The old Harborview Professional Building, left, and Remkus Fishing Station in Sag Harbor Village, are once again slated for replacement by a condominium development.
By Stephen J. Kotz
East End Ventures, LLC, the development firm that has tilted with Sag Harbor Village for years over its efforts to build waterfront condominiums behind the 7-Eleven convenience store and next to the Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge, is back with a new plan.
In a pre-application submission to the Village Planning Board on Tuesday, attorney Tiffany Scarlato said the firm now wants to build a total of eight condominiums that would be distributed among four separate buildings, with views looking west over Sag Harbor Cove under the name 1,3,5 Ferry Road.
None of the units would be over 2,500 square feet, said East Hampton architect Frank Greenwald, although board members asked why cellar space devoted to family rooms, home gyms and similar amenities was excluded from that calculation.
“The intention is to break the buildings down to as many pieces as we can to keep the mass down,” Mr. Greenwald told the board. The designs would reflect “a Sag Harbor vernacular” with some construction in brick, others in clapboard or shingles, he added.
Ms. Scarlato told the board the project as proposed would not require any variances, and Planning Board chairman Gregory Ferraris said his board would lead the review of the project through the requirements of the State Environmental Review Act process once a complete application is submitted, perhaps as early as next month.
The property is in the office district zone, but apartments can be built in the zone if an applicant obtains a special exception permit. The old Harborview Professional Building and the former Remkus Fishing Station buildings would be razed as part of the project.
In prior applications, the developers have claimed a right to build up to 40 units and submitted varying proposals calling for 22 or 18 condos at the site.
In 2009, their plans were caught in the middle of a villagewide upzoning, and the firm, whose principals are Emil Telal and Michael Maidan, filed two suits against the village, one seeking to challenge the village’s right to halt their application, and the other a civil rights suit that sought more than $30 million in damages. Both suits were dismissed.
Mr. Ferraris, who was mayor at the time of the prior application, said the East End Ventures application could not be processed at the time because the firm had not submitted a complete application before the village changed its zoning code.
The property being eyed for the latest development totals 71,630 square feet, although a site-plan filed with the application indicates that some 13,443 square feet of property would be given to the village as a gift. That parcel would apparently be next to a parcel the village is considering developing as Cove Park.
The developers also plan, at some time in the future, to come in with an application to redevelop the site of a large white residence formerly owned by the attorney Bruce Davis of 1-800-Lawyer fame.
SEQRA requires that the two applications be reviewed together, Mr. Ferraris said, because they are adjacent parcels.
In taking their first look at the application, planners had two basic concerns. New board member James Larocca questioned why the 1,250-square-foot basements in each unit were not listed as habitable space, even though floor plans said they would be used for things like family rooms and home gyms.
The board’s attorney, Denise Schoen, concurred that they application should be amended to include those areas in the habitable space.
Mr. Larocca and board member Larry Perrine also said they were concerned by how the condominium property would interact with the neighboring public waterfront. Ms. Scarlato said the developers’ chief concern would be security, and Mr. Greenwald added privacy would also be an issue.
Harbor Heights Project
In other action, the board adopted a negative declaration under SEQRA for the amended and vastly scaled back redevelopment of the Harbor Heights service station under the name Petroleum Ventures, LLC.
A negative declaration means the board will not require an environmental impact statement with the project. It also issued a negative declaration in 2012 for the original project.
The board also scheduled the application for a public hearing at its next meeting, on November 25.
In its prior incarnation, the plan spurred heated opposition among neighbors who raised concerns about increased traffic and lighting and who objected to plans to expand a pre-existing business use in a residential zone. Petroleum Ventures sought a slew of variances from the village Zoning Board of Appeals, of which one, were denied.
The board’s environmental consultant, Richard Warren, said the applicant now plans to use a 600-square-foot portion of the existing 1,855-square-foot building for a convenience store and plans to have three pump islands under a 15-foot canopy. A 30-foot landscaped perimeter between neighboring properties is also proposed.