Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library scored a victory on Tuesday night in front of the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board and was granted permission for a waiver to undergo site plan approval for a temporary library space on West Water Street, effectively giving the library permission to relocate to another site this fall without review.
The decision will allow the library board of trustees to sign a lease on the 3625 square-foot West Water Street location, which most recently housed Personal Best Fitness. JJML Director Catherine Creedon said moving into the space this fall will allow the library the ability to forgo repairs to the historic library’s furnace, which they plan to replace with a geothermal heating system if they are approved for a sizable expansion to their Main Street facility.
It will also enable the library to apply for a permit through the Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board to begin cosmetic restoration to the aging library building, including window replacement and masonry work while they await village and county approval for a more than 7,000 square-foot, modern addition they hope to build at the rear of their current building.
On Tuesday night, Sag Harbor Village planning consultant Richard Warren explained that allowing the waiver was in line with last year’s revision to the village zoning code, which included provisions for site plan waivers for changes in use that are permitted or special exemption uses under the new code, does not increase the size of the existing space, and do not require more wastewater treatment or parking.
“This is a perfect example of why we amended the code and put a site plan waiver in there,” said board member Gregory Ferraris.
The library’s environmental review for their expansion project is expected to be revisited at next month’s September 28 meeting.
In other JJML news, in the wake of the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustee’s decision to not extend the village wastewater treatment plant line to accommodate the library project, last week at a library board of trustees meeting, Creedon announced the village board is trying to aide the library through their application with the Suffolk County Health Department for an on-site treatment system.
Trustees denied the library’s application to extend the sewer line earlier this month, citing concerns from neighbors and concerns that the limited capacity of the village sewage treatment plant should be reserved for more environmentally sensitive projects.
However, last week, Creedon said trustees have announced they intend to work with JJML officials by identifying existing land owned by the village that it could offer to the county as open space in return for Pine Barren credits, a gift that will ultimately save the library a considerable amount of money.
“The village trustees are being as supportive and positive with us as they can,” said Creedon.