From the East Hampton Star:
Say Hook Pond Lane Will Never Be the Same
By Christopher Walsh | June 29, 2017 – 8:55pm
Howard Dean, the former presidential candidate, was among those who spoke at the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals on Friday. Christopher Walsh
Over neighbors’ furious protests against what they called an outsized sense of entitlement and Hook Pond Lane’s deteriorating character, the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals granted a variance allowing a detached 748-square-foot garage in a front yard, which is prohibited by zoning.
Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont and candidate for president, whose family has owned a house for many years on the private lane that leads to Hook Pond, was among those who argued against the variance. Despite cries of “Enough is enough!” and Mr. Dean’s complaint that development had “fundamentally changed the nature of the town that I grew up in,” the board decided that approval was the better of two options. …
Mr. Heine was rebutting accusations from Mr. Dean, his brother, Jim Dean, and Linda James, whose house is next door, who claimed that Mr. Schneider was presenting his overall plan in segments, and was likely to return with plans for a tennis court, for example.
… While development in East Hampton “has been great because it creates a lot of jobs,” the former governor said, “at some point somebody is going to say we can’t keep doing this to ourselves. It’s not a matter of the community changing; all communities change. But at some point you lose the community.”
Hook Pond Lane is very close to the Maidstone Club, with its Scottish-style oceanfront golf course, where the Dean family have been members at least since Howard’s childhood. The former governor was born in East Hampton in 1948 and grew up split between weekends and summers at Maidstone and their Upper East Side apartment in Manhattan. Dean later white-flighted to Vermont, but still gets back to East Hampton regularly.
Maidstone is considered not the hardest course on the east end of Long Island, which include this year’s U.S. Open venue Shinnecock Hills, but perhaps the best all around club if you have children or grandchildren.
It’s not surprising that Gov. Dean, long the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, would fight to keep East Hampton more like it was during his idyllic childhood for himself and his posterity.