By Kathryn G. Menu
After several months of discussion, on Tuesday night the Sag Harbor Village Zoning Board of Appeals officially denied Janet Lehr and Vered’s request for variances to keep the Larry Rivers’ “Legs” sculpture on the side of their Madison Street residence, although they did so without prejudice, meaning a new application could be filed to legalize the sculpture.
However, it is unclear if Lehr and Vered will file a second application. On Wednesday morning, Vered declined to comment on what she plans to do moving forward.
Vered and Lehr’s fight to keep the “Legs” has been an on-and-off debate for over two years, as the Village of Sag Harbor has entertained the couple’s request to legalize the sculpture in the historic district, but not as art, rather as an accessory use.
Without approval from the zoning board of appeals (ZBA), Lehr and Vered must either take the “Legs” down or face continual fines from the village building department.
At the March ZBA meeting, Vered had offered the board a covenant where she and Lehr would agree to remove the “Legs” sculpture in two years time. To reduce the number of variances they would need to keep the “Legs,” Lehr and Vered’s representative Clayton Munsey had previously offered to lower the sculpture reducing its height on the side of the residence, as well as remove a concrete patio in the back of the house to reduce the total lot coverage on the property.
The concept appeared appealing to members of the ZBA, many of whom have been vocal in their concern about the application setting a precedent allowing accessory structures to be constructed on a property line if the “Legs” application was approved. However, village attorney Anthony Tohill said a new application would have to be filed with the board for that plan to be considered.
The vote to deny Lehr and Vered’s application was almost unanimous. Board member Michael Bromberg has recused himself throughout the application from weighing in on the issue.