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Opportunity Lost

Posted on 28 May 2008

What makes Sag Harbor special? Why, with all the tony resort towns that surround us is our Main Street bustling at 9 p.m. on a warm, summer evening when many village’s around us have seemingly turned in for the night?

While as a community we have been asking this question for over a year now, we asked it knowing the answer. Sag Harbor is unique in the characters that make it – from the mom-and-pop business owners that line our Main Street with their stores, to the cast of characters along our waterfront, to the members of the community who always have something to say and a new group to form.

We have been trying to preserve this uniqueness for some time now, as the fear of interlopers in the form of big, bad box stores and sameness has crept into our worst of nightmares. Could Sag Harbor only have the luxury boutiques of Madison Avenue to turn to in times of shopping need? Could we be without a hardware store, a variety store where one can still buy a spool of thread?

And so we organized, across the board, in a number of ways and waited for what traditionally has been one of the greatest tools of municipality to combat the fear of sameness on our Main Streets – a new zoning code.

But once it was unveiled? Nothing. Despite general proclamations of support and general proclamations of concern, although none very specific, not a single question or comment has been filed with Sag Harbor officials about this new code.

 At the last meeting on the draft code, village officials, in a 15-minute discussion, practically begged for public comment, and a legal advertisement was even taken out to that effect. Stressing time and time again this is a document that has the ability to evolve, trustees in the village have sought to hear their resident’s ideas, but for whatever reason their request has fallen on deaf ears.

Now is the time to be a part of this process, which we do believe is well intentioned at its heart. The next meeting on the code is scheduled for Thursday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m. We hope before then at least one of the many people we know make our community worth preserving steps up with their ideas.




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