Editorial: Community House Under Attack

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When the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee was created more than 25 years ago, its membership read like the invitation list to a cocktail party at the Bridgehampton Club. Over the years, the CAC has become marginally more diverse. But all too often it focuses its attention on issues that are more important to its members than the broader community it represents.

Such is the case now. The past two months the committee has devoted much of its time to kvetching about the Bridgehampton Community House, the site of almost weekly wedding receptions or similar large family gatherings. Some committee members say the parties last too long and are too loud.

It’s certainly not unreasonable to ask people renting the Community House to not flout the town’s noise ordinance. Nor is it unreasonable to expect the town to enforce the law when complaints are made.

But instead of launching an attack on the Community House by peppering Town Hall with a steady stream of complaints as the CAC has done, the group might find it more productive to discuss the matter with the Community House’s representatives before calling on the town to threaten it with rescinding its lease.

Regrettably, the committee has not made much of an effort to open up a line of communication. Lillian Tyree, the Community House Association’s president, said she was invited to the group’s September meeting, but was only given a few days’ notice and had a conflict in her schedule. She said she was not aware the Community House would be on the agenda again this month or would have been happy to come to discuss the committee’s concerns.

It is most disheartening to realize that those leading the charge against the Community House, which is perhaps the last social refuge for the area’s dwindling working class, just happen to live across the street from it and should have known what to expect when they bought property in the heart of Bridgehampton’s business district. Absent a reasonable effort to find a workable compromise, their complaints sound like nothing more than self-serving NIMBYism.

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