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Montauk United

Providing Montauk Residents a Means to Speak and Act as One!

Voices

Hamlet Study

Posted by joan on 11 April, 2016 at 14:25



I’m a Local

I Know I am Because I’m Here in February

 

 

I saw this bumper sticker and I think it not only says a lot about we “year-rounders” but my perception that the Hamlet Study may be neglecting the Local populace, while focusing too much on how to satisfy the business community and their growth.

 

Maybe the answer is not how to handle increased density, but how to decrease density! Not more parking lots, but fewer parking lots! Not greater expansion of businesses and motels, but contraction of businesses and motels! If our current infrastructure is stressed by current population and tourism, then maybe the way to go is a smaller population and tourism…and one that is geared to enable Locals [including our seniors, young couples and millenniums] to live and stay in Montauk.

 

Lastly, the Study should not to treat Montauk like the other Hampton villages, because Montauk is DIFFERENT in its make-up, passionate populace and offerings.

 

Here are some of my random thoughts {and these are personal generalities to be reviewed, enhanced, embellished or disregarded}

 

1-Seasonal housing for business employees:

 

The town should take one of its town-owned parcels in Montauk -- maybe at Camp Hero, or a parking lot – and build an employee complex for 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments to be offered to businesses as a Co-operative that can be purchased by local business who require this seasonal housing. The business purchases a unit[s] and pays a monthly maintenance for upkeep. The complex is open from April 1 to October 31 and the Town provides on-site management, so that it is only used for seasonal employee housing and not touristic rentals. Then if a business wants to Opt-Out of their purchase, like any Co-operative, it is then the business owner’s responsibility to sell it

 

2-Year-round apartments for employees and young families:

 

This can be accomplished by allowing business to add 2nd story or basement apartments at current locations predicated on proof that it is only being used for their employees or local employees who reside full-time in Montauk; or young families that cannot afford the high rents or home purchase, - the later would have to be based on income. Strict code enforcement would be required and a “rental fee” would be collected by the Town to cover the cost this enforcement

 

3-Senior housing needs:

 

Many of our year-round seniors, who own older homes which are assessed at a lower property tax rate [thus can afford to continue to live in Montauk] have been moving for many reasons. One of these reasons is that these older homes have to be “seniorized” to continue living in them. The problem is that this “seniorizing” [i.e. – adding bedrooms for caretakers, ramps, adding or attaching a garage so as to avoid having to walk outside in inclement weather to enter the home, expanding some rooms to make wider passage ways for wheelchairs, etc.} results in a re-evaluation assessment, which may in turn result in a property tax increase that is no longer affordable. My suggestion is that if a new property tax rate is applied, it should be a minimum affordable tax cap that then gets adjusted when the home is either sold or turned over to siblings who will NOT being living year-round in that domicile, or use it for rentals or weekends. The amount of the cap should be based on original owner’s current income and age. This way Montauk Seniors can continue to live in our community while being able to redesign their homes to accommodate the needs of advancing age.

 

4-Young couple housing:

 

The same affordability issue for Montauk seniors also affects young couples who wish to stay in Montauk. Unless the finances are available, it is almost impossible for a young couple with or without children to afford Montauk unless their parents may want to sell or give them their older home. Again, the tax implications for this expansion may make these arrangements out of reach for young couples. Some kind of special property tax level [similar to the above Senior tax suggestion] should be considered in circumstances where parents want to give, sell or expand their older home to accommodate a growing family. This is a bit more complicated than the above number “2”, but a way should be found that young low-income couples, with or without children and starting out, not be forced to leave the community.

 

5-Playhouse:

 

The Playhouse constantly needs to generate revenue. A few years ago, the Montauk Post Office was looking to expand. If it is still true, if it is, maybe  swap with the current Post Office space with the Playhouse’s open lower place [even if it means NO pool] that would generate a steady Federal rent income. Additionally, in exchange for the space at the Playhouse, the Town acquire the current post office space that could also be converted into the above mentioned ”#1”  Seasonal Employee Housing Complex

 

The above ideas are predicated on accommodating from within rather than GROWING outwardly. Accommodating and recognizing “Locals”, and as was mentioned at the recent Montauk meeting   making sure those who came to Montauk years ago because of what Montauk meant to them [the “un-Hampton Hampton”] continues to be that Montauk

 

Lastly, I also hope the Hamlet study will be able to differentiate between a “year-rounder”; a “weekend-end/summer only year-rounder’;  a home owner who rents out their property; and the tourist [short and long stay],  Until you know who really lives, works and visits Montauk,  you cannot service the needs of our community or shepherd it to the future.

 

The Hamlet study should show the way as the CCOM motto says, to “Keep Montauk, Montauk”

 

Sincerely,

Raymond M. Cortell

Montauk

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