To allow parking or not to allow parking. That is the question for the Sagaponack Village Board as they decide whether to give parking waivers to members of the Ocean Zendo Buddhist congregation.
Members of the board mulled over the Zendo’s request to station their cars on Bridge Lane during key worshipping hours on Monday, Saturday and Sunday in the summertime — when the village strictly enforces no parking rules during the day. The Zendos gather at a small meeting house on writer Peter Matthiessen’s property in Sagaponack. Although located on a field, Zendo representative Joan Frohman told the board the long dirt path leading to the structure isn’t feasible for parking. Reportedly, the road is uneven, often muddy and riddled with holes, and bramble on the sides of the roadway scratch vehicles. Frohman argued that the members must park on Bridge Lane, adding that the cars wouldn’t be in the roadway. Trustee Alfred Kelman said allowing parking on the lane could have a domino effect and encourage others to illegally park on village property — on a street historically plagued by illegal parking.
The board asked Frohman to look into clearing the brush, grading the road and creating parking on the field by the meeting house. Frohman said this was untenable as the congregation doesn’t have the necessary funds for the initial clean-up nor the upkeep of the grounds. The board promised Frohman they would visit the site and consider the issue before delivering a verdict.
On Monday night, the board approved the 2009-2010 village budget as well as a permit for the Five Borough Bicycle Club’s run through town in May. Deputy Mayor Lee Foster also gave a brief report on the village’s project to pave the roads. Foster said she found a contractor specializing in micro-paving but didn’t have exact cost figures.
“We need to get a price and then we can decide whether or not we can do this,” said Mayor Don Louchheim.