At 10AM this morning, an extraordinary number (about 1000, we guess) of Montauk residents crowded into the firehouse for a meeting with the East Hampton Town Board about the burgeoning party scene and how it affects quality of life.
Chief of Police Michael Sarlo spoke first, reminding residents that while it's easy to demand better code enforcement, the local police force is small. Further, the police force can be limited in their power: for example, it's not against the law to be intoxicated in public in New York State. Chief Sarlo also added that police read blogs and social media, including Curbed Hamptons (HI CHIEF!), in order to further their investigations. So watch it, readers.
Supervisor Larry Cantwell spoke after that. He said that the town was looking into a number of remedies, such as not allowing parking along Edgemere Street (where the Surf Lodge is), but for that the town would have to apply to Suffolk County as it's a county road. Other ideas include disallowing outdoor music or disallowing amplified outdoor music. Prohibiting alcohol on beaches. Implementing a rental registry law. Ask the county to allow the town to require bars to close earlier than 4AM.
Next, a very long list of concerned local citizens spoke. Most comments by members of the public were in the following veins:
· Public urination is a problem. There needs to be better facilities for toileting—bars and nightclub restroom facilities are inadequate. Nancy Atlas wanted to know why residents couldn't sponsor porta potties around town and by the Sloppy Tuna and the Surf Lodge. Not the yucky kind, but the nice sort that people want to use.
· Taxis are out of control and solutions need to be found, possibly including designated waiting areas, dispatchers, etc.
· Garbage needs to be picked up more promptly in public areas, especially beaches.
· Better local control of liquor licenses. Some residents asked that the town and citizens ask bar/nightclub owners to work with the town, while others were more confrontational and less inclined to ask licensees to play nicely. Apparently there are 88 holders of liquor licenses in the hamlet of Montauk.
· There needs to be a rental registry law so that enormous sharehouses can be shut down.
We'll see what comes of all these ideas.
· What Can Be Done to Rein in the Montauk Party Scene? [CH]