Tag Archive | "demolition"

Demolition Ok’d For Meighan’s Cottage

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By Claire Walla

Anthony Petrello is one step closer to developing his beachfront land.
Last Friday, July 15 the Sagaponack Architectural and Historic Review Board (AHRB) voted in favor of an application submitted by the Texas businessman to demolish the small cottage now resting on the grounds of the nine-acre parcel he purchased from the White family in 1998. The property deed was formally transferred to his name last year.
The board voted four to one, with one absentee: Tom White. AHRB Chairwoman Ann Sandford was the lone voice of dissent, but not because she believed the building necessarily needed to be preserved on the existing site. In fact, she said she agreed with other board members that the building’s history and current condition do not actually make it historically significant.
“I voted against [the existing application for demolition] because there was another version of the [application] that allowed for an option for a third party to work with the Petrellos so that if they came up with a mutually agreed upon plan they could move the cottage to another location,” Sanford explained in an interview.
“From my perspective, a lot of people had done research; they had gotten a hold of some families [who had lived in the cottage],” she continued. “I felt that it would benefit the community to leave that option open.”
At a public hearing on June 24, the AHRB heard from several Sagaponack residents who appealed for the preservation of the building, claiming it to be a piece of Sagaponack’s history.
The 585-square-foot building on Petrello’s property is known as “Meighan’s Cottage,” and until Petrello bought the property on which it sits, “Meighan’s” was one of six small structures that had been rented out every summer for decades. (The other five are still owned by the White family). It is also thought to be the oldest, having been built in the late 1930s.
A report submitted to the AHRB that summarizes the history of the cottage highlights the fact that these cottages are the last of their kind in the village. Similar sentiments were expressed in letters submitted to the board by Sagaponack resident Bruce Kaplan, and Robert Brewer, whose father began renting a cottage from John White Sr. in 1935.
“I believe these camps are of historical interest as they show how the Sagaponack beach transitioned from raw farmland to the built-up, very high-end beach homes that exist today,” Brewer wrote. “The Meighan Camp and the other five White camps, which have been preserved, are nearly the only ones still in existence. They are a piece of Sagaponack history which deserves recognition.”
The AHRB first heard from Petrello’s lawyer, Nica Strunk, and his architect, Lisa Zaloga, at the public hearing June 28. Both Strunk and Zaloga impressed upon the board several aspects of the building’s history that they said should prevent it from being considered worthy of historic preservation. Most notably, Strunk said historic preservationist Alison Cornish had already declared the cottage “noncontributing” and thus ineligible for preservation.
In a resolution adopted last week, the board indicated it was “unable to identify how the subject of the cottage contains any distinctive architectural features of historic value or how this cottage is in any manner distinctive.”
At a meeting on August 19, the AHRB will address a building plan for the property.

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.


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.”


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.