With new codes pertaining to events now in place, party planners hoping to host shindigs in Sagaponack this summer are coming forward to share their plans with the village board — and some are finding it difficult to get approval.
The new local law requires that a letter of intent be sent by party hosts to the village 180 days before the day of the event – which means now is prime time for those hoping to throw parties in Sagaponack come July.
Justin Taylor Ward, an event planner with a dozen years of experience who has planned parties in the area for the last eight years, went before the Sagaponack Village Board of Trustees on Monday night at the board’s regular work session. As required, Ward had sent the board his letter of intent to throw a bash in the village for 300 guests as a fundraiser for the Harlem Children’s Zone. The party is planned for July 18 and begins at 7 p.m.
The board of trustees voiced some concerns about the event, the first being that the party wouldn’t benefit a local charity. Ward told the board that he will hire local people to staff the event and added that local artists were invited to showcase their work at a silent auction and a local chef would be offering the cuisine. He also said that one of the three wines to be served at the event would be a Wolffer Estate wine.
Trustee Alfred Kelman said he was concerned how much money would actually be going to the charity, Ward said he would be giving 25 percent of the proceeds to the charity, while Ward would keep the remaining 75 percent to pay for costs of the event and his overhead.
“I am the fundraiser of it … it does take a year to put it together,” Ward said.
“Well it sounds like a profit making venture for you, rather than the Harlem Group,” mayor Don Louchheim said.
“They [Harlem Children’s Zone] get a considerable amount of money,” Ward maintained. “I’ve worked with many businesses and have volunteered my services in the past.”
Kelman said for future parties, he would be interested in knowing which events benefited charities and how much of the proceeds will go to the particular charity.
“We need to try to delineate between charity and events so they can have their party,” Kelman said.
He added after Ward left the room that during certain charity softball games, “everyone donates their time” and he said that 80 to 95 percent of the proceeds would go to the charity.
Deputy mayor Lee Foster, thought that there may be another problem that might prohibit Ward from holding his event. She explained that if the vehicles were parked in the fields at 231 Hedges Lane, nematodes, a type of roundworm that lives in the field, could pose a problem. She told the applicant to contact the Westhampton office of the State Department of Agriculture and Markets because she thought they may need to take precautions to ensure that nematodes are not transferred to other areas by cars.
At their last meeting in January, the Sagaponack Village Board discussed changes to the Poxabogue Golf Course located on Montauk Highway in Wainscott, in close proximity to the Sagaponack Village Hall. The board and trustees had concerns at that meeting about being uninformed about changes to the course.
Louchheim announced on Monday that last weekend, East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill McGintee met with the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee and showed the CAC a four-phase plan for the Poxabogue Golf Center. That multi-phase plan includes a mini golf course and the acquisition of the adjacent Mulford property, among other changes.
Louchheim said that Southampton Town Councilwoman Nancy Graboski was “apologetic for leaving us out of the loop, but at the same time no one has tried to get us in the loop.”