First Legal Accessory Apartment Approved by Sag Harbor

Posted on 04 December 2009

The first accessory apartment in the residential district in Sag Harbor was approved last Tuesday night, November 24 in the inaugural session of the village’s new Accessory Apartment Review Board. The committee was appointed by village trustees to carry out an aspect of the new village code that seeks to provide affordable housing and bring longstanding illegal apartments in Sag Harbor up to code.

Allan and Jerilyn Morrel were approved for a permit for the accessory apartment by board members Neil Slevin, Gregory Ferraris and Larry Perrine – all members of the village planning board, who will annually rotate seats on the review board. The apartment, on Brandywine Drive, will encompass 650 square-feet of space that once housed an indoor pool.

“It’s kind of great to see something we implemented in the last three or four years coming to fruition, so thank you,” said Ferraris, a former mayor who recently oversaw the revision of the village code.

Ferraris said he believed the Morrels met every requirement of the new code, which allows the review board to approve 50 new accessory apartments in the village.

Accessory apartments in the residential district in Sag Harbor are allowed under the new village code as long as the apartment is in an owner-occupied building. Only one accessory apartment is allowed per home, containing only two bedrooms and a maximum of 650 square feet.

“The building inspector has the responsibility and the authority to make sure it adheres to the new code,” explained Ferraris. “The only decision we really make is whether it is suitable in the neighborhood.”

No neighbors voiced or wrote in complaints about the Morrels’ proposal.

Ferraris said he believed other individuals had approached the building department about applying for the apartments, but no applications had been filed to his knowledge. Regardless, he was pleased about the first approval.

“We looked at it both ways,” he said. “It is a way to provide affordable housing just by the size of the apartments and it could bring existing apartments into code compliance.”

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