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Sag Harbor Planning Board Wants LWRP on Focus of Condo Review

Posted on 23 October 2008

Sag Harbor Planning Board Chairman Neil Slevin wants to ensure the village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) is comprehensively addressed in the environmental review of a proposed luxury waterfront condominium project at 1, 3 and 5 Ferry Road. He also demanded that when applicable, state-licensed professionals complete reports on a number of potential impacts the project may pose for the community.

On Thursday, October 16 the planning board convened a work session to discuss potential impacts of the proposed 18-unit condominium project, which is also proposed to include 18 accessory boat slips. By law, the board must submit a final list of potential impacts to the developers, East End Ventures, by November 4. East End Ventures will then be responsible for exploring each potential impact in the environmental review of the project, overseen by the planning board. Next Tuesday, October 28, the board is likely to adopt a final list for the developers.

Sag Harbor Village Environmental Planning Consultant Rich Warren walked the board through some of the potential impacts identified by the village, impacts brought up by residents at a jam packed village meeting at the end of September, as well as other information he believes the developer should provide the village.

One issue Slevin said he would like clarified is the issue of ownership. Warren has requested in a draft document that the applicants provide a site plan clearly delineating the overall boundaries of ownership, both upland and underwater, and addressing a state controlled right-of-way adjacent to the property.

Slevin asked Warren if the information would explain why documents originally submitted by East End Ventures showed a different property line than what the board is looking at now.

Warren explained East End Ventures will also need to provide a title grant, and assured Slevin the village, with his aid, would be able to confirm any information provided in that grant.

When looking at another section of questions regarding existing land use and zoning on the site, Slevin continued to hammer away at the ownership issue, referring to a comment made by attorney Jeff Bragman in a memo to the board regarding impacts where he notes a 1992 application for a marina at the same site was turned down.

Bragman is representing the group, Save Our Waterfront, a sister organization of Save Sag Harbor, which formed in opposition to the Ferry Road development.

“I would like to see in this section a connection to [the 1992 application] and why it was turned down,” said Slevin, adding he wants a narrative explanation for why a new use that includes extensive docking should be allowed by the board when a previous board denied it.

Warren said he would ask for copies of any prior decisions regarding the property as to illustrate what has been proposed there, what has been approved and what has been denied. He added the village attorney would look into any questions of ownership.

Slevin also would like detailed discussion by East End Ventures regarding the LWRP, specifically when it comes to looking at impacts to existing character and viewsheds of the area.

Warren added Slevin is not the only one who has expressed concerns in this arena — the zoning board of appeals previously brought up viewshed concerns, as have a number of Sag Harbor residents.

East End Ventures will also be asked to evaluate the marine environment of the area where the docks are proposed, including a catalog of marine life in the vicinity, as well as a number of habitats in the area, the tidal flow and an assessment of current water quality conditions.

Board member Jack Tagliasacchi asked Warren if the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) would analyze this evaluation, which will be completed by East End Ventures.

“My intention is we would be sending some of this information out to different agencies,” said Warren, noting the NYSDEC or the Harbor Committee, for example, could be tapped during the review to provide their expertise.

In addition to water quality on the site of the docks, East End Ventures will likely be asked to assess soil and water conditions around the property, based on questions about possible contamination on the site, which were raised at the September public hearing.

Slevin wondered how the results of the soil sampling could be verified.

Warren explained to Slevin there are standards that must be used when conducting environmental assessments.

“I am not worried that they are going to come back with information that is altered,” said Warren, adding the village will have its own professionals to review any results 

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