The Village of East Hampton treasures its extraordinary natural beauty and the architectural styles added by generations of residents who sought to enhance the natural beauty of the area rather than to overwhelm such rare splendor.
This generation of residents seeks to reaffirm the wisdom of the founders and protect and preserve the character of this village. It seeks, as did its predecessors, to secure "a continuance of its convenient and attractive features by circumscribing the limits of the area occupied by industrial and commercial enterprises as related to the area reserved for residential."(1) Preservation and stabilization are required in order to maintain green open spaces, natural vegetation, historic structures, and the continuation of our quality of life.
In a residential enclave one's quality of life is affected by the other residents. We appreciate the diversity of our population as well as the variety of aesthetics, topography, landscape and architecture of the village. The character of our neighborhoods benefits from dwellings and accessory facilities that are compatible with one another, with space and screening to protect neighboring properties.
The right to peaceful enjoyment of residential property and protection against the threat of impinging non- residential activity and traffic are of paramount concern. We foresee no need to expand the commercial areas; the size and scale of commercial development should be limited. Also, we would like to encourage a variety of goods and services that meet the needs of residents.
"The Village of East Hampton is famed as one of America's most beautiful and uniquely situated villages. Residents of the Village of East Hampton derive considerable peace of mind from their congenial surroundings. The character and charm of the village also attracts many visitors. The ever-increasing number of people drawn to the village poses the greatest threat at this time."(2) This generation of residents seeks to minimize the effects of ever-increasing tourism.
While traffic is a continuing problem in the village, we do not seek radical solutions that will affect the nature, physical design or charm of the village. Instead, we should alleviate seasonal traffic congestion and improve traffic flow only through less dramatic means. The village should maintain the current configuration of its road system, and should discourage the use of residential streets for through traffic while encouraging pedestrian enjoyment of the village. Furthermore, the village should not provide any additional parking but should maximize the use of existing parking resources.
The village and the town share a common history and the desire to preserve their heritage. The town anticipates an expanding population that inevitably will interact with the village. The village and the town need to appreciate and respond to their mutual interests by cooperating in planning for the future.
In order to protect and secure this extraordinary village for future generations, this generation of residents reaffirms and reasserts: "the Village of East Hampton is committed to the avoidance of assaults on the senses which in the case of this village are especially dependent on the aesthetic quality and physical attributes of the community. Among these are the general form of the land before and after development, the spatial relationships of structures and open spaces and the retention of the unique aesthetic quality that is part of the character of the Village of East Hampton."(3)
1 excerpted and edited from minutes of special meeting of the village board, April 27, 1926. 2,3 excerpted and edited from East Hampton village code, section 13.1, April 20, 1979, Village of East Hampton Comprehensive Plan.