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The East Hampton Star. (East Hampton, N.Y.) 1885-current, December 26, 1968, Image 1

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Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83030960/1968-12-26/ed-1/seq-1/


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A complaint has been filed with the United States Justice Depart­ ment's civil rights division by the Manhattan branch of the American Civil Liberties Union in behalf of eight Negro residents of this area who claim that police violated their civil rights during the First National Bank robbery investigation. An attorney for the Civil Liberties Union came to East Hampton on Nov. 29 to take statements from complainants, and the Star has ob­ tained a copy of a letter from a staff counsel of the ACLU to a Justice Department official which outlines the allegations. The letter, dated Dec. 6, was sent by Paul G. Chevigny, staff counsel of the Manhattan branch of the ACLU, to Gerald Jones, chief, north­ eastern region of the civil rights ACLU Enters Robbery Case division of the Department of Justice. It reads as follows: “I am writing to complain of the denial of civil rights to Negroes by state and local police in East Hampton Township, Suffolk County, in connection with the investigation of a bank robbery. “ It appears that on October 15, 1968, the First National Bank of East Hampton was robbed. On Octo­ ber 24, 1968, four men were arrested and charged with the crime.” \Without Probable Cause\ “ On October 15, 1968, a number of Negroes were taken into custody summarily, and without probable cause. None of them is among the four ultimately arrested. Their names and the circumstances of their cases are as follows: “Carlos Taylor, Hampton Street, Sag Harbor: While working at his job as a cablevision installer he was taken into custody in the presence of his superior on the job by Ptl. Kenny Newhouse. He was detained at the East Hampton Town police station and was not permitted to make a telephone call. He was released only after his superior, Warren King, came to the station. “ Roger Miller, 75 Hillcrest. South­ ampton: Arrested at home about 5:30 p.m., by state, town and village police. He was taken to the East Hampton Town police station and questioned by officers, including members of the Seventh Squad of county police, specifically an Officer Hogan. He was not informed of his rights, nor permitted to make a tele­ phone call.” Questioned and Released “Carlos Russell, Morris Park Estates, East Hampton: Arrested at home. He was taken to the East Hampton Town police station and questioned for three hours, then released. “Frank Hanna, Springs Road, East Hampton: Mr. Hanna runs a house- cleaning business in which he uses a truck. Commencing about 4:30, he was twice briefly stopped by police. A third time, he was stopped at gun point by the police in front of the H and F Service Station in East Hampton. His truck was search­ ed, he was questioned on the spot without being warned of his rights, and then released. Walter Hackett of the above service station is a witness. “Robert Snead, Springs Road, East Hampton: Mr. Snead is an employee of Frank Hanna. About 7:*30 p.m., he was stopped while he was in Mr. Hanna’s truck in front of Bohack’s Continued On Page 4 T H E VOLUME Lxxxrv NUMBER 15 s h i n e ; OR A L L ^ s a * S T A R EAST HAMPTON, N. Y., THURSDAY, DECEMBER 26, 1968 Single Copy 10c Published Thursday 1 Year $5; 6 Months $b Tel. 32U-01t77, 32U-0002 Fithiun La. Request The East Hampton Village Board, at its meeting- Friday night, denied a zoning change request filed by Mrs. Virginia F. Gurnee o f 7 Fithian Lane and Locust, N. J. after a lengthy discus­ sion with proponents o f the application. Mrs. Gurnee, whose approximately 15,000 square foot parcel is divided diagonally between the commercial-retail and residential C zones, had asked that the entire parcel be rezoned for commercial-retail use. The applicant intended to sell the property, which includes a house divided by the zoning line, to 2 Zone Variances Granted By Town Kent Van Wegen and Loren Pate, who managed the 1770 House for the past two years. Mr. Van Wegen and Mr. Pate planned to turn the house, which lies behind the VF W building, into a restaurant. A public hearing on the mat­ ter was held by the Board on Monday, Dec. 16; 20 persons attended. At the meeting, Mr. Van Wegen said, “The way it is zoned now, one could open up a commercial enter­ prise in part of the house — a Carvel or anything else.” He said that Mrs. Gurnee had been forced to leave the house because of the nuisance caused by VFW traffic and garbage handling behind the H. C. Bohack store. \Impossibility\ At the public hearing, Mrs. Gurnee’s attorney Saul W olf of East Hampton said, “It’s an utter impossi­ bility to use the premises for resi­ dential purposes.’’ Objectors to the application charged that the change would “ruin” the residential character of the Fithian Lane neighborhood, despite Mrs. Gurnee’s offer to set up a 30-foot buffer strip of trees on the southerly end of her property. At the hearing, a local attorney, Joseph Fallon, presented a petition signed by 20 persons objecting to the request. About five persons spoke in favor of the request at the hearing. Village Mayor James B. Skidmore said that ten letters favoring the proposal had been received, with six in opposition. “The ones in opposition, however, arc all from Fithian Lane property owners,” the Mayor said. Laundromat? Ben Stoddard, a previous owner o f the property and a real estate agent who was to handle the sale, which had been conditioned on ap­ proval of the zoning change, told the Board Friday night that a laun­ dromat could be opened up in the house under the present zoning. Mayor Skidmore said the Board was concerned not with the possibil­ ity of a restaurant being opened up there, but primarily concerned with the request to change the zone of the entire lot to commercial which would permit a variety of enterprises. It was on this ground that the Board unanimously denied the re­ quest. The Comprehensive Plan, the Mayor noted, designated the area in which the Gurnee property lies, as “special commercial,” a use that would include restaurants. The Plan has not yet been adopted as a policy guide by the Village o r Town govern­ ment. Trustee William P. McElroy urged the Mayor to “crack down hard” on Bohack s garbage handling sys­ tem. “so that the Gurnee house can be made more tenable as a resi­ dence.\ The Time Before the Board voted down the request, Mr. Van Wegen said, ‘The Continued On Pag* 3 The East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals, in decisions filed last Thursday, ruled that work could proceed upon a motel at Fort Pond Bay in Montauk, and that an East Hampton man could build a shed to house antique steam machinery and modern equipment for his electrical business. The motel matter involved prem­ ises owned by the Argyle Land Corporation, once the site of a con­ troversial gravel-mining operation, on Navy Road, a thoroughfare of uncertain ownership and not a public road. A building permit had been issued for a two-story, 20-unit motel, and then the Building Inspector, Norman Quarty, had issued a stop order when he became aware that the property lacked any actual road frontage. The owners, who were represent­ ed by Joseph Fallon, maintained that they had already spent $30,853 on the building and an adjacent marina basin, and asked to be allowed to continue work. Board Agrees The Board agreed that they should, presuming “ that the applicant does, in fact, have a right to Navy Road.” A variance was granted on the con­ dition that certain improvements be made on Navy Road, pursuant to recommendations of the Town Engi­ neer. The storage building variance was sought for land on Long Lane, East Hampton, in residence district B, owned by W. Adair Orr Jr. and Lillian S. Orr. The land has an elecrical supply shop pre - dating Town zoning. Mr. Orr said he had an antique steam tractor and a crane, and want­ ed to store them under cover, along with a trailer and trench-digger used in his electrical business. The Board granted a variance for a 30 by 40-foot building, subject to its being no more than 12 feet in height to the caves, screened with ever­ greens, and set back 30 feet from the side and rear boundaries. Tennis Courts On Jan. 7, the Zoning Board will hear an appeal for a modification of an earlier variance granted W il­ liam Scholl concerning tennis courts at Town Lane and Abraham’s Path, between East Hampton and Amagan- sctt. At an earlier hearing, a variance was granted which would have allow­ ed Mr. Scholl to build a 400-square- foot clubhouse on the premises, which are in residence zone B. Mr. Scholl has now applied for permis­ sion to build a 1,200-square-foot club­ house. The hearing will be at 7:30 p.m. At 8 p.m., an application from Mr. and Mrs. John F. Rutkowski of Montauk for a variance which would allow them to build an addition to an apartment above a store in the business district will be heard. The addition would not meet setback and area requirements. The East Hampton Town Planning Board wound up the old year last week by granting tentative approval to the first application to be sub­ mitted under East Hampton’s new \open space” or “cluster-zoning ordinance. In September, 1967, Montauk Improvement, Inc. had presented a plan to the Town Board for the redevelopment of its 178-acre golf course to include the construction of a new country club and 15 “golf villas” or two-story apartment units. The Planning Board endorsed the proposal in October, 1967. Partly because it is the first of its kind to come before the Planners and partly because of its unique predetermined characteristics, the map of Golf Villa Estates has been a problem for the Planning Board. A cooperative effort between the developers and the Planners, how­ ever, resulted in a road plan for the 32-acre apartment site within the golf course that satisfied the Plan­ ners. It is to be a private, two-lane road with a center mall and a gatehouse at its only entrance, off South Fair- view Avenue. It proposes two cir­ cular turnarounds calculated to share the traffic load on the otherwise-too- long cul de sac. The center mall at the entrance of the apartment units with staggered crossovers between the unit accesses will prevent traffic snags, the Planners noted. One No. One Abstention Atter a vote of the Board, which drew a negative response from Frederick Yardley, and an absten­ tion from Berton Roueche, six months’ tentative approval was granted Golf Villa Estates, subject to the following conditions: • That the Town would approve a zoning change from residence B to residence A. • Approval of a form of declara­ tion by the attorney to the Board properly setting aside in perpetuity reservations of the open spaces and the uses to which they are to be put. • Approval of the Suffolk County Health Department. • Approval of drainage scheme and road profiles by the Town engi­ neer. • Screening of villas and of ter­ tiary sewage treatment site. • Approval of parking areas as to their adequacy, turnaround and driveway spaces, screening and drainage. • Obtaining of a variance or re­ moval of tennis courts within set­ back areas. • The limitation of structures to nine buildings containing no more than 168 apartments. What It Is The cluster-zoning amendment allows a greater population density on a portion of a property than Prizes Wailing Cash prizes to the tune of $750 are waiting for five East Hampton shoppers in the annual “ Santa’s Gold Rush\ event of the Chamber of Commerce. Prizes of $500, $100, and three of $50 are at stake. The winning numbers, which can­ not be printed because of postal regulations, have been posted in par­ ticipating stores. Last week, store winners were Mrs. Edward King, Mrs. Charles Mott, Stephen Miller, Mrs. Winthrop Miller, and Mrs. Jon Forsberg. Mrs. Edward Martin and Sandy Hall won toys. Town Clerk Sends Yuletide Greetings East Hampton Town’s Clerk and Tax Receiver Charles T. Anderson began sending out his 1968-1969 greetings last week to the Town’s 18,675 taxpayers. East Hamptoners have been used to about a ten per cent annual increase in the tax warrant the last several years, but this year’s warrant carries with it a 24 per cent increase. Mr. Anderson said the bills usually are sent out before Dec. 10, “ but this year, due to circumstances beyond our control, the issuance of the tax bills have been delayed a good two weeks.” The Clerk-Tax Receiver said Pros and Cons Of Guild Hall Variance Argued at Hearing ZIGGURAT on the Montauk links: The new clubhouse will be the focal point of activities at the \golf villas,\ the first cluster-zoning development to be approved in East Hampton Town. Jack Graves Photo “Golf Villas” Get Town Okay would normally be allowed, provided that the rest of the property be dedicated as permanent open space. A number of conditions must be met, and in no instance does the ordinance allow more housing units on a tract than might be built under existing zoning, were the entire parcel to be used. Since its last meeting, the Board had been considering a request from Edward A. Pospisil of Great South Beach Improvement Company, own­ ers and developers of Seaview-at- Amagansett, for a release of the performance bond and a waiver of the maintenance bond. It was re­ portedly the view of the developer that there was little maintenance to be done on the roads there. At the recommendation of Stephen M. Miller, Town Engineer, the Board resolved that the performance bond in the amount of $38,000 be released and that a maintenance bond be filed in the amount of $12,000 or one-third of the performance bond as required in the Planning Board rules. Bond Reduction At a public hearing to consider a bond reduction for East Lake Estates in Montauk. the Board heard a breakdown of bond reduction figures from Mr. Miller confirmed by letter by Francis R. Smith, Town Superin­ tendent of Highways. Harry A. McCarthy, attorney for the developers, noted a conflict be­ tween Mr Miller's figures and th(*e of the developers' engineer, and askd for time to compare them. He finally accepted the Board's sugges­ tion that he allow the Board's resolu­ tion to be read to avoid a three- week delay until the next scheduled Continued O b Ptg* 2 The East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals reserved decision Friday morning after an hour-long public hearing which concerned an application by Guild Hall to build a new wing on its eastern end that would come to within 15 feet of its side property line. The land is in residential A zone, which requires a 25-foot side line setback. Robert C. Osborne, who represent­ ed Guild Hall, told the Board, which has as chairman Kenneth Wessberg, that there is a definite need for the cultural center to expand. J. M. Kaplan, the president of East Main Realty, Inc., Mr. Osborne said, had agreed to convey a 25-foot wide strip owned by his firm immediately ad­ jacent to Guild Hall on the east in return for the conveyance by Guild Hall to East Main Realty of a 50- foot right of way on the east side of the former Myrtle Sheppard parcel which was willed to Guild Hall. The Sheppard parcel, about one- half an acre, is separated from Guild Hall by the 25-foot right of way owned by East Main. The right of way leads to an 18-acre undeveloped parcel behind and to the east of Guild Hall which is owned by East Main Realty. In Favor Charles Dewey, Guild Hall's chair­ man, Mrs. Enez Whipple, the director of Guild Hall, and Arthur Newman, the architect of the proposed 69-foot long wing, all spoke in favor of the application. The three said there was a great need for more office and storage space. “There isn’t a single closet on the ground floor,” Mrs. Whipple said. The basement of the proposed wing, she said, would be used for classes in art, ceramics and other subjects which have at times been forced to meet under the stage when there have been exhibitions. Mr. Dewey pointed out that some of the Guild Hall painting collection was stored in “Home, Sweet Home” and the rest was crowded into a storage room above the lobby. The storage room, he added, was not fireproof. \Don't Know How\ Mrs. Whipple said there was one office used by a year-round staff of three and by more in the summer­ time. The kitchen, she said, had been converted into an office and the Woodhouse Gallery was also be­ ing used for office space. “There’s so much congestion,” she said, “I don’t know how we function at all.” Letters objecting to the proposal were received from Thomas P. Magill of 140 Main Street, East Hampton; Mrs. Roelof Jonker of Dunemere Lane, East Hampton; Charlotte Rowe Davis of 144 Main Street, East Hampton, and from Constance Miller Hogland. Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Hogland said they feared a parking lot would be built behind the Hall. Mrs. Jonker feared the enlargement of Guild Hall activities while Mrs. Magill noted that should the application be ap­ proved, “Guild Hall will be flanked by two . . . roads.” Memorial Garden In response to these objections, Mrs. Whipple said Guild Hall’s activities would not be expanded, and that there would be no parking lot put behind the new wing. “ We are going to put the Myrtle Sheppard memorial garden there,” she said. The new access would not create an increased flow of traffic, Mrs. Whipple said. Another objector, Mrs. C. Carleton Parker of Main Street, East Hamp­ ton, appeared at the hearing with her attorney, Henry A. McCarthy of East Hampton. Mr. McCarthy said his client’s property value would be severely diminished if the trade with East Main Realty went through, and urged the dismissal of the applica­ tion. Mrs. Parker’s home is just east of the area under discussion. Mrs. Parker taid that although she was “very fond of Guild Hall, I naturally don't want to see my prop­ erty downgraded, nor do I want to have heavy traffic pass back and forth by my window.” Codicil Mrs. Parker noted that Mrs. Shep­ pard had attached a codicil to her Coahcued On P* 3 * 2 he had asked the Suffolk County Board o f Supervisors to waive the one per cent penalty on taxes not paid by Jan. 10 since there was a delay in the passage o f the County budget this year. The Board has petitioned Albany for special enabling legislation, but the State Legislature, Mr. An­ derson said, will not convene until Jan. 8. The East Hampton Town Board supported the County’s resolution in a special meeting held Dec. 13. The story seems to be the familiar one: Costs are going up and the de­ mand for services is increasing. $5,779,374 Warrant The total tax warrant to be paid by East Hampton Town residents in 1969 to the County, the Town, the school districts and to special dis­ tricts is $5,779,374.23. This figure is up by $1,126,384.11 from last year. The County tax rate, as far as East Hamptoners are concerned, will rise by 52 cents in 1969, to $3.12 per $100 of assessed valuation. Town taxpayers living outside of the Village limits of East Hampton and Sag Harbor will pay $3.27 per $100 of assessed valuation to the Town for general Town and Town Highway operations. Village resi­ dents will pay $1.25 per $100 of assessed valuation to the Town for these funds. The Village residents are presented a tax bill from their Villages in the summer. Town and Village Last year, Town residents outside of the Villages paid $2.78 per $100 to the Town while the Village resi­ dents paid $1.02 per $100 to the Town. For the former, the Town tax rate will go up 17 per cent in 1969, and for the latter, the Town tax rate will go up 22 per cent. Com­ parisons between the respective rates of 1966 - 1967 and 1967 - 1968 showed ten and 12 per cent increases. The assessed valuation o f the Town as a whole is $49,043,959, up by $2,558,186 over last year. The assessed valuation in the areas o f East Hampton outside of the Villages in 1968-1969 is $33,597,294, up by $2,047,379 from last year. The assessed valuation in the Villages for 1968-1969 is $15,446,665, up by $510,807 from last year’s assessed valuation. The amount to be raised by taxes inside the Villages by the Town is $192,732.83, an amount that is $40,835- .15 more than that raised by the Town last year in taxes. The amount to be raised in taxes by the Town in areas outside of the Villages is $1,097,959.57. This amount exceeds last year’s figure by $221,502.93. School Taxes As usual, School District tax rates will be the highest rates of all. The school tax warrant is $2,763,443.10, up by $546,024.55 over last year, an increase of 24 per cent. The largest increase in the tax rate belongs to the East Hampton School District Number One. It went up by $1.26 per $100 of assessed valuation, to $6.55 per $100. Sag Harbor has the highest tax rate — $7.18 per $100 — followed by Springs with $6.77 per $100. Over the last two years, East Hampton's rate has risen by $2.31 per $100; the Springs rate has risen by $2.25 per $100; Montauk’s has risen by $1.18 per $100, and Sag Harbor’s has risen by $1 per $100. East Hampton's rate has gone up for the following reasons, according to the district’s supervising princi­ pal, John B. Meeker: 1) Up until last year, costs resulting from an average annual pupil increase between four and six per cent since October, 1958, had been balanced by increasing assessed valuation; 2 ) The number of persons employed by the School District had increased in almost every department, and salaries had been increased although Mr. Meeker said the District “is low man on the Suffolk County totem pole in salaries.” Largest Increaso The assessed valuation in the Ea>.t Hampton's School District One has risen by $885,907 to a total of $20,- 520,243. The lax warrant for the District in 1968-1969 will be $1,344,- 281.12, up by $305,035.72 from last year. This is the largest increase of the six area school districts in the amount to be raised by taxes. The East Hampton District has Confcautd Oo P«g« 4

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