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Study recommends Montauk shoreline businesses, motels relocate

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Kristin Thorne has more on the recommendation for businesses along the Montauk shoreline to relocate.

A new series of studies has concluded that businesses located along the Montauk shoreline should be moved due to erosion and rising sea levels.

Massachusetts-based planning consultant group Dodson & Flinker recommends a "strategic retreat" of businesses on the dunes along South Emerson Avenue.

The report did not name specific businesses which should be relocated but said hotels along the shoreline take up space that might otherwise be occupied by natural dunes. The dunes would serve as a natural barrier for the downtown area from surging ocean water.

Diane Hausman, who owns the Sands Motel, said she's not sure how such a plan would work.

"There's not going to be enough room to move us all someplace," said Hausman. "There isn't enough space."

Hausman's motel does not sit directly on the dunes but is located on South Emerson Avenue. It could thereby get caught up in the restructuring and may have to relocate or combine with an establishment which is being moved off the dunes.

East Hampton Town Councilwoman Sylvia Oberly said town officials plan to offer business owners financial help and incentives to move their establishments.

She said the issues of climate change and rising sea levels have to be addressed.

"We want to make sure we protect our downtown areas and we protect our local businesses," Oberly said.

A series of public hearings will be held to discuss the proposals.

To view the entire report, visit http://ehamptonny.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2788

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