necessary standards for the granting of a Special Permit.
DPA is opposed to the ED40 LLC motel conversion plan and is asking that Special Permit and DEC Permit for a Membership Club Conversion to be denied due to negative impacts to the environment and “character of the community”. At a very minimum, the Planning Board and DEC should require a NY State Environmental Impact Statement.
Ditch Plain beach is a vital public, natural and economic resource for East Hampton Town, its residents and visitors. The desire for a return on investment by ED40’s anonymous owner (or owners) cannot trump the town and the community’s compelling interest to protect the unique character of this neighborhood and of the environment.
DPA is working closely with a coalition of community groups and environmental organizations including the Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM) and the Surfrider Foundation to make certain that the environmental and community concerns associated with this project are fully addressed.