Tag Archive | "Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Revi"

Brown To Step Down as Sag Harbor ARB Chairman

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Sag Municipal Building

By Stephen J. Kotz

Cee Scott Brown, the long-time chairman of the Sag Harbor Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review, confirmed this week that he would step down when his term expires on July 20.

His decision comes as the village faces a growing chorus of complaints that its various regulatory boards are not doing enough to control the pace of development that has accelerated and spread throughout the village over the past year or two.

Mr. Brown, who said he had been thinking about giving up the post for some time, said his decision was not spurred by any pressure from within or without village government.

Instead, he said he was recultivating a long standing interest in the arts and had recently joined the board of directors of the Parrish Art Museum.

“I thought it would be a good time to step off the ARB and spend time focusing on the Parrish,” he said. “I have enjoyed it, but now it’s someone else’s turn.”

“Cee has done a good job,” said Mayor Brian Gilbride. “I know full well the time and dedication it takes. It’s very easy to stand on the outside and criticize.”

The terms of two other ARB members, Tom Horn Sr. and Bethany Deyermond, also expire this year, as do the terms of two ZBA members, Scott Baker and Jennifer Ponzini. Jeff Peters, a member of the Harbor Committee, has been serving on a holdover status since his term expired in 2013 and the village board did not have the votes to remove him from the post or appoint him to another term.

Just a week ago, on Thursday, April 30, a large crowd turned out at a village board meeting to sound the call for the village to take steps to tighten its zoning code to choke off the proliferation of oversized houses.

Several speakers directed pointed criticism at the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals and the ARB, with much of it aimed directly at Mr. Brown, who is a real estate broker with Corcoran and with his partner, Jack Pearson, is the exclusive representative of the Watchcase condominiums.

Tony Brandt, who served on the village’s original ARB,  said the board originally operated under a strict code of ethics, a code he said that would never have allowed a real estate broker to serve as the board’s chairman.

“We’ve become the laughing stock of the rest of the Hamptons because we have such a conflict of interest,” he said, offering to serve another term if the village board so desired.

“I think it is a terrible conflict of interest to have real estate agents and developers on the ARB,” added Judith Long, a Main Street resident, who also volunteered to serve. Bob Weinstein, a Jefferson Street resident, who has been critical of development in his neighborhood, also said he would be willing to serve.

Neil Slevin, a former planning board and ZBA member, offered to recruit members to serve on boards, an offer Mr. Gilbride happily accepted. “I’ve said this to every person I’ve interviewed, you have to be able to say ‘no,’” the mayor said, adding that Mr. Slevin had that characteristic.

Mr. Brown dismissed claims that he was incapable of being an impartial chairman. “If there is any sort of a conflict, I recuse myself,” he said. “I make it well known if I sold the house. I recuse myself even if it is just a paint color.”

He said had consulted with then-village attorney Anthony Tohill, who assured him it would not be a conflict for him to serve. “The company I work for now didn’t even exist out here” when Bulova was reviewed, he added.

Mr. Brown said he hoped members of Save Sag Harbor would follow through on their commitment to serve. “Every time I try to recruit board members, it’s difficult,” he said. “I hope Save Sag Harbor members would put their names forward and get on these boards rather than point fingers and complain. It would be much more constructive.”

He said as chairman he tried to make the ARB “user friendly” by having board members sit at a table instead of at the elevated dais, and by giving applicants the time they need to present their projects.

The job also requires a substantial effort, he added. “It’s not just something you can show up to twice a month,” he said,  adding that he stops by the Municipal Building to review plans and visits  the sites of projects to better acquaint himself with applications.

Adams to Weigh in on Sag Harbor Historic Preservation Regulations Next Monday

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Julian Adams, the director of the Bureau of Community Preservation Services with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, will attend next Monday’s Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board meeting to discuss historic preservation regulations, and specifically materials that should be allowed for reconstruction or renovation projects in the historic district.

That meeting will begin at 5 p.m.

Last Thursday, the ARB met to review several residential applications, including two applications for the Lighthouse Landing subdivision. Both properties, located at 18 Washington Avenue and 10 Lighthouse Lane, are proposed to have a single-family residence and an in-ground swimming pool. The ARB approved both homes, but tabled its approval for the swimming pools pending landscape plans and details about where pool equipment will be stored. Those applications will be revisited next Monday.

In other news, Susan Aminoff received approval for a gunite swimming pool and fence on Franklin Avenue; Deborah and Kevin O’Brien received approval for the removal of an existing chain link fence and the construction of a new wood fence on Joels Lane. The ARB also approved Thomas DiPrete’s plans for a cellar on Archibald Way and Shaun Woodward’s application for an addition on Suffolk Street.

Historic Family Compound Seeks Generator, Renovations

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By Kathryn G. Menu

For Cee Scott Brown, an application for a generator at a family compound that includes homes dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries was certainly uncharted territory.

However, noted Brown, chair of the Sag Harbor Village Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board (ARB), in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy which left many on the East End without power for a week or longer, it’s an application he expects his board will see more of leading into the 2013 hurricane season.

On Monday, the ARB heard an application for Michael Graff and Carol Ostrow, who last year were approved to combine two Division Street properties — one with a two-story captain’s manse built in the 1700s, and a second property that holds the Rysam-Sleight House, built in 1820.

Architect Katherine “Kitty” McCoy proposed changes to the couple’s existing building permit to allow for the location of a generator near the pool house, to replace an existing railing on the second floor deck on the east side of the captain’s manse, to remove an existing exterior basement access from the south side of the house and to replace the existing front door, sidelights and transom in kind.

“The deeper we get into this, the more details there are and it is a big property,” said McCoy, adding her application for this evening is for what she considers minor amendments.

The generator, which would not service the whole house system but would provide for heat and refrigeration, would be placed on a three-by-six-foot pad, said McCoy, and would be housed in an insulated shed that comes with the generator.

McCoy said typically, the generator will run once a week for one hour, and that could be programmed to happen mid-day and mid-week to reduce the impact on neighbors.

Brown said his concern was for neighboring property owners.

“I get the need for a generator, but if it is a self-charging thing, I think it would need to be set on a schedule that is mutually agreed on by everyone,” he said.

The applicants were approved for the generator and for the other improvements, including the replacement of the door, which McCoy said would be done in kind with historic glass.

The ARB also approved Lynn Park Charveriat’s request for two signs at the Main Street property known as the Gingerbread House, which she and her husband are transforming into their store La Maisonette.

However, the board panned a proposal to construct a sign at the top of the stairs entering the property, which people would walk under to enter the store.

“I think the consensus here is the western approach to signage might be more appropriate in Massachusetts, but not here,” said Brown.

In other news, Pierre Sussman was approved to demolish and rebuild an existing garage at 128 Jermain Avenue as well as for a proposed porch. 17 Madison Restoration, LLC, was approved for new window space at 17 Madison Street.

Caroline and Christina Hribar were approved for a cellar under the rear section of their existing house at 15 Garden Street, as well as for a second story addition above the existing kitchen, although Brown abstained from voting in favor of the project.

Brown had suggested architect Carl Hribar make the addition look less like the original house, in order to pay homage to the existing saltbox style of architecture, however Hribar said he tried but that it looked contrived.

“It will look fine,” said Brown. “It just won’t be a saltbox anymore.”