Headley Studio Plans Revamped

Posted on 05 January 2011

By Kathryn G. Menu

Following a determination by Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector Tim Platt, Natasha Esch, the newest owner of the former Headley Studio on Madison Street in Sag Harbor, has re-designed plans to consolidate two existing retail spaces into one

Esch had hoped to take two existing retail spaces and a one bedroom, first floor apartment and create a 1,990 square foot retail space. The plans also called for the creation of a mezzanine space on the second floor for the retail shop, carved out of a second story apartment, which would have been reduced into an efficiency apartment.

However, those plans hinged on Esch being allowed to expand into a deck area on the rear of the building without exceeding the square footage limits, and this week, Platt said the plan would not meet setback requirements laid out in the village code if the deck was included.

Esch’s attorney, Miles Anderson, said he was “quite startled” by Platt’s memo in that building permits were issued for the deck and no less than two certificate of occupancies have been given to property owners since the deck was erected.

“We came to the conclusion rather than fight it out with the board of appeals, the sensible thing would be to revise the plan around it,” said Anderson at a planning board meeting on Tuesday, December 28.

Instead, Esch proposed a similar plan, building a second story on an existing first story portion of the building with an additional two-story addition on the north of the building. An extended patio is also a part of the design, which Anderson said Platt was amenable to.

New plans show a 1,972 square foot retail space on the first floor and in the mezzanine area of the second floor with a 542 square foot efficiency apartment on the second floor.

While Sag Harbor Village Planning Consultant Rich Warren asked to take time to review the plans before the board makes a determination, because the plan complies with the code and is under 3,000 square feet in size, board member Greg Ferraris said it could be waived from planning board approval under the new village code.

The project will be revisited at the board’s January 25 meeting.

In other planning board news, the board will not sign off on the environmental review of the proposed plan to expand the John Jermain Memorial Library until its January 25 meeting, after board members have time to review a resolution drafted by village attorney Anthony Tohill, who was absent from the meeting.

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2 Responses to “Headley Studio Plans Revamped”

  1. Lisa M. says:

    again it is my hope that more low income housing can still be available and it can be maintained as two stores. I am not sure why so much space needs to be applied for retail. The location is still perfect for 2 stores and two apartments. Minkoff who sold the building just used the system to increase its sale. This does not mean it needs to be applied. Focus on the future not the owner’s resale value.

  2. Roberta says:

    Does anyone from the board and village understand the impact of adding an unnecessary retail with a mezzanine will have by reducing the efficiency apartment? Headley provided 2 CO for 2 retail shops and 2 apartments. It gave the village more housing and 2 different stores. Headley had a dress shop in one and a gift shop in the other. Then they had a 2 bedroom apt upstairs for low-income families and a one bedroom in the back with a porch and gardens. Just because you can does not mean its the way to go. Miles Anderson was also the lawyer for Headley’s buyer/investor Minkoff. Minkoff delayed the purchase to obtain board permits for a pool, driveway (backing out onto to main street), consolidating the two apts, adding a dormer on second floor, and changing the historic front facade (removing the historic window panes with modern/industrial full glass). After he got his permits he bought the building and flipped it. His board approved permits gave him the ability to increase his investment. I truly hope this is not another investor trying to change our village to increase their bank statement. And I am not sure if Anderson’s involvement could be considered a conflict of interest. The Minkoff plan was a good retail vision with a 3-bedroom apt. The pool plan appeared to be just a selling point for the buyer. I still don’t how he got a driveway when it is illegal to back out onto Main Street after that horrible accident with a child several years ago. I hope the the simple rules this time.


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