Affordable housing is key to keeping our local residents right here in East Hampton.
Creating and maintaining affordable housing for our year round residents has, and always will remain, a top priority.
Leading Long Island in Affordable Housing
East Hampton Town has been a leader on Long Island in the creation of affordable housing. The Town, through the work of the Town Board and The East Hampton Housing Authority , has created over 478 units during Democratic majorities on the Town Board over the last 43 years (including affordable single family homes, building lots and apartments for rent). There are plans to add an additional 100 units or more over the next three years.
These town owned projects, when added to the stock of affordable housing created privately through incentives inserted in the Town Code and/or in land use approvals, results in a total town-wide number of 617 affordable units against a year-round population of 28,385. The ratio amounts to 22 units per 1000 of population making East Hampton, according to recent statistics published in Newsday, far and away the Long Island leader in affordable housing.
Recently, Gansett Meadow opened in 2020. This thirty-seven (37) unit complex consists of twelve (12) one-bedroom, twelve (12) two-bedroom, twelve (12) three-bedroom and one (1) four-bedroom apartment. Tenants are mixed income up to 90% of area median income. Last year, the Manor House Condominium opened. The Town of East Hampton developed twelve (12) condominium units consisting of three buildings, each with 1 one-bedroom, 2 two-bedroom, one 1 three-bedroom unit. The units were sold to families at or below 130% of area median income. The units sold for prices between $126,000 and $268,000.
The following projects are in development.
The Three Mile Harbor Affordable Housing Project, scheduled to open in 2024, is a 50 unit project to be managed by the East Hampton Housing Authority.
The 395 Pantigo Affordable Housing Project will create 16 affordable units and will be open in 2024.
The future Route 114 Affordable Housing Project is a 7 acre site acquired by the Town that will provide new rental housing opportunities for moderate income residents who live or work in the Town of East Hampton.
In November 2022 by means of a town wide referendum, the Peconic Bay Community Housing Fund was formed to include a half percent transfer tax. The funds generated are to be used to develop affordable housing units.
In July 2023, Town Board passed a resolution amending the Zoning Code right to allow for increased use of accessory dwelling units.
Keeping East Hampton’s drinking water, sea water and water basins clean and pollutant free.
East Hampton depends on its pure groundwater resources for our drinking water. Clean coastal waters drive the engine of our tourism and economy. We remain vigilant and proactive to ensure the health and vitality of our aquifer and coastal waters that are being threatened by contaminants.
Protecting our Water
For the last several years the Town Board has committed funding to the Peconic Estuary Partnership – a program dedicated to restoring clean water, protecting and enhancing vibrant ecosystems, and communicating sound science for nature-based coastal planning in the Peconic Estuary and its watershed.
The Town of East Hampton has instituted and carried out a Septic Incentive Program, providing a maximum rebate of up to $20,000. To date, the Town has approved 900 applications, and see 444 installed.
We remain committed to the Town’s Aquaculture Department, which operates a fully integrated shellfish aquaculture operation cultivating clams, oysters and scallops that seed our waters. The Department also offers educational opportunities to students. Last year alone 2.9M oysters and 3.5M clams were seeded in town waters.
In order to remediate nitrogen and carbon in town waters, we have initiated a pilot program of a sugar kelp hatchery that will target the most impaired water body in town, Three Mile Harbor.
In 2022, we continued to lead by example by upgrading Town owned comfort stations to IA sanitary systems, designing and installing stormwater abatement projects around Accabonac Harbor, and completing the first injection permeable reactive barrier on Long Island to improve the quality of Three Mile Harbor.
Recently we obtained a $350,000 grant to conduct a site assessment and preliminary design for two living shorelines along Fort Pond and Lake Montauk that will help combat erosion and decrease toxins from entering our waters.
Maintaining open space and preserving the beauty of our Town
The Community Preservation Fund was adopted in 1998 by a voter approved referendum, and began collecting revenue in 1999 for the purpose of preserving community character which includes – preservation of open space, including agricultural lands, and lands of exceptional scenic value, fresh and saltwater marshes or other wetlands, aquifer recharge areas, undeveloped shoreline including those at significant risk of coastal flooding due to projected sea level rise and future storms, as well as preservation of historic places and properties, and establishment of parks, nature preserves, and recreation areas.
Our Commitment to Open Space
The Community Preservation Fund has generated approximately $600M in East Hampton since its inception. To date, the Town has acquired over 500 parcels accounting for over 2,350 acres. It is our goal to continue to preserve open space in our Town. Last year the Town acquired 72 acres of land, including 32 acres of farmland in the heart of Amagansett.
Working with our local farmers, we have continued the lease program, making town-owned farmland available to local farmers through a request for proposals process.
Living in an oceanfront community, we must play our role in combating climate change.
Climate change poses a real and increasing threat to our coastal community here in the Town of East Hampton, which includes 131 miles of coastline. We believe it is our personal responsibility to combat climate change.
Combating Climate Change
In 2017 we launched the Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan (CARP) to address the short- and long-term impacts along our shoreline of erosion and flooding from more frequent storms, long-term erosion trends, climate change and sea-level rise.
In 2022 the Town Board adopted CARP into the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. This marks the beginning of comprehensive coastal resilience for East Hampton. The clock is ticking, the sea is rising and our work here is just beginning.
Conserving power townwide and creating a sustainable grid benefits our economy and environment.
We have made East Hampton Town a leader in sustainable energy policies and practices as we strive to substantially reduce energy consumption through conservation and energy efficiency while significantly increasing the use of renewable energy technologies.
Creating a More Efficient Town
In 2014, the Town Board adopted a Comprehensive Energy Vision to meet 100% of economy-wide electricity consumption with renewable energy sources by the year 2020. Additionally, the Town adopted the goal to meet the equivalent of 100 percent of economy-wide energy consumption such as electricity, heating, and transportation with renewable energy sources by the year 2030.
In 2021 the Town Board voted in support of declaring “a climate emergency” in the Town of East Hampton and committed to making climate mitigation and the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions a guiding principle and objective of all municipal operations, all policy and purchasing decisions, all planning and zoning decisions, all aspects of town business for the foreseeable future.
East Hampton is home to the first solar farm on the South Fork, the first municipal solar-plus-battery storage project on Long Island and the first off-shore wind project in New York State – South Fork Wind.
We have undertaken the replacement of existing street lights with LED bulbs. This project is projected to reduce our streetlight energy consumption and energy costs by more than 60%.
The Town fought for a $250,000 DEC grant to install 20 electric vehicle chargers for constituent use.
Increasing Town wide cell service to meet the needs of our residents.
Our residents, both year round and seasonal, depend on reliable cell phone service to live, work and thrive in our Town. That’s why we are committed to improving connectivity with public input every step of the way.
Developing a Wireless Master Plan
The Town engaged professional consultants in late 2020 to begin the master planning process as the wireless communications network is woefully inadequate to meet the community need. The public process engaged the community in obtaining feedback as it related to the placement and aesthetic preferences of wireless infrastructure. The forthcoming Wireless Master Plan will provide an in-depth look at underserved areas throughout the Town and propose potential solutions to fill-in these gaps.
The new tower at Camp Blue Bay in Springs is expected to be operational by the beginning of summer. We are committed to working with service providers to address the identified gaps in service.
Our seniors deserve only the best, and we are committed to providing just that.
Creating spaces and opportunities for our seniors to thrive in our community is a constant effort, and one we are doubling down on to increase the quality of life in the Town.
New Programs and Spaces
In the last few years, the addition of program offerings that center on body, mind and spirit, such as Yoga, Qi Gong, Meditation, Healing Circle, and Flexibility & Balance, have been broadly embraced by our seniors. In 2019 Wellness 60+ was launched as a pilot program. Given its popularity and broad appeal, Wellness 60+ was expanded significantly in 2023, adding new instructors, new programs and new locations.
Following a robust community engagement process, the new senior center, to be built at 403 Abraham’s Path, Amagansett, is expected to be twice the size of the current center, will connect to nature/ the outdoors, will have dedicated spaces for dining, wellness and the arts, and will engage the mind, body and soul. The project, which is currently in the design phase, is proposed to be net zero energy with an anticipated completion date of late-2024.
East Hampton Town Airport
Advocating for the will of the Town residents is a job we take seriously, and we are holding the line with the East Hampton Town Airport.
As aircraft traffic has led to growing concerns in the community about noise, public health, safety, community character, environmental and climate change impacts; we polled the community and found 80% of residents wanted the airport to remain open, but with restrictions. Now we are fighting for local control.
Fighting for Local Control
Once legally permissible, we will adopt rules and regulations to restrict and limit flight operations at the Town-owned airport. The Town has appealed the Judge’s decision and has initiated a full Generic Environmental Impact Study (GEIS) as required by the court. All in an effort to regain local control of the airport and fulfill the community’s desire to achieve meaningful relief from noisy aircraft operations.
The Town Board has also been working to contain and remediate PFOA and PFOS contamination in the hamlet of Wainscott including a portion of the Town’s Airport which has been classified a superfund site.
In response to the detections, the Town Board acted swiftly and brought public work to Wainscott. The Town has executed a consent order with the DEC and is in the process of preparing a remedial investigation work plan for DEC’s review. We are also suing the manufacturers of the chemicals.