Sag CAC Eyes Work at Sag Harbor Industries

Posted on 12 December 2008

Birds-eye view of the Sag Harbor Industries property.

An application filed for Sag Harbor Industries (SGI) was one issue discussed at this month’s Sag Harbor Citizen Advisory Committee’s (CAC) meeting, held on Friday, December 5, at the Pierson High School Library. 

CAC chair, John Linder, came to the meeting with a copy of a letter from Southampton Town Principal Planner, Claire Vail, to Noyac Citizen’s Advisory Committee Vice-chair, John Distefano. The letter detailed the basic points of the application.

According to Distefano, SGI plans to expand the various types of business occurring in the building to include a landscaping service, a wholesale business, an electrical repairs site, and a manufacturing operation. Many of these operations are currently functioning in the building, but the company would like town approval for the various uses. SGI also wants to build a 40 by 60 foot storage unit. Currently, SGI manufactures electronic devices, though they rent out space to other businesses.

According to Lisa Poyer, of Inter-Science Science Research Associates, a company helping SGI with the permits for the project, SGI will put 2.2 acres of the property under a non-development covenant, that will connect pieces of town land and county land to expand an area of open space. SGI is also seeking a wetland permit.

In the letter from Vail to Distefano, Vail encouraged members of the Noyac CAC to write her a letter detailing their objections regarding this project. Distefano says the Noyac CAC will give their decision on the project by February 5. Linder said that the Sag Harbor CAC will work in conjunction with the Noyac CAC to review the project.

According to Distefano’s understanding of the application, SGI would also like to operate a furniture business in their present location. “I wonder if this furniture business would include furniture stripping,” said Distefano. Distefano felt some of the materials associated with this process might be harmful to the environment. Poyer believes SGI isn’t seeking approval for the operation of a furniture business. 

According to Distefano, the building that SGI currently operates out of is dealing with issues of building code non-compliances, although he didn’t have specifics on this. “Sag Harbor Industries wants to get [the issue of non-compliance] straightened out. The town also wants to bring them into compliance.”

CAC member Bill Collins was sympathetic to SGI’s need for extra on-site parking. Poyer said SGI will build substantial additional parking.

The 8.4 acre site SGI operates from has been a controversial piece of land in recent decades. In the 1980s, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services found contamination in the groundwater beneath the property, resulting from the operations of a previous owner. (During the 1950′s and 1960′s Rowe Industries manufactured small electric motors on the site.) By 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established the Rowe Superfund Cleanup site. Distefano is confidant that this previous issue will not factor into SGI’s recent application, since the cleanup project is almost fully completed.

Jeremy Samuelson, of the Group for the East End, is also planning on reviewing the application: “I am looking forward to looking at the application, given the environmental concerns associated with this site.”



Also on the docket at Friday’s Sag Harbor CAC meeting was a discussion of the status of the Gateway Study. CAC member Eric Cohen said, “We are certainly not for a Highway Business Zoning.” Shauna Conran said the CAC doesn’t want to see the creation of a commercial area that would compete with the business area in the village.

“We are correcting an error in the zoning laws. There is an anachronism back when they reviewed this and decided that it was okay to build strip malls,” Cohen added. “Everyone thought that was what we wanted, but that is no longer what we want. It seems to us like a very simple matter, but I understand that if you are a property owner it isn’t that simple.”

Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman and journalist Karl Grossman will visit the CAC for their January meeting.


Top Image: A birds-eye view of Sag Harbor Industries current property. 

Bottom Image: Sag Harbor CAC members hash out their opinions of the Gateway Study. 



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