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Feb 16, 2012 4:38 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton ZBA Decision On Day Camp Adjourned To A Later Date

Feb 22, 2012 11:46 AM

Residents waiting eagerly for a decision by the Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals that was expected Thursday night, February 16, regarding a proposed summer day camp in North Sea will have to wait a little longer.

Although the decision was slated to be announced at a ZBA meeting last Thursday night, February 16, it was adjourned because, according to Vice Chairman Adam Grossman, the Town Attorney’s office was still writing the decision, which the ZBA would then vote upon.

“It’s a very involved application and the Town Attorney’s office needs more time to finish it,” he said. “There are some applications where the application, whether due to its complexity or that it might be challenged or litigated, sometimes, we’ll ask the Town Attorney to prepare the decision rather than us writing it ourselves.”

When asked if the ZBA members had made a decision yet on the application, Mr. Grossman said they had not. A vote must be taken, he said.

In most other towns, Mr. Grossman said, the Town Attorney’s office prepares all of the ZBA’s determinations. Southampton Town is unique in that ZBA members write most of them themselves, he said.

North Sea resident John Barona, president of the Little Fresh Pond Association, a group opposed to the day camp, said he understood the delay.

“I’m glad that they’re taking the time to make the decision,” he said. “I think that’s a wise decision on their part. It’s a big issue.”

Since the proposal for a day camp was first pitched by developer Jay Jacobs, who submitted an application by Southampton Day Camp Realty for a summer camp to be sited on 17.3 acres along Majors Path, scores of incensed neighbors have voiced strong opposition, based on concerns over traffic, noise, pollution, and environmental issues.

The North Sea residents have asked that the ZBA rule on a challenge to a determination rendered by Southampton Town Chief Building Inspector Michael Benincasa last August that the project as proposed would not represent a change or expansion of use—and doesn’t need a variance from the ZBA to move forward.

Mr. Jacobs has said the camp fits with the site’s preexisting, non-conforming use. Should the board issue a decision that agrees with neighbors who claim that the site has not, in fact, been used as a summer camp in recent years, a ZBA variance 
would be necessary to move forward.

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We can only hope that Southampton town renders the right choice and lets the camp be built for the kids.Mr Jacobs and staff run a great place to be.
By taxpayer1 (72), Southampton on Feb 16, 12 6:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
Might we suggest he build that camp 22 feet from your backyard fence instead of mine?
By Celeste (3), Southampton on Feb 23, 12 10:08 AM
At $8k per kid, times the 700 kids he wants to pack in there, I am suuuure it's all about "the kids". Haha, nice try. Let Jay Jacobs build his camp business where zoning allows it, NOT where zoning prohibits it.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Feb 16, 12 10:18 PM
2 members liked this comment
Is it me, or is there a difference in mindset between salaried people and those who work on commission or a profit margin? Taking care of 700 kids is going to take some hiring. Lets not lambast people for wanting to make money.
By Duckbornandraised (184), Eastport on Feb 17, 12 3:12 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well, there was a time when the prevailing attitudes of pride, dignity, commonwealth, and self respect were the driving factors of hard work, and earned compensation.

Now, it seems more like the driving force behind "work" in far too many cases is "I'm entitled to as much as I can take.".

Or, maybe it's just me...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 17, 12 6:22 AM
1 member liked this comment
The hiring will involve US Imigration due the the large number of work visas that will be required to staff the camp. Tell me again how this benefits the community?
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Feb 18, 12 2:35 PM
The law of supply and demand predates all those intangibles. There is a counter-party in all transactions. If a person wants to spend their disposable income on inelastic goods who are we to argue? Likewise for the seller. And everyone knows the more you spend on a good or service the higher quality it is.
By Duckbornandraised (184), Eastport on Feb 18, 12 3:27 PM
A day camp is a good idea as long as it is on a correctly zoned piece of property! This location is NOT zoned for this and the developer should have done his homework before buying the property! Why do the residents of North Sea have to pay for his mistakes. . . . and for everyone worried about the children-----Sandy Hollow camp is right down the road!!!!!
By tishgb (9), Southampton on Feb 17, 12 8:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
Personally, I would rather see homes or condos at this site. I definitely don't want to teach our young kids that the Hamptons is a fun place and I also don't want to teach kids how to have innocent fun. They should be on the street selling drugs and drinking booze instead.

OMG, it's a camp and it should be approved......
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Feb 17, 12 8:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
Great....put it next door to your house!!!!!
By tishgb (9), Southampton on Feb 17, 12 10:23 AM
1 member liked this comment
Wait, so you're in favor of a camp concept, right but not next to your house - is that a correct statement?

Would you rather see homes and condo or a business there instead. Homes bring people, people bring kids, and dogs, and lawn mowers, and pools, and grass, and fertilizers, and burden the schools, and more taxes, and, and, and need I go on.

To me, and yes, I already live near Sportime in East Quogue and they have a large camp, and a pool and tennis. I even hear an Air Force ...more
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Feb 17, 12 10:55 AM
I guess nobody has changed zoning and got what they wanted and we all would like to live in a perfect world and place.Mr Jacobs is going to add jobs and boost the econmy in this area and the kids should come first always.The camp is used 8 to 10 weeks,compared to other uses that could last a life time.And yes they could put a camp next to my house,but there is no room next the firehouse or the highway barn.
By taxpayer1 (72), Southampton on Feb 17, 12 11:37 AM
Homes are fine. Where did you hear otherwise? Contrary to the blather generated by these developers the community is NOT opposed to the RESIDENTIAL development rights the owner is entitled to. So long as the proper development process is followed we are all ears.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Feb 18, 12 2:44 PM
Myself and others on surrounding properties bought our homes in that aea for a reason. That reason is "quiet". If we wanted to live next door to 400+ children, I could have and would have bought next to an existing camp, school, or any other place with noisy kids, busses, etc.
By Celeste (3), Southampton on Feb 23, 12 10:25 AM
Oh by the way......Mr. Jacobs would not even agree to limit the camp to 400 kids.....
By tishgb (9), Southampton on Feb 17, 12 10:24 AM
Does anyone know what they plan to charge per child at this camp?
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Feb 17, 12 11:31 AM
I heard on the grape vine it will cost between $600.00 AND $1000.00 FOR THE SEASON.,,,,sounds like a great deal,,,,but I doupt they have started taking reservations yet
By Etians rd (543), Southampton on Feb 17, 12 3:04 PM
$1,400 PER WEEK is more like it.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Feb 20, 12 5:24 PM
Why do today what you can put off 'till tomorrow huh? What a lack of leadership.
By Unbelievable. (2), Southampton on Feb 18, 12 7:02 AM
Mr. Jacobs bought a camp upstate and promptly leased it to Hess for fracking. Check the NY Post, Page 6 for the full story.
Mr. Jacobs has sued the concerned citizens who lead the opposition against him with a meritless SLAPP lawsuit.
Mr. Jacobs has blasted the public with his full page ads. The ZBA & Town Atty's office taking extra time to justify it's decision does not auger well.
By Phanex (83), Southampton on Feb 18, 12 4:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
Cost of camp will be approx $9,000 per kid per season as per his website. Will this be viable for local kids. . . I dont think so!!!!!! His website also said he will have have international counselors. So much for local employment!!!!
By tishgb (9), Southampton on Feb 18, 12 9:46 PM
As a former camp employee (Peconic Dunes) I can reasonably say with some experience that all in all it's not that bad of an idea. I cooked 750 meals per day, that's breakfast, lunch and dinner for 250 kids.. ALL from scratch. No pre-frozen, pre-packaged, pre-cooked, pre-fabricated... freshness was the ultimate goal.. and the goal was met and exceeded.

Now, with that volume in mind (that doesn't take into account food for the staff which was 60..), what I witnessed was children who were ...more
By Allergic2Stupidity (77), Riverhead on Feb 23, 12 10:03 AM
Not to mention that he wants to put 400+ kids and 4 swimming pools in the middle of a residential neighborhood not is not zoned for this kind of development.
By tishgb (9), Southampton on Feb 18, 12 11:36 PM
Really? Pools are not allowed in residential neighborhoods? Do I have to take my pool out now because I live in residential neighborhood?

I saw build a residential sub-division like for 30 homes with 30 pools! And locals kids just go to the beach and surf, they've rarely been day campers.
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Feb 19, 12 12:39 PM
I'd like to see Jacobs denied because he is an obnoxious bully (and a disgrace to the Democratic Party of which he is NY Chairman.) It would send a message that if an interloper engages in predatory legal actions out here (such as in filing a transparent SLAPP lawsuit against residents), he will promptly be directed to the onramp for the Sunset Highway west.

However, I realize that zoning applications cannot be denied simply because the applicant is contemptible, so I hope that the ZBA ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Feb 19, 12 1:01 PM
2 members liked this comment
Well said. Take the onramp all the way back to Syosset and put that camp right next to his own gated subdivision. See how much his neighbors like him then.
By East End 2 (151), Southampton on Feb 20, 12 5:29 PM
I did more research on the fracking lease to Hess on Mr. Jacobs land in upstate NY. He intimated that he had signed on with Hess, and placed strict restrictions on where, and when they could frack. That was in August. In November, after the "tabling", a.k.a. shooting down of Andrew Cuomo's proposed legislation on banning hydrofracking, he claimed: "I would never sign a lease for fracking in New York State – period. It’s just too controversial for me to do a thing like that, never mind ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 20, 12 6:12 PM
I heard he was thinking of drilling for gas in this area,can fracking be far behind,
By Etians rd (543), Southampton on Feb 21, 12 12:00 PM
Where is the Tourism Board when you need them.......
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Feb 23, 12 8:19 PM
There's no guarantee of a property owner receiving a zonong variance, especially on a project of this scope. He's a land speculator who has , hopefully, speculated incorrectly.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Feb 28, 12 8:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
Why is it that some people are always trying to step on the rights of good citizens? Sometimes they get away with it aided by local government.
By TianaBob (256), S.Jamesport on Mar 3, 12 5:02 PM