The Sag Harbor Village Planning Board has had a fair amount of heavy lifting to contend with over the course of the last two years. In that time, it has engaged in a lengthy review of the now approved condominium projects at the former Bulova Watchcase Factory and at 21 West Water Street, as well as the conversion of the controversial Havens Bar and Lounge on Bridge Street into retail and residential space, and the review of the Loeffler office building across from the Breakwater Yacht Club on Bay Street.
And as the board is about to embark on yet another prolonged review – this time of the proposed 18-unit luxury condominiums at 1, 3 and 5 Ferry Road – it has said good-bye to its former chairman, Jerome Toy. Barring a dramatic turn of events, the board will accept new member Nathan Brown at its October 16 work session.
On Tuesday, October 14, the Sag Harbor Board of Trustees is expected to appoint Brown to the planning board in a unanimous resolution, according to Sag Harbor Mayor Greg Ferraris. Brown will take Toy’s seat on the board. In August, board member Neil Slevin replaced Toy as chairman of the planning board and will continue to lead the board through its review of the Ferry Road application. (See interview on page 9).
According to Ferraris, after interviewing Brown, his appointment was inevitable.
“It really came down to what his thoughts were on the village,” said Ferraris. “Where it has stood now, where it has evolved from, and where he thought it should evolve to. We talked a lot about the process, and how he would handle hypothetical situations. In terms of being able to digest information and make educated decisions, I think he really showed he would have the village’s best interest at heart.”
Brown, who along with his wife Gloria, can be seen at virtually every meeting that takes place in Sag Harbor – from village board meetings to library board meetings and forums arranged by the Coalition of Neighborhoods for the Preservation of Sag Harbor (CONPOSH) – has been an active member of the community, noted Ferraris, a key quality the mayor was looking for in a replacement for Toy.
“He knows the process, and what the planning board is up against,” he said.
For Brown, deciding to throw his name in the hat was a simple decision.
“I live here,” he said on Tuesday. “I figure I have the time to get involved and make it better. This is my home. I can’t see living in a place and sitting in the background doing nothing.”
Brown’s background is in technology. He worked for 25 years at IBM before retiring and starting a small company for himself in New Jersey. Brown and his wife have owned their home in the Chatfield Hills neighborhood of Sag Harbor for 24 years, and are now retired there.
In addition to his service as the co-president of the Chatfield Hills Property Owners Association, Brown is also a member of Save Sag Harbor, has worked with CONPOSH, is a trustee with the Suffolk County Library Association and volunteers at the Sag Harbor Food Pantry each week.
“I know this is going to be quite a challenge,” said Brown. “But at least I know I have the time to devote to this.”Â