CAC Focuses on Commercial Development in Bridgehampton

The land owned by Carol Konner in Bridgehampton.

By Stephen J. Kotz

The Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee returned to familiar territory Monday as members expressed concerns about two proposed commercial developments in their hamlet.

The committee has been discussing ongoing plans to expand the existing T.J. Maxx store at the Bridgehampton Commons shopping center by 17,000 square feet. Increased traffic and a shortage of onsite parking are the two main concerns. The Bridgehampton Gateway, a proposed commercial development by Carol Konner, has also been on the committee’s radar, with members worried about traffic and the impact on nearby Kellis Pond.

“Both are right across the street from one another on a corridor that in the summer is bumper to bumper traffic already — what am I talking about? — even in the off-season,” said the committee’s chairwoman, Pamela Harwood.

“I think the way we feel is enough is enough, that we have reached a maximum of what that highway will bear and what our environment will bear, and that’s why we’re trying to concentrate so much on these commercial developments,” Ms. Harwood added.

Committee members were joined by Jaqueline Fenlon, a planner with the town’s Planning Department, and Councilwoman Christine Scalera, who gave committee members a primer on how the planning process works.

The committee also briefly discussed the Bridgehampton Community House. Members have complained about noise from weddings and other parties held at the center and litter left behind on the grounds. Ms. Harwood said she and committee member James Watson met recently with Lillian Tyree, the president of the Community House Association, which owns the building and town attorney James Burke and one of his staff attorneys, Richard Harris, to discuss ways to solve the problem.

Ms. Harwood said Mr. Harris had suggested adding sound deadening baffles to the interior as a first step, but committee member Peter Wilson argued it would be better to install central air conditioning so the doors could be kept closed during parties.

“As long as those doors and windows are open to get some breeze through there, the noise problem is not going to be solved,” he said.