Stop Planning the Shellfish Hatchery Project at Gann Road and Babes Lane

Stop Planning the Shellfish Hatchery Project at Gann Road and Babes Lane

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Sema Mendelman started this petition to Chairman, East Hampton Town Planning Board Samuel Kramer and

We, the residents of the town of East Hampton, petition the East Hampton Town Board to stop and carefully evaluate the needs, costs and benefits of the proposed consolidation of the Montauk and Three Mile Harbor and consequent expansion of the existing hatchery on the Town Dock at Gann Road, which is currently impeding public access to the Town Nature Preserve on Babes Lane, as well as negatively affecting the environment with a greatly expanded recreational oyster operation, before going to the planning phase.

THE PROPOSED PROJECT:

1.    The stated major purpose of this proposed shellfish hatchery is to facilitate the improvement of water quality by:

    a. Serving as an environmental learning center 

     b. Increasing shellfish available for permitted commercial and residential harvesters.

2.    The projected cost of the consolidated shellfish hatchery is initially $5M, and:

     a. There is no plan at this point about what to do with the Montauk property.

     b. The property at 36 Gann Road, a 2500 sq ft house on 1.1 acres purchased a year ago with primarily CPF funds would be combined with a new 5000 sq. ft. for a total of at least 7500 sq. ft.

OUR CONCERNS:

We, as tax payers, would like to understand the following before this project is rushed through as evidently planned, to ensure it will effectively fulfill its stated goals. We would like to see:

1.      An analysis of the most effective methods to improve water quality, and where the town’s aquaculture activities fit into the palette of methods cited. For example, how many Harbor Overlay District septic system replacements equal how many oysters over what period of time?

2.      If increasing shellfish populations in our waters is an efficient and effective way to improve water quality, a cost-benefit-analysis of the options to accomplish increasing shellfish populations.

3.      If these analyses show that the best option for increasing shellfish populations is to enhance and greatly expand the town’s aquaculture activities, please show us an analysis evaluating all the options available to enhance the aquaculture department, with the best options selected based on the criteria of having the highest increase in shellfish yield per total tax dollars spent, including local, state, and federal tax dollars. Grant money is our tax money.

4.  An analysis of why this particular residential property, in a densely used area, is the best location for this activity rather than other, less residential and highly utilized areas of the town; e.g. former fish processing lands on Napeague in Promised Land, or elsewhere.

The public has not been presented with any of these evaluations, nor has the town submitted actual plans, evaluations and required information to the various governing boards whose approval would be required to actually do this. In other words, they are ignoring their own planning, zoning, and environmental review process without which no town resident or commercial operator could proceed, and they have planned this without any real input from the public, or a professional evaluation of its necessity.

We ask, as they have promised, that the public be directly involved, and that the proposed consolidation of the hatchery operations be thoughtfully considered before the funds are encumbered. We expect our Town Board to be responsible, prudent and respectful of Springs and the entire town's character and needs.

We ask the Town Board convince us all that this is the right thing for the many users of the Town Dock, the Babes Lane Nature Preserve, and it will meet stated goals of water quality improvement at this cost.

We believe rushing ahead to build a consolidated shellfish hatchery at the corner of Gann Road and Babes Lane, and building an additional Gann Road Environmental Education and Nature Center (GREEN) for water quality improvement at a cost of $5 million is premature.

We urge the Town Board to carefully evaluate this project with real community input instead of rushing ahead because “it seems like a good idea.” Provide us a careful, thoughtful, respectful development proposal that includes actual needs and projected outcome, cost benefit, and thoughtful location analyses and real public involvement to ensure that any such development will not negatively affect the lives of all residents of Springs, and the town of East Hampton.

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!