East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc will hold a hearing on the petition for the incorporation of Wainscott on Friday, Feb. 5.
A group called Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott, motivated by opposition to a plan to land the proposed South Fork Wind farm’s export cable at the ocean beach at the end of Beach Lane, is leading an effort to create an incorporated village in a 4.4-square-mile expanse of that hamlet. A petition signed by more than 200 residents, which exceeds the threshold of at least 20 percent of residents in the proposed territory, was submitted to Mr. Van Scoyoc on Dec. 30.
Pursuant to legal requirements, the supervisor had 30 days to review the petition, determine whether or not it met the requirements of the village incorporation law, and to certify or not.
The purpose of the hearing is to determine the legal sufficiency of the petition, according to a statement issued from Town Hall on Friday. It will be held at 11 a.m. via Zoom video conference, and broadcast on LTV’s channel 22.
The petition can be viewed on the town’s website and is also available for public inspection by calling Carole Brennan, the town clerk, at 631-324-4142. During the hearing, members of the public will be able to call in comments with respect to the legal sufficiency of the petition to 351-888-6331.
Objections to the legal sufficiency of the petition must be in writing and signed by one or more of the residents of the town, which must include the addresses of the objectors.
Comments regarding the petition’s legal sufficiency may also be delivered via email to [email protected], or sent by mail to the Town Clerk, 159 Pantigo Road, East Hampton 11937, and received within 20 days of the virtual meeting, after which the hearing will be closed.
Within 10 days after the hearing is closed, the supervisor will determine whether the petition complies with the legal requirements. If it is found to be legally sufficient, the proposal will proceed to a vote by residents of the proposed village.
An incorporated village of Wainscott has aroused activism both for and against the idea. Following the formation of Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott, a group called Wainscott United formed in opposition to C.P.W.’s effort. Along with the wind farm itself (portions of which the town board and trustees recently voted to authorize in the form of easement, lease, and host-community and revenue-sharing agreements), the incorporation effort has dominated discussion at the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee’s monthly meetings. The committee’s next virtual meeting will closely follow the hearing, on Feb. 6 at 9 a.m.
Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind and Eversource Energy, the wind farm’s developers, would pay approximately $29 million over the wind farm’s 25-year lifespan as part of the host-community agreement. Town board and trustee members have indicated that the money, to be divided between the town and the trustees, would fund environmental remediation projects, including dredging of waterways, among other improvements.
The developers hope to construct and operate the South Fork Wind farm in a federal lease area approximately 35 miles east of Montauk Point. They assert that it will generate electricity sufficient to power 70,000 average-size houses. The proposal is presently before the New York State Public Service Commission and the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
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