Luxury Homes over Grave Sites - Re Approved

Development in the Shinnecock Hills has been the subject of scrutiny recently. In particular a 13 acre parcel owned by Romaz Properties has been clear cut at a high point along Shinnecock Bay. The property can be viewed from Montauk Highway just east of Peconic Road.

A plan to construct expensive homes over what is thought to be a native burial ground was re-approved by the Southampton Town Planning Board last month. This was after the Town Board canceled a planned hearing on variances requested by Robert Romeo, the owner.

In a letter to the Southampton Town Planning Board in 2001, Stephen Biassetti of the Group for the South Fork enumerated the natural features of this site including 363 feet of bay frontage with a steep slope from high bluffs to the water (a 60 foot drop in a 175 horizontal distance ) and similar changes in elevation away from the bay frontage and a wide variety of plants and animals.

Biasetti remarked that there is hardly any publicly protected property in Shinnecock Hills.

In a April 2006 letter to Town Supervisor Patrick Heaney, Ms. Jo-Ann McClean of McClean Archeological Consultants advised that work by Dr. David Bernstein of Stony Brook University which involved an investigation to shallow depths on the property reserves the potential for the presence of "deeply buried human remains" on the site. Dr. Bernstein advised that "an archeologist be present during the initial grading and excavation on the property eliminate all possibility of mortuary remains".

Typically Indian burial sites were at high elevations such as this property and an adjacent property is recognized as a native burial ground.

Proposals to purchase this property are under consideration by the Town Community Preservation Fund.

An opportunity for the public to inquire about this development will occur at a meeting of the Community Advisory Committee which covers this area on Thursday evening July 6. The meeting is scheduled for 7pm in the second floor conference room at Southampton
Town Hall.

More Info regarding the proposed development: Lisa Votino-Tarrant at

Also: More McMansions to Replace Grave Sites

More Info regarding the CAC: