To face a changing landscape

Posted on 02 October 2008

As the nation faces economic hardships with many eyes looking towards Wall Street, it remains business as usual for Sagaponack landowners, who are looking to subdivide their properties. There are five large pieces of land that face the Sagaponack planning board for considerable subdivisions of nearly 110-acres combined, which could dramatically change the landscape of the rural and still heavily agricultural village.

At the last Sagaponack Village planning board meeting, the board along with village planner, Rich Warren, and village attorney, Anthony Tohill, discussed the five properties and their application status. The properties with pending applications are 150 Gibson Lane, 511 Daniels Lane, 276 Parsonage Lane, 451 Daniels Lane and 3491 Montauk Highway.

Within the village boundaries, there is only a couple thousand feet of oceanfront property, which will remain untouched if the applications are approved. John White and his family reserved a portion of their land for an agricultural reserve, leaving 1,542 feet of oceanfront property unavailable to developers. The Peconic Land Trust has another 148 feet of waterfront property, which will remain untouched.

One of the last remaining undeveloped oceanfront properties and also the largest piece of property applying for a subdivision in the village is owned by Sagaponack Realty, LLC and is located at 451 Daniels Lane. Applicants are asking for a 4-lot subdivision on the 43.4-acres. According to Warren, the application is still pending because there are drainage issues on the southwest corner of the lot.

“The planning board issued a pre-application report based on plans that were submitted, and concerns were raised about storm water drainage from extreme storm events. A lot of farmlands drain into this property so there needs to be modifications.”

The applicant is now required to submit preliminary plans with a design concept for the drainage easement.

Adjacent to this lot is a property owned by Brenda Earl at 511 Daniels Lane, which is being represented by attorney, Mary Jane Asato of Bourke, Flanagan & Asato P.C. in Southampton. Asato has applied for the subdivision of the 18.6-acre property with two lots on the ocean while allowing for the 65 percent open space, as required by Sagaponack Village code. This application is awaiting a preliminary report from the village.

“I am working on the report right now,” Warren said on Wednesday.

Asato is also the representative for a large parcel of land owned by Parsonage Lane Properties, LLC, and is located at 276 Parsonage Lane. The pre-application submission for the property was submitted for the 19.1-acre property to be subdivided into three lots, down from the original application of four lots.

“I was going to ask the applicant to do a reduction in density from four to three lots also,” said mayor Donald Louchheim at the last planning board meeting. This property also has a 10-foot wide trail which it was decided at the meeting will be maintained. This trail connects the Long Pond Greenbelt area of Sag Harbor to the ocean in Sagaponack.

The property at 150 Gibson Lane is the furthest along in its application process. Randall Weichbrodt is a representative for the owners of the 17-plus acre lot and says the application is still under consideration with the village board. He began this project while the property was still under Southampton jurisdiction before Sagaponack became a village. This was the first application to face the village board while it was still in its infancy. Despite the fact he expressed some frustrations with the application process at the last planning board meeting, Weichbrodt said on Monday that he is okay with the slow, steady progress they are making.

“The board is doing a good job,” Weichbrodt said, “This is one of their first applications and it is moving ahead at a good pace.”

The application is to subdivide the property into six lots and will maintain Sagaponack Village’s code of 65 percent of open space. Weichbrodt said that the village’s planning board has reviewed the Environmental Assessment Form, (EAF), but found that the form was incomplete. He is now waiting for the village’s portion of the EAF to be completed.

3491 Montauk Highway or Meadowmere, which it has been called, is also applying for a subdivision. This is a 39.8- acre lot owned by the Schwenk Family, who applied for a subdivision of nine lots, but submitted plans that will allow the owners of the property to maintain a long strip of the land for farming. The property is located on the south side of the highway between Sagg Main Street, and Townline Road.

“It was changed from a larger number before,” Warren said on Wednesday, “now it’s allowing for the area to continue to be farmed.” 

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