Residents: ‘Land grab’ deal in Southampton should be reversed

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WATER MILL -

Some residents in Water Mill are upset with a land deal between Southampton Town trustees and a homeowner, saying that the town gave away public land.

Recently, trustees gave away about one-third of an acre of the public land at the foot of Rose Hill Road so that homeowner Randy Frankel can expand his driveway. In return, the homeowner must maintain the property and the access to a public boat ramp that has been used by the community for decades.

At a trustee meeting Monday night, some said the deal was the right one as trustees struggle with finances.

“If the guy improves the ramp and makes it really good, then I don't care. Let it happen,” said Jamie Hummel.

Others said the trustees quietly gave away valuable property and the remaining usable land around the ramp is not big enough for boats to come and go.

“It is restricted with a narrower driveway. [We] can’t get as many boats down here,” said Steve Abramson, of Water Mill.

According to a petition, the deal violates the principle and purpose of the land acquisition by the town for free unimpeded public access to Mecox Bay via Cove Avenue, and sets an unacceptable precedent.

Frankel told News 12 that he never meant to upset residents and wants to find an equitable solution. He said he's improved the park.

The town trustees told News 12 that they will be meeting with the homeowner soon to try and find a solution and make adjustments to the property.

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