There are many things that set Sag Harbor apart. We have a picturesque downtown that is in no way a “Disneyfication” of a Main Street, USA, but one built and operated (mostly) by local business owners, many of whom are an intrinsic part of our community.
We have retained an authentic sense of history and architecture despite outside (and inside) pressures and have what we believe to be one of the strongest school districts on the South Fork.
Of course, a major aspect of Sag Harbor that does, and always has, historically made this village distinct is our waterfront.
This is why we are pleased to see plans for a public waterfront park next to the Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter Bridge revived this week. A public project, spearheaded this time by Harbor Committee Chairman Bruce Tait, this park would not only revitalize an area most residents agree is fairly blighted, but would also integrate public dockage for small vessels, and give residents and visitors alike a new green space to have a picnic lunch, take a stroll, or enjoy the sunset.
What is particularly appealing about this initiative is the fact the village is looking to do this on its own with public and private funding rather than look to a developer. For years, the luxury condominium developers at the neighboring 1, 3 and 5 Ferry Road have offered up numerous designs for a park largely on the same public land, but also stretching onto their own property.
While generous as an offer, we believe the future of this land should not be tied to a private development that may take years to gain approvals, if ever. But we like the idea that this park could be one of several developments Sag Harbor Village explores in an effort to continue to promote waterfront access.
We also hope the Harbor Committee will take this opportunity to fully engage the public in the planning process for this parkland as it attempts to solidify a final design and cost estimate.
Our open, public waterfront parcels are few and far between. It is up to us to ensure they are developed wisely.