Archive for the 'Preservation' Category


Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The Peconic Land Trust recently said they would consider selling 14 acres on Highland Terrace in Bridgehampton if Southampton Town would buy the development rights with CPF money. This has created quite a brew ha ha amongst our local preservation community. The property in question was donated to the South Fork Land Foundation- which is now a subsidiary of the Peconic Land Trust back in the 1970’s. John v. Halsey, who founded the Peconic Land Trust and presides over the trust to date, has made this proposal with a vision for greater good.
John’s intention is to use the money from the sale of the 14 acres to purchase 60-100 acres of active farm land.
In concept, it seems a home run—swap 14 acres for up to 100 acres—but the mechanism to do so has divided the preservationists primarily because of the need for the funding of same via CPF money. This does raise an eyebrow.
Back in 1998 the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund was born. CPF as we refer to it is funded by a 2% tax on buyers of real property, or real estate. The 5 eastern townships benefited  by the protection of over 10,000 acres in 15 years while amassing $842,000,000.
That’s an incredible accomplishment that all of us have benefitted from.
Ironically, the public at times, confuses the Peconic Land Trust with the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund. Buyers think they have given to the Peconic Land Trust when they shell out all that money at closing.
There are 4 primary parties directly responsible for protecting the beauty and heritage of the East End. The first are the municipalities. The local comprehensive up zonings, which occurred twice during my 3 decades in the industry, helped by creating open space regulations, water recharge districts, scenic easements along roadways, agricultural overlay districts and so much more, before the last of all subdividable property was improved. Secondly, the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund. Third The Peconic Land Trust and fourth the Nature Conservancy. Without the efforts of these entities the East End would look like every other over developed area. Thanks to them, any visitor clearly feels the farming heritage, the sea and the dark skies. 
Personally, I see these entities as preserving in different ways. The Peconic Land Trust has done a remarkable job of enabling all of us to step back in time and enjoy life on the East End as settlers did generations ago. Have you been to Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton, or Quail Hill Farm in East Hampton or the Shellfisher on the North Fork… all remarkable and different, places you can go to reflect on where we came from.
The CPF money has protected corridors of farm land and taken special sites off the market forever so that we may enjoy nature at every turn.
The Nature Conservancy has taken their mission to places far beyond the immediate East End with an eye on preserving our natural resources.
And the municipalities… well their contribution is both seen and hidden in more places than you can imagine
Thank you all!
This is an ideal opportunity to take the time in a collaborative effort to become of one mind for the good of all the public.
There is a common thread and there is a resolution.


Friday, May 3rd, 2013

The Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund, or CPF tax is a 2% tax charged to the purchaser of real property on the East End (over minimal levels) since it’s inception in 1998.
We have discussed the parameters of this tax and the ramifications many times in this T&C BLOG, so I won’t bore you with the details.
BIG NEWS on the CPF front is the first quarter deposits to the fund… nearly twice that of a year ago!
In the first 3 months of 2013, $20.23 Million was raised in comparison to the same period in 2012 when $10.5 Million was collected.
$800 Million dollars total in the past 15 years has been accumulated for the sole purpose of preserving the beauty and light here in our little slice of Heaven.
So the next time you are sitting at that long awaiting closing table, and have to write out yet one more check to the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund, you can smile knowing this one is truly going to a useful means of preserving the reason you chose to purchase on the East End—it’s natural beauty! 


Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

East Hampton Town Board voted unanimously on January 3rd—the first session of 2013—to purchase 2 parcels with CPF money. As you know CPF, Community Preservation Funds, is the kitty created by the 2% transfer tax on buyers of real property on the East End at below entry level prices.

The 11 acres in Springs was a subdivision off Neck Path owned by Julie Cochran. Neck Path is home to a considerable amount of preserved land, this 11 acres will add to that and preserve property in the highly sensitive water recharge area.

The second property owned by Barry Brown, backs on to 27 in Wainscott. It had been approved for 4 lots… fortunately we will not have 4 more lots accessing Montauk Highway at the entrance to East Hampton.

Both of significant value to future generations for different reasons!


Thursday, October 11th, 2012

In Sagaponack & Bridgehampton the beach renourishment project T&C BLOGGGED about a few months ago may not happen until the winter of 2014.

This HUGE delay is to obtain permits… REALLY??? We can’t speed track this?

I sure hope the next 2 winters are mild!

BTW.. most of the tab for this is being picked up by property owners..


Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

The town board has approved, unanimously, the purchase of 3 properties.

The first is a 5.9 acre waterfront lot at 41 Three Mile Harbor Road, owned by the Prand Corp. the parcel has 670’ of shoreline and has approximately 2 acres of low-lying area which helps absorb rainwater and prevent flooding in the area.

The other two parcels are in Montauk.

One lot at 20 Gloucester Ave, .44 acres, owned by L. La Ruffa for $190,000 and the second at 117 North Greenwich St, 0.3, owned by C. Foti for $225,000.

All three parcels will be used for open space, park, nature preserve or recreation area.

All good additions to East Hampton’s land holdings.



Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Just in time before what’s expected to be a nasty hurricane season, beachfront home owners from Sagaponack & Bridgehampton Beach Erosion Control Districts presented a joint plan for a restoration project to pump 1.8 million cubic yards of sand from the ocean floor a mile off shore on to a 6 mile stretch of shoreline. The cost… $24Million …The affected homeowners… 84 in Bridgehampton & another 57 in Sagaponack & 5 belonging to Southampton Town at a combined value of $826 Million and $977 Million respectively

Homeowners in both districts overwhelmingly voted in favor.. if Southampton Town approves, it will be put to a formal vote

Time line… a full 10 years

The public hearing is August 17th at 4 pm in Southampton Town Hall at 116 Hampton Road

The proposal outlines contributions from homeowners over the 10 year period which would cover the majority to the $24M price tag

Personally & professionally I applaud these districts for their forward thinking!

The shoreline is public property up to the high tide line… as I see it, if they do nothing, the public space will disappear

The time is now!


Thursday, July 26th, 2012

The Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund collected $29.6 million dollars for the first half of 2012… sounds like a lot of money for land preservation, but actually is not a banner year. Last year for the same period $31.5 million was collected from the sales in the East End towns.

The CPF money is based on a 2% ‘tax’ charged to the buyer of real property over $250,000 for homes, less for vacant land.

The 6% decline can be covered by a few big sales in the second half of the year. The needle shifts widely based on when the high end market flies or flails.

East Hampton sales rose to $9 million… the best performer for all the East End towns

To read more about the 2% transfer tax, other closing costs or Home Sales Reports visit


Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Open space and farmland preservation on Long Island increased in the past two years, but not fast enough to meet conservationists goal set years ago from development before the Island is built out. Local governments protected more than 1,700 acres last year and 967 acres in 2010. The growth comes after preservation declines in 2008 and 2009 related to the recession and a lack of large tracts of available land, according to a report issued, last week by the Long Island Pine Barrens Society.

"The period of decline has stopped and changed direction, but the rate of land purchased is not sufficient to get us to the goal, by a long shot." society executive director Richard Amper said last week.

The Nature Conservancy of Long Island and 100 environmental, civic and business groups in 2006 set a goal to protect 25,000 acres of open space and 10,000 acres of farmland by 2020, the year they estimated every acre of Long Island would be designated for either development or preservation. With development slowed by the recession, the Pine Barrens Society estimates build out to occur in 2025.  Even with the delay, it's estimated local towns and counties will preserve a total of about 17,000 acres by 2025, Amper said.

Last year, Suffolk County and the towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southampton, Southold, East Hampton and Shelter Island bought a total of 1,703 acres, up from 1,134 the year before.

Amper worries the number of acres preserved will not be sustained. "They are not expected to do that well in the next two years," he said.


Sunday, January 8th, 2012

In Smithtown there is a 23 acre historic farm that dates back to the 1800's…The Ships Hole Farm. The Peconic Land Trust has orchestrated a collaboration between the current owners, the Nicodemus family, a government grant of $400,000 and private contributions to preserve the farm for open space and one step further. The PLT is hopeful that they can lease portions of the property to multiple farmers who, in turn, can then sell their locally grown produce. A win win for all! Long Islanders will get a working, historic, picturesque farm, complete with an 1800's farmhouse and barns along with nature trails to the Nissequogue River and enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) for local labor…just as it was over 200 years ago!

Once again the Peconic Land Trust has selected an incredible piece of Long Island to preserve — THANK YOU PLT!

Riverhead – Legislature Approves Planning Steps Resolution for 50 Acres

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Suffolk lawmakers yesterday took the first step toward adding 50 acres to the county's $17 million purchase of the 300 acre North Fork Preserve in Riverhead to create an equestrian center.

The legislature approved a planning-steps resolution that will lead to appraisal and a purchase offer for the added parcel, to which Suffolk already has acquired development rights under the county farmland program. Backers say the private hunting group, which owned the preserve as well as the 50 acres, is looking to sell all its holdings.

The county plans to put out a request for proposals from private investors willing to build stables, an indoor arena and corrals under a long-term lease.

Backers say the equestrian center will only add to the appeal of the North Fork preserve, dubbed Suffolk's last great park, which is scheduled to have nature trails, camping, cabins, ballfields, paddleboats and fishing.

Legis. Edward Romaine hopes negotiations with Riverhead Town can be completed within three to six months.