East Hampton to buy 28 acres around Lake Montauk
Town aims to protect land from development
The Town of East Hampton is looking to protect Lake Montauk from further development by purchasing tracts of land around it.
The town board has proposed buying two separate parcels of land totaling 28 acres, 27East reported. The purchases would total about $9 million and would come out of the Community Preservation Fund, which receives 2 percent of property sales and was left flush with cash by the surging market.
The board already authorized the purchase of a 19-acre parcel known as Highland Meadows, off East Lake Drive. The property is being sold to the town by a partnership that has owned it for years for $4.2 million, according to the publication.
The property is in a 5-acre zone that could have been subdivided into as many as three building lots, though the wetlands there may have made that a challenge. The property also includes tiny streams and marshy areas.
Meanwhile, a public hearing is scheduled this week in regards to another proposed purchase on Lake Montauk, this one on an undeveloped part of Star Island. The town has agreed to purchase the land for $4.5 million from Black Canyon Investments, which acquired it in 2016 for $3.6 million.
The property totals 8.6 acres, all undeveloped and largely wooded save for an access path. It includes 600 feet of frontage on Montauk Harbor, next to the Snug Harbor marina.
The pending purchases are part of an effort to preserve the lake, which has suffered devastating environmental impacts in recent years from nitrogen leaching out of septic systems from homes surrounding the lake. The town is trying to reduce development, push for upgraded septic systems and improve the water quality.
Preventing development also enhances the value of existing property, which is one reason the Community Preservation Fund has always enjoyed support from local owners, despite the chunk it takes from each sale.
Last year, the town planning board dismissed a proposed expansion of a Montauk resort, citing the size and scope of the proposal and pointing to concerns about the town’s septic system.
[27East] — Holden Walter-Warner