After close to a year of debate, neighbor complaints followed by acceptance, and design revisions, it looks like this spring patrons of Tutto il Giorno will be able to enjoy whole roasted fish and homemade pizza crafted in an outdoor oven.
On Tuesday night, restaurant co-owners Larry Baum and chef Maurizio Marfoglia received a handful of variances from the Sag Harbor Village Zoning Board of Appeals to allow them to construct a 43 square-foot outdoor pizza oven on the restaurant’s Bay Street property.
The decision followed continued debate over whether or not the parcel was in fact large enough to hold the oven without impacting neighboring properties. All of the variances required were for setbacks to the rear, side and transitional yards around the Bay Street parcel.
Baum’s attorney, Tiffany Scarlato, opened her arguments by noting that the design of the pizza oven space, which will include countertops, refrigeration units, a sink and a covered roof in addition to the pizza oven, had been revised since the board had last looked at the application. Specifically, the counter space— criticized by board chairwoman Gayle Pickering for being too large — was scaled back as was the setback of the canopy cover to the rear lot line.
Scarlato said this was indicative of Baum’s desire to present as few variances as possible to the board. She added that the construction of the oven would not increase the number of seats at Tutto il Giorno.
Pickering said she was still concerned that allowing the space was tantamount to allowing a new, fully functional kitchen to be built for Tutto il Giorno. However, Scarlato countered that there are no prohibitions in the village code against having supplemental kitchen space. The sink is necessary per board of health requirements, she added, and the already tight spaces at Tutto il Giorno necessitate that the chef have items, like pizza dough and fish refrigerated close by.
“The idea is to add product, not seats,” added Baum. “We just want to add something like whole roasted fish, which we cannot do in our current ovens, or little pizzettes or fresh bread.”
Scarlato added that the restaurant is currently operating with just 150 square-feet of kitchen space, a very small kitchen for any restaurant.
“I have been familiar with the premises since 1980 and it was always known to have a small kitchen, which is difficult to work in,” said board member Anton Hagen. “Tutto has done a historic job maintaining a high level of quality with that kitchen.”
He added the oven would improve working conditions and that the only neighbor who complained about the project has rescinded his complaints.
The two closest neighbors to the parcel, said Scarlato, support the project and have written letters to the zoning board to that affect.
While Pickering maintained she believed the site was too small, the rest of the board supported Hagens opinion on the project and the variances were approved without the chairwoman’s support in a four-to-one vote. A formal decision will be read at next month’s January 17 meeting.
Also on January 17, a formal decision will be read approving the Graff-Ostrow families for variances for a former 1700s sea captain’s mansion at 107 Division Street — a property formally owned by The American Hotel owner Ted Conklin.
The Graff-Ostrow families were approved for the construction of a covered entry, which was removed but did exist historically on the property, within 7.7 feet off the rear lot line where 30-feet are required under village code. The property owners also purchased the residence next door, according to their consultant and want to restore the neighboring properties to the multi-family use they historically boasted.
The board also read formal approvals for two variance applications, including for Brad Penuel and Andressa Costa to increase the building coverage at their 51 Harrison Street home. T & K Redwood Associates were also formally granted a variance to construct a new residence at 64 Redwood Road that will protrude above the sky plane. Ann Hotung was officially denied her variance to build a swimming pool at 9 Suffolk Street after neighbors descended on the zoning board last month asking them not to approve the plans.