Hamptons residents: Store expansion will create additional congestion

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BRIDGEHAMPTON -

Some Hamptons residents say they are upset about the possible expansion of a TJ Maxx in the area.

The Bridgehampton store is located just before the downtown area on the north side of Route 27.

It is currently 33,000 square-feet, and it is asking the town of Southampton for approval to expand another 17,000 square-feet, which is about a 50 percent expansion.

The proposal has been in the works for several years, and opponents say they feel like it's on the verge of being approved.

“The Planning Board has disappointed the community by pushing through every large variance and waiver for this project. They're not protecting the residents of Bridgehampton and our quality of life," says Pamela Harwood, of Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee.

Julie Burmeister says her family goes back around 100 years in Bridgehampton. She refutes the planning board's conclusion that the project would not impact the local environment or worsen traffic.

“What we've seen is the destruction of historic homes with really nothing in the code that can save them,” she says “ And the traffic is terrible. Three months of the year it's very, very difficult to get around.”

Residents say that they are also afraid a larger store will attract more shoppers that will clog up their local roads.

Resident Peter Feder feels the shopping center is already too large and that expanding it is the last thing that should happen.

“This is a unique part of the world, a unique part of Long Island,” Feder says. “We treasure it and we want to do everything we can to keep it. It's not going to take much longer when you're going to wake up one day and say, ‘What happened to our town?"’

News 12’s calls to the Southampton Town Planning Board were not returned. The attorney for the shopping center did not want to comment.

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