Tag Archive | "Provisions"

Sag Harbor Planning Board Looks at 125 Main Street, Provisions & Harbor Heights

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By Kathryn G. Menu

It has been almost three years since local real estate developer James Giorgio proposed to raise and rebuild the historic commercial property at 125 Main Street in Sag Harbor. Now, with a public hearing on the project scheduled for next month, it appears an end and an approval are finally within site.

On Tuesday, October 23 the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board heard a presentation on the project from Giorgio’s architect, Chuck Thomas.

The project involves removing two additions off the rear of the building facing Church Street, lifting the remainder of the building and putting a new foundation under it. The building, constructed sometime in the 1750s, has basically no foundation to speak of and is sitting in dirt. After the new foundation is installed, Thomas said the plan is to reframe whatever is necessary within the historic structure and restore the building, removing aluminum siding and replacing it with wood, restoring the windows and building a new, wood roof.

The additions which would be removed in the beginning of the process would be rebuilt in kind, added Thomas.

The building will continue to host a retail use on the first floor, with an apartment on the second floor.

“We are going to make it look like it should look,” said Thomas.

The project has tentatively received two variances from the Sag Harbor Village Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). One allows landscaping of 16.62 percent of the property as opposed to the 20 percent required under village code and the other allows the inclusion of eight parking spaces where nine are required in the code.

The ZBA, however, was not amenable to allowing Giorgio to construct the second floor apartment at just 564 square-feet where a minimum of 800 square-feet is required. On Tuesday, Thomas said the apartment would meet code.

Thomas said he hoped to get started on construction this winter. A public hearing on the project will be held at the board’s November 27 meeting.


   Accessory Apartment Approved

On Tuesday night, Juan Castro became the third Sag Harbor resident approved for an accessory apartment since the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees first adopted a law in 2009 allowing a maximum of 50 residents to legalize apartments within their primary residences.

Apartments must meet building and fire codes and the Suffolk County Health Department must also sign off on the apartment, meaning applicants must show they have an adequate septic system to handle the increase in density.

The 650 square-foot apartment is located in the bottom floor of Castro’s Brandywine Drive residence.

   Provisions Expansion Stalls

While Provisions Natural Foods Market & Organic Café has already received planning board approval to expand partially into the adjacent space most recently used by the Style bar, it has approval to do so sans approximately 200 square-feet of the Style bar space. If Provisions uses that space it will officially expand beyond 3,000 square-feet, which under the village code triggers the requirement for a market research study on the necessity of expanding the store as well as consideration of providing some kind of affordable housing relief.

In order to avoid those requirements, Provisions’ attorney Dennis Downes secured the company approval for an expansion, walling off that 200-square-foot space. But after gaining planning board approval, Downes approached the Sag Harbor Village Zoning Board of Appeals for relief from the market study, which he estimates will cost $10,000, and the affordable housing provision, which would allow Provisions to expand into the full 777 square-foot space.

While the ZBA was amenable to the idea in September, this month Sag Harbor Village Attorney Denise Schoen said she does not believe the ZBA has a right under the village code to offer that kind of relief. Schoen said case law permits the ZBA to grant area variances — those that deal with physical space like a setback — but not variances for other requirements for a special permit.

Downes is reviewing that case law and the matter will be revisited at the ZBA’s November 20 meeting.

Lastly, John Leonard’s proposal to expand the Harbor Heights Service Station to include a convenience store was formally given a negative declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). That proposal will now move into the hands of the ZBA, which will ultimately decide the fate of the project, ruling on close to half a dozen variances including one that will allow Leonard to construct a store almost twice the size of what is allowed under the village code.

That proposal will also be discussed at the ZBA’s November 20 meeting.


Provisions Eyes Expansion

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For many in Sag Harbor, Provisions Natural Foods Market & Organic Café is a daily stop where they can pick up an organic lunch or healthy groceries.

It appears that come summer, owner Rich Kresberg will have more shelf space for homeopathic remedies and vitamins, organic produce and organic dry goods. Kresberg’s application to expand Provisions into an adjacent retail space was greeted favorably at Tuesday night’s Sag Harbor Village Planning Board meeting.

Kresberg is in final lease negotiations to take over the 1 Bay Street storefront which was most recently occupied by The Style Bar and is directly next to Provisions. On Tuesday night, his attorney Dennis Downes presented the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board with plans to expand Provisions into the first floor of the former Style Bar space. The expansion is part of an overall effort to reconfigure the café and grocery store.

Originally, said Downes, Kresberg hoped Provisions could take over a full 777-square-feet of space at 1 Bay Street. The café would keep its legal 32-seats and would not expand, said Downes, so there would be no additional parking or sanitary needs associated with the project.

However, because Provisions already occupies a 2,450 square-foot space, adding that amount of square footage would require a special exception permit as the store would exceed 3,000 square-feet. The latest incarnation of the village code limits retail spaces to a maximum 3,000 square-feet in order to maintain Sag Harbor’s small storefronts.

“I cannot meet those standards,” said Downes of the special exception permit requirements, which would require Kresberg to explore installing affordable housing in an apartment above 1 Bay Street — something Kresberg’s landlord is not interested in doing, said Downes. As the application would have called for the expansion of a grocery store to over 3,000 square-feet, Downes added, the village code requires a marketing study, which would cost Kresberg upwards of $10,000 to complete.

The Sag Harbor Village Planning Board, he added, is not allowed under the village code to waive special exception permit standards in this case because the overall floor area of Provisions is growing.

“I think the main reason behind that was to handcuff some boards so they could not offer waivers,” said planning board member and former village mayor Greg Ferraris.

To solve this issue, Downes said he had consulted with Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector Tim Platt who advised him that as originally planned Kresberg would need to shave just 105-square-feet from the expansion and could do so by using that space as storage. Not only does this eliminate the need for the permit, said Downes, but it also gives the planning board the ability to waive a public hearing in its site plan review of the proposal.

“I am inclined to view this as a benign change in use request,” said planning board chairman Neil Slevin.

According to Sag Harbor Village planning consultant Rich Warren, the board will still need to review the site plan application and complete a short environmental review of the proposal, which could be completed as early as the board’s April 24 meeting.