May 19, 2020
I hope this note finds you and all your loved ones safe and healthy.
Building upon recent updates, we wanted to share important news: We have formed the Exploratory Committee for the Incorporation of Wainscott. Given multiple once-in-a-generation zoning-related issues in Wainscott as well as the Town’s continued lack of responsiveness to our community, many of you have encouraged us to exercise our constitutional right to greater home rule.
Incorporation as the Village of Wainscott would allow us to exercise greater control over our zoning and provide more responsive services to our community. As a Village – like our next-door neighbors in the Villages of East Hampton, Sagaponack and Sag Harbor – Wainscott would be able to:
- Better address the recent zoning proposal to subdivide the 70.5-acre sand and gravel pit in the heart of Wainscott along Rt. 27 into 50 commercial and industrial plots [Read article];
- Help shape the future of the East Hampton Airport once current Federal Aviation Administration restrictions expire next year (2021) – discussions and studies are already underway about restrictions as well as potential alternative uses; this will affect Wainscott more than any other part of East Hampton [Read article];
- Significantly influence the decision on whether Ørsted (a.k.a. Deepwater) can land its high-power electric cables in Wainscott when other less-impactful alternatives have now been uncovered and that the Town Board and Trustees (each of whom are seeking money from Ørsted) as well as the company are willfully ignoring [Read our April update];
- Set and enforce lower speed limits in Wainscott (which certain Towns are not able to do, but Villages can) and improve dangerous vehicular traffic conditions;
- Protect our unique agricultural heritage, better advocate for our local farmers, and preserve the unique, bucolic characteristics through more responsive zoning;
- Enact more stringent energy conservation and green zoning rules; and
- Better remediate the contamination of our water, likely from the Town-controlled airport, which resulted in the State declaring 47 acres of the airport a State Superfund site last summer. Still more than half our community has not been hooked up to the municipal water system as of February [Read article].
We would, in essence, have the representative government we do not now have – and need more than ever – as an incorporated Village within East Hampton. Today none of the 14+ elected East Hampton officials are from Wainscott. Moreover, as the smallest hamlet (with, cynically, the fewest votes), the majority of the Town Board believes it can ignore your opinions (and consistently does). While the Town calls Wainscott ‘the gateway’ to East Hampton, it treats us more like its doormat.
Based on the initial findings from 10 months of research with law firms (including Bee Ready Fishbein Hatter & Donovan LLP), municipal finance consultants, surveyors, the Suffolk County Village Officials Association, and public affairs advisors we have engaged, we are now prepared to formally explore the incorporation of Wainscott as a village.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
- We need you to make sure you are registered to vote in Wainscott no later than Friday, June 19, in order to sign the forthcoming petition to incorporate and then be allowed to vote (click here to download the voter registration form);
- Volunteer to be part of the Exploratory Committee for the Incorporation of Wainscott (email us at email@example.com); and
- Let us know what questions you have (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Given the Town continues to ignore our community’s desires – as it has to date with the hamlet’s overwhelming opposition to landing electric power cables in Wainscott when it is now abundantly clear that better alternate options exist – we cannot expect any different on any of other issues we face. We can – and need to – exercise our constitutional right to control local zoning issues.
We are looking forward to this new path. We also wish you a safe and healthy spring. Warmest regards,