New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. announced their bill (S.2188-A/A.2371-A), which would allow the Town of Southampton to diminish the Bridgehampton and Sagaponack Beach Control Districts, has passed both the Senate and Assembly.
The Town of Southampton established its beach erosion control districts to rebuild protective beaches and dunes along its Atlantic Ocean beachfront homes. More than 2.5 million tons of sand will be used to renourish the beaches between Flying Point Beach in Water Mill and Townline Road in Sagaponack. The project, estimated to cost as much as $26 million, is financed though taxing said beachfront homeowners based on their assessed value and amount of oceanfront footage. The money will be borrowed by the Town and paid back over a period of 10 years through the district tax levy.
This legislation allows the Town of Southampton to adopt a local law to diminish both the Sagaponack Beach Erosion Control District and the Bridgehampton Beach Erosion Control District by excluding the lots which are encumbered by conservation easements. These property owners have already protected their parcels by exchanging development rights for a reduction in paid taxes.
Assemblyman Thiele stated, “Reducing the size of the Beach Erosion Control Districts was previously approved by voters in a public referendum. This bill ensures that those who conserved their lands, who’s properties have already decreased in market value, are exempted.”
"This new law will add a new tool in efforts to preserve the shoreline and replenish storm ravaged beaches and beach fortification," Senator LaValle said.
“This legislation was an important part of the effort to move the beach renourishment proposal forward, an initiative that will rebuild approximately six miles of oceanfront. I thank Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele for ensuring its passage in both houses," said Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.
The bill will now be delivered to the Governor for consideration.