Tag Archive | "Lionel Ritchie"

Village Looks At Special Event Permits

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In late June, the Village of Sag Harbor became aware that a Lionel Ritchie concert, among others, was planned at a Glover Street residence to the horror of neighbors. Of greater concern was that the event was planned for Fourth of July weekend, at the same time as the annual fireworks, meaning emergency service personnel and police would be preoccupied elsewhere should an accident occur.

Despite these reservations, there was very little Sag Harbor officials had in the way of power to stop the concert, although the event planners did pull out at the last minute while village officials scrambled in an attempt to obtain a temporary restraining order.

“We really didn’t have any legislation in place or power to deal with that situation,” explained Sag Harbor Mayor Greg Ferraris at Tuesday night’s board of trustees meeting.

Which was why trustee Tiffany Scarlato was asked to look at other municipalities in order to draft a stringent special events permit and explore the possibility of the village adopting a rental registry. On Tuesday, Scarlato presented the board with a draft of a special events permit, for discussion only, she cautioned.

On a basic level, the permit would require a permit for any event with more than 75 people anticipated to attend. Fines range between $2000 and $10,000, she said.

“Unfortunately there is sort of a lack of personal responsibility when it comes to maintaining one’s residence,” said Scarlato.

The board is expected to discuss the permit at next month’s meeting on September 9.

                                                 Moratorium Extension

Also on tap for September 9 is a public hearing on extending the commercial moratorium in the Village of Sag Harbor.

For over a year now, while the village is rewriting its zoning code, the village has been in a commercial moratorium, which prohibits site plan review without a planning board waiver. The moratorium, originally enacted in June of 2007 for six months, was extended in December of that year for another six months and in June for another three. The current extension is also for three months as the village anticipates its new code will enter the public hearing process in the next month or two.

 Scarlato noted on Tuesday that while the code is moving towards public hearing two issues have popped up, namely the possibility of 24-hour convenience stores as accessory to filling stations, and lighting provisions, which Scarlato would like to see expanded on.

                                                            Dark Skies

East Hampton resident Susan Harder, director of the New York State Dark Skies Association, announced a demonstration streetlight has been set up in front of the Sag Harbor Historic Society. The light was designed, she noted, to provide better visibility while reducing glare. Harder has worked on similar projects in East Hampton Village and Montauk.

Based on her findings, Harder suggested any new or replacement fixtures, which are already budgeted for, be replaced with these fixtures. Harder noted the fixtures will ultimately save the village money as they employ less wattage than the current fixtures.

Mayor Ferraris suggested on an annual basis the board consider these fixtures for replacements.

The village ended its fiscal year with a $55,000 surplus, although Ferraris noted retroactive pay under the new police contract, dock maintenance and other projects have required the village to dip into its fund balance.

Ferraris said the disclosure is part of what he anticipates will be a quarterly report to the trustees about the village’s financial state. The village treasurer will be at September’s meeting to discuss the first quarter of this fiscal year.

In other village news, the 2007 Suffolk Regional Emergency Medical Services Council awarded the Emergency Medical Service Agency of the Year to the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance. An awards ceremony will be held this October.

Mary Ellen McMahon has been posthumously honored by the Ambulance Corps for her 20-year service to the community, announced President Edward Downes. McMahon passed away this year and the newly acquired ambulance has been dedicated to her with a plaque. 

Targeting The Big Parties

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Sag Harbor Mayor Greg Ferraris never thought the Village of Sag Harbor would have to contend with sponsor, branding or event houses — usually large estates, rented to what are basically corporate entities, hosting event after event throughout the hectic summer season, promoting different brands and goods.

That was until last week.

Last week, rumors swirled throughout the village about a Glover Street residence set to host a Lionel Ritchie concert, in what may have been a series of events planned at the home, which was rented for the summer by Scott Feldman. Feldman is the head of Two Twelve Management & Marketing, a branding firm that has advertised residences in Aspen and South Beach as “Access” houses, featuring different sponsors and brands.

While it remains to be seen if this was the plan for the Glover Street home, one auction site — offering two tickets to one of four planned concerts — billed the event as being held at “the Access House, in Sag Harbor, overlooking the water,” a description fitting of the Glover Street residence.

Last weekend’s planned Ritchie concert was moved out of Sag Harbor just days before the Saturday event after village officials intervened. While the village was looking into the possibility of obtaining a temporary restraining order to shut down the 300-plus person event, Edward Burke, Jr., a Sag Harbor attorney representing the tenants of the Glover Street home, said ultimately his clients chose not to disrupt the neighborhood, moving the event to an undisclosed location.

That undisclosed location ended up reportedly being a Guyer Road, Bridgehampton residence, and while Ferraris said he did not know for a fact that the tenants of the Glover Street residence planned other events, he has been told it was their intention originally to do so.

The events of last week have moved the village towards something Ferraris said he never thought they would have to consider — creating a stricter mass gathering permit for events and considering a rental registry. The village board of trustees began a brief discussion of the concept during their regular board meeting on Tuesday, July 8.

“I think it is becoming somewhat of an epidemic in the communities surrounding Sag Harbor,” said Ferraris on Wednesday. “And we did not expect it to be an issue because of the size of houses and the size of lots in the village.”

Ferraris said this was a matter of protecting the “quality of life” of village residents.

There are a number of sponsor or branding houses throughout East Hampton and Southampton Town, many of which host events on the weekend promoting different brands as the “sponsor” of the party, and featuring the goods in either the bar or food menu, or in gift bags handed out to the party-hopping elite. The Estate is a Noyac Path, Noyac — although billed as a Sag Harbor estate — residence that has played host to a number of events in the last couple of years. The Social Life Estate and the Hennessey House are other sponsor homes, located in Water Mill. The Grey Goose Manor is an East Hampton estate. All the venues advertised parties throughout the July Fourth holiday weekend with various corporate sponsorships behind them.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Trustee Tiffany Scarlato said she was in the process of looking at different municipalities and what they have done with their mass gathering permits, although she said Sag Harbor’s would need to be tailored to suit the village’s needs.

On Wednesday, Scarlato, who is an assistant attorney for the Town of East Hampton, said that municipality has had its own issues with sponsor houses, and has considered putting a cap on the number of mass gathering permits that can be issued in a calendar year per residence. Scarlato said she expected that is where Sag Harbor’s own legislation will start. Trustee and police approval may also be a part of the legislation, said Scarlato.

In North Haven, its board of trustees beefed up their standards for mass gatherings last year, after a couple of residences hosted a number of summer events and fundraisers. Each residence can only receive one mass gathering permit a summer season. A mass gathering is defined under North Haven Village law as one that hosts 50 people or more and is not a family event like a wedding or funeral held by the owner of a property.

“I think in Sag Harbor it is something that really won’t affect 95 percent of people who live in the village, but it is something we will put forth for those individuals who will take advantage and extend residences into commercial ventures,” said Ferraris.

He said the village was also looking at North Haven’s rental registry law.

“We certainly don’t want to burden people, but we have to have all our bases covered,” said Ferraris.

Above: The house at 53 Glover Street where village officials feared a Lionel Ritchie concert would be held over Fourth of July weekend. (michael heller photo)