Supervisor Closes Hearing On Petition To Incorporate Wainscott After Significant Objections Are Raised By Community

For Immediate Release

Public Identifies Myriad Issues of Legal Insufficiency of Petition, Including Failure to Comply with New York Statutes and Trespass on Trustee Lands.

Yesterday, East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc closed the legally required hearing on objections to the incorporation petition sponsored by the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott (“CPW”), that seeks to create an exclusive village, based on a boundary that excludes over 80 Wainscott homeowners from free access to the ocean at Beach Lane and Town Line Road.

The hearing was required by New York State Village Law § 2-206.1 in order for the Supervisor to “hear objections which may be presented as to the legal sufficiency of the petition for incorporation.”

Members of Wainscott United, as well as the public, voiced a wide range of such objections, including:

  • That the southern border of the proposed village purports to, but cannot legally, include the Trustee Beach.
  • That the petition included numerous instances where the boundaries of the proposed village failed to refer to “existing streets”, “navigable waters” or “metes and bounds” and therefore the petition failed to “identify the location and extent of such territory with common certainty” as required by the Village Law.
  • That the petition’s description of the proposed village identified an intersection that does not exist, relied upon waters that New York State statutes have specifically identified as being not navigable as well as the man-made Georgica “gut” that does not exist for most of the year and moves its location from year to year.
  • That the petition relied on an illegible and incomplete photograph that does not even purport to show a complete boundary of the proposed village, rather than an actual map, as required by the Village Law.
  • That the petition included the obviously false statement that on November 20, 2020, it contained signatures constituting “[a]t least twenty per cent of the residents of such territory”, when only 15 signatures had been obtained by that date.

The hearing was conducted over two days, in order to give the Supervisor the opportunity to allow the maximum number of Wainscott residents an opportunity to present objections to the petition. The Village Law gives the opponents of incorporation very little ability to prevent an election to incorporate and the hearing is intended to give the Supervisor enough information to decide on the petition’s “legal sufficiency.”

But, for all of CPW’s hyperbole during the hearing, one truth came out, as stated by one of CPW’s witnesses to the petition, when he stated that the desire to incorporate “is particularly driven by the insistence that Wainscott accept the landing of the South Fork Wind Cable.

The truth is that the only reason that CPW wants to incorporate Wainscott is to stop the Beach Lane cable landing; CPW has no real interest in creating or running a village and has stated that it intends to sub-contract to the Town or Village of East Hampton all police, planning, zoning and other work crucial to operating a government.

The Supervisor may or may not find that CPW’s petition is legally sufficient. CPW’s previous attempt to incorporate had to be withdrawn when it learned that its proposed boundary violated the clear requirements of the Village Law. But if this petition is not legally sufficient, and no election is held, it will only be due to CPW’s failure, once again, to comply with the requirements of law.