Thursday, July 12, 2012
Illegal conversions also a Hamptons problem
From the NY Times:
When one thinks of the Hamptons, what jumps to mind are masters of the universe and their mansions by the sea. But a strong, steady stream of immigrants has been flowing to the area for years, drawn by a service economy that demands hedges be trimmed and houses be cleaned. In the Springs, a hamlet in the town of East Hampton, where most of the houses are small and the year-round population is relatively large, the Hispanic population has tripled in the past 10 years — and tension has emerged.
Some longtime residents of the Springs and similar areas complain that homes are being illegally crowded, that houses with half a dozen cars parked outside are a blight on the street, and that the many children living inside are overwhelming the local schools and causing property taxes to rise.
The pockets of tension are concentrated in year-round communities, where the immigrants, legal and illegal, tend to live alongside the landscapers and the contractors with whom they are competing for business. These areas are far less affluent than the southern end of town, where Manhattanites spend the summer by the ocean, in homes hidden behind 12-foot hedges.