Save Mocomanto & Lake Agawam

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The new owner of Mocomanto seeks to expand massively one of the most historic houses in Southampton Village. Mocomanto, located at 472 First Neck Lane, sits prominently on Lake Agawam and was a featured house on the Southampton Historical Museum’s 2016 Southampton House Tour. It is highlighted in Houses of the Hamptons 1880-1930. These applications seek approval to build a second house, attached via a connector within the wetlands setback, to Mocomanto.

Mocomanto has a long and distinguished history. This home was built in the 1880s by Frederic Betts, one of the original Southampton summer colonists. While traveling in Italy, Mrs. Betts purchased a gondola that she had shipped to Southampton. Every Sunday, poled by the family’s four footmen, the gondola crossed the lake to deliver Mrs. Betts to morning services at St. Andrew’s Church on the dunes. The house remained in the Betts family until 1969, and subsequent owners have honored its provenance – UNTIL NOW.

The new owner of Mocomanto wants to replace this elegant house — dubbed “The Jewel of Southampton Village” in the Images of America book series – with a much larger structure.  The proposed expansion will increase the footprint of Mocomanto by 74 percent.  If this unprecedented proposal is approved, historic homes all around Lake Agawam will be turned into McMansions.  This development will stress the Lake’s already dangerous ecology. In May 2017, the Suffolk County Health Department confirmed that a new cyanobacteria bloom has formed in Lake Agawam. If ingested, cyanobacteria can cause serious illness in adults and can be fatal to small children and pets. The massive expansion of historic homes around Lake Agawam will turn the Lake into a cesspool, destroying its beauty for future generations.

To express your opposition, please:  (1) write to the Southampton Village Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board, 23 Main Street, Southampton, New York 11968 or send an email to buildinginspector@southamptonvillage.org and mayorsoffice@southamptonvillage.org; and (2) attend the Architectural Review Board public hearing on Monday, January 22, at 7 p.m. at Village Hall on Main Street.



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