Tag Archive | "ARB"

Sag Harbor ARB Tables Application for New Windows at In Home

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Raebeck_InHomeStorefront

By Kathryn G. Menu

The owners of In Home on Main Street are reconsidering an appeal they made to the Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board (ARB) to allow them to replace three second-story windows with aluminum clad wood windows similar to those recently erected in the former Bulova Watchcase Factory.

Owner John Scocco said he would talk to his partner, David Brogna, about the application after a prolonged conversation with the ARB last week. During that discussion it was revealed the board does not believe it formally signed off on the aluminum clad windows at the former watchcase factory, and similar windows approved at 125 Main Street were an oversight by the board.

Last Thursday, Scocco came back before the board for a second time to discuss the appeal, which looks to overturn a previous decision denying the use of aluminum clad wood windows in a second story window replacement project.

Scocco argued the very same windows have been used in the luxury condominium project at the former Bulova Watchcase Factory — a historic building in the historic district. The same windows have also been used at 125 Main Street, a renovated historic building, although last month the ARB met with building owner Jim Giorgio in an effort to get him to replace those windows with wood windows. That discussion was left open ended after Giorgio requested he be allowed to replace four second story windows with two picture windows, a concept not viewed favorably by the ARB.

“Dave and I care a lot about Sag Harbor,” said Scocco. “We care about the historic integrity of the village.”

Scocco said it was only when they realized aluminum clad windows were approved for not one, but two historic district projects, that he and Brogna decided to revisit the issue in light of the cost of maintenance and eventual replacement of wood windows.

“Truly, four years ago there were a lot of details that were left very open ended and vague and that were going to be addressed moving forward,” said Brown of the ARB’s Bulova approval. “I have no recollection of us saying this is the window.”

Tom Horn, Sr., the only other member of the board sitting during the Bulova review, agreed, noting he would bet nothing could be found in the minutes showing the ARB signed off on those windows, or any synthetic materials for siding. Synthetic roof material was discussed by the ARB for the townhouses in that development project.

“125 Main was a complete and total lapse,” added Brown, noting it could have been as simple as the ARB not dictating that the windows in that building would need to be replaced in kind in its approval.

“I think we have an issue here,” said Brown. “We have approved a major project with 1,000 windows and another project … what grounds do we have to say no to three, second story windows.”

“We can appeal to you and say we don’t want you to do that and set any more precedents, but I don’t feel we can say, ‘No, you can’t do that’,” added Brown.

Village attorney Denise Schoen disagreed.

“If the approvals for the Bulova Watchcase and 125 Main were truly oversights or you lacked sufficient details to understand what you are approving, it doesn’t set a negative precedent you have to follow for the next 100 years,” said Schoen. “When we talk about precedent, we talk about when an applicant comes in, you examine what they are presenting and say, ‘that is appropriate for Main Street. That is appropriate for the historic district.’”

“I understand what the applicant is saying and I feel for both of you, but I just want to make the distinction it is not a legal precedent that has been set,” she continued.

If challenged, a court could state it did not believe the ARB did not intend to allow synthetic windows. Schoen said she would comb through the Bulova file.

“So I understand where you are coming from and I felt bad denying you because this is something that slipped through the cracks,” said board member Penni Ludwig.

If it were not for these two oversights, added Ludwig, Scocco and Brogna would have replaced their windows with wood.

“You can make a stink and fight it and I understand your feeling,” said Ludwig, “but I am trying to look at it that this is a mistake and it will snowball and we won’t have a leg to stand on.”

Board member Christine Patrick wondered if the ARB approved Scocco and Brogna’s appeal would they then be setting a precedent for the historic district as they would knowingly be agreeing to allow aluminum clad windows in downtown Sag Harbor.

Schoen said yes.

“I am worried about that,” said Patrick.

Scocco said he respected the ARB and wanted to talk to Brogna about the application. He added some historic districts do allow these kinds of windows.

“That is where I am stuck because I don’t necessarily believe it compromises the integrity but I understand it is not what you want,” he said.

Brown noted the ARB has been open to some synthetics in the historic district. The ARB was the first in the nation to approve the use of photovoltaic shingles in a now moot application for the former Sag Harbor United Methodist Church building on Madison Street.

“This board is trying to be open and go with the flow,” said Brown. “Windows are the soul of the house.”

Schoen added that because the village code asks the board not to allow synthetic materials, any decision that does so could theoretically be challenged as it would be a decision that goes against village law.

“I respect everyone here,” said Scocco, asking the board to table the application while he talks to his partner.

In other ARB news, the board sent a letter to the village boards including the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees asking for a zoning code amendment to change the front yard setback in Sag Harbor to 20 feet, down from 30 feet.

The idea, said Brown, is 20 feet is a setback that is in keeping with homes in the village.

The next Sag Harbor ARB meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on Monday, November 25.

Restoring an American Beauty

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web Am Hotel

The American Hotel was constructed 163 years ago, yet it remains one of the most iconic buildings in Sag Harbor Village. Historic structures, however, constantly demand attention to keep them pristine and in the coming years the Main Street hotel will undergo a bit of a face lift. Kevin Wolfe, an architect specializing in the renovation of older buildings, was on hand at a recent village historic preservation and architectural review meeting to explain the upcoming project.

“It is a masonry restoration of the exterior facades,” explained Wolfe during a later interview. According to Wolfe, the masonry on all four sides of the building will be restored. The joints will also be re-pointed, added Wolfe, meaning the mortar in between the bricks of the building will be replaced with new mortar. As Wolfe explains it, the mortar has been analyzed by a laboratory to identify an exact mix so that the new mortar will replicate the original material in texture and color. The project also includes stripping away the white stucco from the sides of the building, including the side of the hotel on Carruther’s Alley, the roadway connecting Main and Division Street.

This portion of the project, however, requires a degree of coordination with the village.

“There is scaffolding involved. The strategy is to hang off the side of the building,” said Wolfe at the meeting. “They will use the alley at some point to strip off the coating … but we are trying to do this at a time when business is slowest.”

Although the ARB accepted the project’s certificate of appropriateness, Wolfe didn’t have a set date for when the restoration will begin. He said repairs will most likely commence this fall but take years to finish.

“[The project] will be done in stages, because of the timing of the weather and it has to have the least impact on visitors and villagers. It will be complete in spring of 2011,” said Wolfe.

The project also includes repairing and replacing some of the decorative elements which adorn the front entrance to the hotel. Over the years, reported Wolfe, such things as the parapets on top of the building have either fallen off or simply vanished.

The hotel derives its local fame not only from its formidable exterior and interior, but also from its storied past. The book “Guide to Sag Harbor: Landmarks, Homes and History,” penned by Henry Weisburg and Lisa Donneson, describes how James Howell’s Inn once stood where the hotel is today. According to the book, during the American Revolution, a group of British soldiers were captured at the inn. The inn later housed Nathan Tinker’s cabinetmaking shop until about 1845. After the inn was most likely destroyed in a fire, Tinker built anew in 1846 and created the building which is now The American Hotel. At first, Tinker used the brick structure as a personal residence but it was later turned into an hotel in the 1870s. Weisburg and Donneson said the porch was built in 1876 and a section of the parapets are original to the structure.

Restoring historic buildings, especially ones in the historic district of the village, takes a great deal of sensitivity, but the ARB board members appeared very pleased with Wolfe’s plans for the hotel.

Of the project, chairman Cee Scott Brown said “Aesthetically, this is a wonderful thing.”

Restoring an American Beauty

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The American Hotel was constructed 163 years ago, yet it remains one of the most iconic buildings in Sag Harbor Village. Historic structures, however, constantly demand attention to keep them pristine and in the coming years the Main Street hotel will undergo a bit of a face lift. Kevin Wolfe, an architect specializing in the renovation of older buildings, was on hand at a recent village historic preservation and architectural review meeting to explain the upcoming project.

“It is a masonry restoration of the exterior facades,” explained Wolfe during a later interview. According to Wolfe, the masonry on all four sides of the building will be restored. The joints will also be re-pointed, added Wolfe, meaning the mortar in between the bricks of the building will be replaced with new mortar. As Wolfe explains it, the mortar has been analyzed by a laboratory to identify an exact mix so that the new mortar will replicate the original material in texture and color. The project also includes stripping away the white stucco from the sides of the building, including the side of the hotel on Carruther’s Alley, the roadway connecting Main and Division Street.

This portion of the project, however, requires a degree of coordination with the village.

“There is scaffolding involved. The strategy is to hang off the side of the building,” said Wolfe at the meeting. “They will use the alley at some point to strip off the coating … but we are trying to do this at a time when business is slowest.”

Although the ARB accepted the project’s certificate of appropriateness, Wolfe didn’t have a set date for when the restoration will begin. He said repairs will most likely commence this fall but take years to finish.

“[The project] will be done in stages, because of the timing of the weather and it has to have the least impact on visitors and villagers. It will be complete in spring of 2011,” said Wolfe.

The project also includes repairing and replacing some of the decorative elements which adorn the front entrance to the hotel. Over the years, reported Wolfe, such things as the parapets on top of the building have either fallen off or simply vanished.

The hotel derives its local fame not only from its formidable exterior and interior, but also from its storied past. The book “Guide to Sag Harbor: Landmarks, Homes and History,” penned by Henry Weisburg and Lisa Donneson, describes how James Howell’s Inn once stood where the hotel is today. According to the book, during the American Revolution, a group of British soldiers were captured at the inn. The inn later housed Nathan Tinker’s cabinetmaking shop until about 1845. After the inn was most likely destroyed in a fire, Tinker built anew in 1846 and created the building which is now The American Hotel. At first, Tinker used the brick structure as a personal residence but it was later turned into an hotel in the 1870s. Weisburg and Donneson said the porch was built in 1876 and a section of the parapets are original to the structure.

Restoring historic buildings, especially ones in the historic district of the village, takes a great deal of sensitivity, but the ARB board members appeared very pleased with Wolfe’s plans for the hotel.

Of the project, chairman Cee Scott Brown said “Aesthetically, this is a wonderful thing.”

East End Digest April 16

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Southampton’s MFA program in Writing and Literature will host its first annual performance of the Young American Writers Project on Saturday, April 25 at 7 p.m. Middle school students from five area schools – Bridgehampton, Pierson, Shelter Island, The Ross School and Eastport South Manor – will present nine plays written by the students, at Stony Brook Southampton’s Avram Theatre.
Directed by professional directors, the plays encompass a wide array of genres – from zany, comic fantasy to heartfelt, serious drama – and address a number of topics, ranging from time travel to family holiday madness.
The Young American Writers Project playwriting curriculum sends professional artists into classrooms twice-weekly over a period of two months. Students learn the basic elements of dramatic writing: how to develop ideas, characters, themes, dialogue, and scenes. One play from each participating class is selected for production at the Avram Theatre.
The program is helmed by Emma Walton Hamilton as executive director and Will Chandler as program director. Hamilton is a bestselling children’s book author, editor and arts educator. A co-founder of the Bay Street Theatre, she served as the theatre’s artistic co-director and director of education and programming for young audiences for 13 years.
Will Chandler served as education director and a teaching artist for the Bay Street Theatre. He has written a number of screenplays for clients ranging from Sony Pictures to actor Russell Crowe and has been a script doctor for ABC, NBC, and HBO, among others.
“Dramatic writing and production skills give young people unparalleled lessons in communication and collaboration,” Ms. Walton Hamilton added. “It enriches their confidence, and has a direct impact on their ability to become engaged and compassionate citizens in later life. This project represents a wonderful synergy between all the creative disciplines and values about which I am passionate.”
Beginning in Fall 2009, more YAWP programs will be available to high schools and middle schools. The curricula will encompass the other disciplines represented by Stony Brook Southampton’

s MFA program in Writing and Literature, including personal essay, poetry, screenwriting and fiction. Workshops will be offered to schools across Suffolk County in various formats. A summer workshop will also be offered in conjunction with the Stony Brook Southampton Summer Writers Conference.

 

ARB
Demolition Approved

Tora Matsuoka, owner of Sen Restaurant and the recently opened Phao Thai Kitchen, visited the Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board on Thursday, April 9, to again discuss his sign for the Phao. Matsuoka had hoped to hang a 12 inch wide, and 5 inch thick, sign from the awning of the restaurant. Some board members, like Robert Tortora, felt the sign should be mounted onto the building over the awning. Matsuoka argued that the restaurant lies on the side of the street which gets the most sun, thus the awning is often put down. Matsuoka said when the awning is down a sign mounted to the building wouldn’t be visible to sidewalk traffic.
“The sign is less about design and is more about visibility,” said Matsuoka.
However, board member Diane Schiavoni was adamantly against this option. She preferred the sign be mounted onto a column in between the two windows of the restaurant – instead of being mounted above the awning or hung from the awning.
Eventually, the board reached a consensus. Tortora suggested Matsuoka purchase a piece of wood in the same dimensions as the proposed sign. The board asked Matsuoka to hang the piece of wood from the awning – so they will be able to ascertain whether the sign will be obtrusive.
“I don’t have a problem just looking at the [piece of wood] to see how the sign would look,” said ARB chairman Cee Scott Brown.
Approving the demolition of village homes has been a widely debated issue at the ARB recently, but on Thursday Erika Hecht’s proposal to demolish her home on Suffolk Street was approved after the architect presented a revised plan. The plans include the construction of a federalist Greek-revival style home, with five eyebrow windows and a recessed entrance. The board approved the demolition of the home, but asked the architect to return with specifics on which materials will be used for the project.
Of the project, Brown said, “I think it is going to fit nicely on the block.”

Southampton
Republican
Candidates

The Southampton Republican Committee held a second round of candidate screenings on Wednesday, April 15.
“I am excited about this second screening. During our first gathering in March turnout of interested candidates was so large we could not get everyone who wanted to be screened. Since then many others have reached out to ask to be considered for various town offices from the top of the ticket on down,” said Southampton Town Republican Committee Chairman Marc Stinchi. “While we will certainly miss him on the ticket this year, I think some of the added interest has been driven by Bill Masterson’s decision not to seek re-election after twenty years of outstanding service as Highway Superintendent.”
“I loved almost every single day of running the Highway Department,” observed superintendent Masterson. “And I would be remiss not to point out the men and women of the department who have gone above and beyond for the people of Southampton, some days under the most dreadful weather conditions but more commonly, day in day out with a commitment to doing the job for the taxpayer. It’s important the next candidate for the job, regardless of which party, be skilled in managing a large work force and that takes more than just being a perennial candidate for a job in town hall.”
“If we need to schedule a third screening we will. As I have said before incumbency is not a guarantee of the Republican Party’s nomination and we want to hear from anyone interested in running on the Republican ticket this year,” concluded Stinchi. “As a party we have to take a hard honest look of how we have fared both locally and at other levels in recent elections, as such we can be not be afraid of tough questions and hard choices if that is what is best for the town and for our party.”

Elections will be held this year for County Legislator, Town Supervisor, two Town Board seats, Highway Superintendent, Town Clerk, two Town Justices and all five Town Trustee seats.

Hampton Bays
Pampered Chef

On Sunday, May 3, the Animal Shelter and Adoption Center in Red Creek Park, Hampton Bays will sponsor a “Pampered Chef” cooking show, complete with recipe and cooking tool demonstrations. A part of the proceeds of all product orders placed through this event will go to support the Animal Shelter and its operations. The “Pampered Chef” is a popular resource for kitchenware, cookware and pantry goods. Local “Pampered Chef” consultant Fran Cirola will demonstrate recipe preparation using “Pampered Chef”

products that will be available for sale at the event. Cirola will present family and budget friendly recipes – with some meals costing only $2 per serving. RSVPs are requested. For more information call the Southampton Town Animal Shelter and Adoption Center at 728-7387.

Suffolk County
Planning Commission

For the first time in 10 years, the Suffolk County Planning Commission has formally released a new and updated version of its “Commission Guidebook,” which informs municipalities and developers of the standards the Commission will apply to projects. The guidebook reflects the commission’s efforts to ensure that future development projects in Suffolk advance three critical county-wide priorities including: ensuring adequate housing options for all residents, minimizing energy consumption, and increasing public safety.
Creation of the revised guidebook is one step in the commissioner’s efforts to promote countywide priorities, according to commission chair David Calone.
“The commission’s goal is to provide each of Suffolk’s 42 municipalities with the tools they need to address critical issues that have countywide impact, such as affordable housing, energy efficiency and renewable energy, public safety, and universal design,” said Calone. 
Long Island Power Authority President and CEO Kevin Law’

s office assisted in the drafting of significant new energy efficiency standards that are contained within the guidebook. Public safety is an important factor in the new guidebook, planning officials said. Significant design considerations were given to increase the visibility of areas running from streets to building entrances.
The Suffolk County Planning Commission is comprised of 15 members who are nominated by the County executive and are confirmed by the County Legislature. Of the 15 commission members, one represents each of the ten towns in Suffolk, one represents villages with populations under 5,000, one represents village with populations over 5,000 and there are three representatives at-large.

NY State Assembly
Volpe Forum

Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Jr., will host on Friday, April 17, a transportation forum with the Volpe Center and the Town of Southampton to discuss the initial evaluations of two transportation plans that have been developed as a result of feasibility study completed by the Volpe Center.
As part of a New York State-funded grant, the Town of Southampton has been the lead applicant along with other East End towns – East Hampton, Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island – in working with community interests and Volpe to evaluate a coordinated bus/rail system in addition to a proposed “second alternative.” Initial evaluations of both concepts will be presented to stakeholders and other interested parties, as well as the public, at the forum. Participants include elected officials from all levels of government, transportation advocacy groups and other entities.
The forum will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m., at the Suffolk County Community College – Eastern Campus, in Riverhead. For more information call Assemblyman Thiele’

s office at 537-2583. 

 

Approve Demolition

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Members of the Sag Harbor Historical Preservation and Architectural Review Board (ARB) have widely debated the guidelines for home demolition in Sag Harbor village, as a demolition project came before the board last week. This Tuesday, at the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) meeting, the issue of demolition was again raised as local architect and ARB member, Michael Mensch, presented a demolition project to the board. Mensch appeared before the board on behalf of his clients, Susan Henriques Payne and Joseph Payne, who seek to replace their existing two-story home on Taft Place with a new two-story home with a second floor deck and an updated septic system.

“There are very good reasons to demolish this house. It is in extremely bad repair, and really cannot be saved,” said Mensch. “It was built in the late 1950s when there were no codes or regulations to be adhered to.”

Mensch went on to say that the home doesn’t meet FEMA regulations and would need to be elevated a few feet. He added that the structure has a substandard and “old-style” leaching pool, instead of an up-to-date septic system. Mensch has already secured a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation permit for the project. The Harbor Committee has also already granted Mensch a wetland permit.

Mensch came before the board seeking a parking variance to allow off street parking near the front yard, instead of the rear yard as required under village code. Mensch said it would be virtually impossible to place the parking on the side or rear of the home, since Rattlesnake Creek runs alongside the rear of the house and borders Barcelona Neck Preserve.

The current structure has an existing enclosed garage, but Mensch hopes to eliminate it to “lighten up the structure and give a view past [the home] to the creek.”

He added that the new parking would be roughly the same size as the existing parking, but would be shifted slightly to the south. The asphalt for the parking spaces will also be replaced with a pervious, and more eco-friendly, material.

In the end, the board approved Mensch’s plans.

“This is about as small [of a project] as you could do with this lot,” said ZBA member Gayle Pickering. “I think you did a good job at keeping the project contained.”

The preceeding application presented by Miles Anderson, for the Amaza Lee Meredith Estate on Walker Avenue and the contract vendee Frederick Richards, for a two story family dwelling was criticized as being too large for the property. Anderson was asked to discuss reducing the size of his project with his clients and return to the next ZBA meeting in April.

New Harbor Heights Owners to Install Sign

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As the winter slows traffic on the streets, the number of items on the agenda for the Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review board has also quieted down. During the ARB’s meeting, held on Monday, February 23, only two projects were discussed.
The first item concerned the former Harbor Heights gas station. Gregory Miller, who is leasing space from the new owner of the Harbor Heights gas station on Hampton Street, sought ARB approval for a change in signage. Miller would like to install a wood sign painted white with kelly green lettering, which says Sag Harbor Service Station. The sign will be installed to alert the public that he will be operating a mechanic service station on the site. Harbor Heights, the popular local gas station, closed down and changed ownership in the fall of 2008. However, local residents may have noticed Pam Kern is still managing the gas station.
Also, a change of windows was approved at 32 Bridge Street.

New Village Zoning Code Nears Final Draft

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After two-and-a-half years of zoning planning, code drafting, public forums and numerous revisions, the proposed village zoning code might be enacted as early as April. A public hearing on the new code held on Friday, February 13, yielded less public comment than in previous sessions. The discussion during the hearing was mainly devoted to the revisions which have been made to the code. An amended version of the code will be published in the near future.

The key revisions made to the code include second floor uses, the purview of the Historical Preservation and Architectural Review Board, the timeline for filing a Certificate of Occupancy and day care center and bed and breakfast notification. With the revisions, second floor spaces in the village business district are allowed to be used for retail, office or residential purposes. A confusing piece of language concerning the ARB’s jurisdiction was rewritten, and now clearly states that the ARB does not have jurisdiction over the uses of a retail space. Under the proposed zoning code, a new owner has thirty days to attain a Certificate of Occupancy. In addition, those interested in creating a bed and breakfast or day care center will need to notify their neighbors within a 500-foot radius, instead of only 200 feet.

 

Sag Harbor Planning Consultant Richard Warren presented two flow charts detailing the process for expansion and change of uses for retail spaces in the village business district. One flow chart showed the process for spaces 3,000 square feet and under, while the other chart detailed the process for spaces above 3,000 square feet. Warren added that special exception uses, which have received a measure of scrutiny from the public, are still permitted uses but simply have to meet a more stringent set of criteria, since they often involve more intensive uses. Warren gave the example of a shoe store changing into a restaurant, which is a special exeception use and requires more parking and sewage usage.

Members of the community still raised concerns over the ARB’s ability to govern interior designs which are visible from the street.

“This seems to restrain certain freedoms, [especially] the freedom of expression,” said Susan Sprott.

However, this provision predates the new zoning code and was enacted in 1994, said Sag Harbor Village Attorney Anthony Tohill. Members of the board added that the purview of the ARB doesn’t extend to merchandise in the retail space.

Overall, members of the board seemed satisfied with the revisions made to the code.

“I do think it went fairly well,” said Trustee Tiffany Scarlato of the hearing on Friday. “I think we are pretty much at the end of the line. I am pretty happy with the end result. Everyone didn’t get exactly what they wanted, but there was certainly a compromise.”

Throughout the discussions over the new zoning code, the issue of parking has come up again and again. According to mayor Greg Ferraris, the new zoning code was intended to handle zoning issues within the village, and not to ameliorate some of the village’s infrastructure problems, including parking.

Parking has been a highly debated issue within the village, well before the new village zoning code was proposed. During the summer season, village parking is often scarce and can lead to traffic congestion. At a recent public hearing on the new zoning code held on January 29, Alan Fruitstone, the owner of Harbor Pets, said many of his customers refer to Sag Harbor as a ‘drive through village’ in the summer months, due to parking and traffic problems. He implored the village to incorporate parking solutions into the new code.

The proposed village zoning code, however, does amend the village’s solution to traffic problems, by eliminating the parking trust fund. Culver commended the village for this move.

“I think eliminating the parking trust fund is a step in the right direction,” said Culver, during a later interview. “It created an unnecessary tension between business owners and the village.”

Culver also contended that parking is an issue which should be addressed in the coming years. He believes it is an opportune time for the village to create parking solutions.

“Now we have a group of folks who are focused on planning issues. Maybe we could now think of the future of the village in a visionary way and generate a discussion [on parking]” added Culver.

During the hearing on Friday, Ted Conklin, proprietor of the American Hotel, articulated these sentiments. Conklin hopes the village will also look into village infrastructure issues, including parking and sewage. “We need to commit ourselves to a visionary plan for the whole of Sag Harbor … Something that generations from now will be proud of,” said Conklin.

The next public hearing on the proposed zoning code will be held on March 19. If no revisions need to be made to the code after this hearing, the board will have to wait at least ten days to enact the new zoning code.

 

Above: Ted Conklin, owner of the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, calls for a “visionary plan” for the village. 

 

See video excerpts from the hearing at www.sagharboronline.com

 

Renovation May Lead to Gallery

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By Marissa Maier

Situated on Madison Street in Sag Harbor between the Methodist Church parking lot and Il Cappuccino restaurant, is a modest building that houses two apartments and two retail spaces. That building, the longtime home of Headley Studio, is currently on the market for $1.85 million and it’s possible that the space could be transformed into an art gallery with a single apartment above it.
Michael Minkoff, a contractor based in Washington, D.C., presented renovation plans for the 40 Madison Street building to the Sag Harbor Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review (ARB) on Monday, January 12. Minkoff is the contractor owner of the space, meaning that he has the building under contract but has not yet purchased it. He is acting as a conduit between Stephen Hadley, the current owner, and prospective buyers — the unnamed owners of an art gallery in New York City who have expressed interest in purchasing the space.
Minkoff presented plans that would reduce the number of certificate of occupancies to two — one for a 1,500 square foot retail space and one for a three-bedroom apartment on the second floor. Currently the building has four certificates of occupancy for two apartments and two retail spaces — one of which is just 300 square feet.
In order to heighten the viability of the retail space, Minkoff believes it is necessary to consolidate the two ground floor spaces into one.
Minkoff’s plans include knocking out a street level door, which leads to the current ground floor apartment, redoing the storefront by adding large, open window panes, and a rear addition over a second floor dormer. Minkoff also plans to build a pool. During the ARB meeting, Minkoff added that there is a possibility of adding a sculpture garden outside in the back of the property.
“I put a lot of effort into this storefront,” said Minkoff. “I believe it meets all of the pyramid and zoning requirements.”
ARB member Michael Mensch said the plans were a “big improvement” over the bulding’s current use. Mensch pointed out, however, that the board was missing two members and that in order for Minkoff to receive full ARB feedback he should return to the board on Monday, January 26. The next day, Minkoff will visit the village’s planning board to pursue an exemption from the temporary construction moratorium in the village.

Variances On High Street Okay

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Despite two meetings which debated the size of a proposed addition to Alexandra Leigh-Hunt’s High Street home, in a straw vote this Tuesday, the Sag Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved three variances to allow for the construction. The board will formally adopt the approval at next month’s meeting.

Leigh-Hunt sought area variances to construct an addition to an existing bathroom as well as a partial second story addition to the 34 High Street home. At prior meetings, former neighbors argued the expansion was nearly identical to one Leigh-Hunt successfully fought when a neighbor sought to add to his residence.

Board member Gayle Pickering also wondered if the project was too large for the neighborhood. Last month she asked attorney Dennis Downes, representing Leigh-Hunt, if the application could be adjourned a month so she could inspect the site herself.

On Tuesday, Pickering said she had in fact visited the site and while she felt it still may be a little too tight for expansion, she had spoken to current neighbors who supported the project.

The proposed condo project at 1, 3 and 5 Ferry Road was before the board, although not for variances but as a lead agency request from the Sag Harbor Planning Board.

The proposed project, for 18 units with 18 accessory dock slips, at the former Diner property, must undergo a State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR). A lead agency — one of the many regulatory agencies involved in the lengthy process — must conduct SEQR, which focuses on possible impacts any project may have on a community. The planning board has requested it serve as lead agency and on Tuesday the zoning board of appeals was more than happy to allow them to carry the burden.

“I say let them have it,” said board member Kathy Radziewicz.

Two other applications were tabled until next month’s August 19 meeting. Hazel Hammond’s request for an area variance to relocate and reconstruct an existing shed was tabled as there was no one representing the applicant at the meeting. Ira and Perri Gurfein’s application for a variance for off-street parking in order to legalize an already expanded day spa, known as the Style Bar, on Bay Street was also tabled at the request of the applicant.