The sprawling 55-acre Anderson estate in North Haven is one step closer to becoming a six-lot subdivision. On Monday, June 21, the North Haven Village Planning Board approved a preliminary plat — or general layout — of the project. The plan itself involves somewhat of a unique concept for the village.
Above: An aerial view of the Rust/Anderson property in North Haven.
In January 2009, property owner Robert Rust, who inherited the compound from his late aunt Lorraine Anderson, and Joseph Lombardi of the Raynor Group presented three distinct plans for the property. The first plan featured 18 lots and a park site, but didn’t set aside land for the required open-space use. The second design included two parcels of open space, which totaled roughly 50 percent of the total property, and 18 residential lots. However, these lots were too large under village zoning requirements.
The final plan, however, received the most praise from the board in January and would later serve as the blueprint for the preliminary plat. With this design, 50 percent of the property is designated for conservation with the remaining land divided into six lots. These lots will be sold as pairs, meaning a buyer will legally be required to purchase both lots. Lombardi explained in January of last year that the owner could build a main house on one parcel and a guesthouse on the other. According to current preliminary surveys, around 34 acres will be preserved through conservation easements with this design and around 21 acres will be developed.
“This is one of the first [of these types of plans] I have seen here in the village. In our municipality it is a new concept,” noted North Haven Village Clerk Georgia Welch. “Large lots are desirous here in North Haven. The goal is to keep North Haven basically the way it is.”
Anderson and her husband Olen purchased the property at 400 Ferry Road in the 1960s. Charles Jundt, the previous owner and noted perfumer who created “Charles of the Ritz,” built two houses, a barn and two-car standing garage in the 1890s which remain standing today. In addition, the Andersons constructed a modest ranch house overlooking the water. The Andersons’ property is sprawling and unique with its inlet, pond, orchard and 3,000 feet of shoreline.
But as the Andersons grew older, it became difficult to maintain the estate. Olen was debilitated by diabetes. While Lorraine cared for her husband, the structures on the compound fell into disrepair. After Olen passed away in the 1980s, Lorraine lived alone on the property until her death in 2000.
When Rust inherited the estate, he began extensive repairs of the structures on the property. Originally, Rust intended to keep the property for his own personal use. When his property taxes increased to nearly $180,000 by 2007, he could no longer afford to hold onto the estate.
So in January 2007, Rust put the estate on the market. Over a year ago the property was listed at $75 million with Gary DePersia of Corcoran Real Estate. However, the estate’s price tag has since been whittled down to $44,990,000.
The property will most likely be subdivided into six parcels, or three available sections. In a letter dated May 5, 2010, the Suffolk County Department of Planning recommended the approval of the plan with a few conditions. As Ferry Road, especially near the Shelter Island Ferry, is busy, the county planning department set a condition that the current proposed points of access shall remain the same. The design outlines two private roads for the three homes, though there are currently three driveways that lead to the property.
North Haven Village officials explained Rust and Lombardi must now fine tune the plan and return to the village planning board with a final plat.
“In approving the preliminary plat, you get the meat of the subdivision. The final plat is fine tuning,” noted Welch.
The project still requires further documentation and approvals, like Suffolk County Health Department approval said Welch. She noted that Rust and Lombardi could gather these materials and return to the board in as little as two to three months.